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Profeti della Quinta - Salomone Rossi: Il Mantovano Hebreo - American Record Guide


14 March 2014
American Record Guide
Catherine Moore

The release title is Il Mantovano Hebreo, and this program includes the three main areas of Salomone Rossi's work: Italian madrigals (11), Hebrew psalms (4), sinfonias and other instrumental pieces (15). Rossi (c.1570-c1630) was a Jewish composer based at the Mantua court (hence Mantovano). His settings of Hebrew language sacred texts in a musical idiom very typical of seventeenth-century Italy are recognized as his most original compositions.

Because they are all native Hebrew speakers, the five male singers in the Profeti della Quinta ensemble (2 countertenors; 2 tenors; 1 bass) interpret the psalm-settings with particular expertise...the singing is very fine: ‘Pargoletta, Che Non Sai', for example, has a nice give-and-take among the voices, and the spirited instrumental accompaniment brings out the best in the singers.

The instrumental pieces (sinfonias, gagliardas, correntes, and other dance forms) are very well played, with elegant polish and an attractive and lively flexibility. Two violins, two chitarrones, and harpsichord make up the instrumental group.
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