Given the Noah Greenberg Prize in 2019 for an outstanding contribution to historical performance practice, this collection of the ornamented songs and arias of the last operatic castrato, Giambattista Velluti (1780-1861), arose from my doctoral work, but is also the direct companion to my critical edition of 29 of Velluti's ornamented songs and arias, published in 2020 by A-R Editions. This was recorded in Darmstadt, Germany in October 2019, and also features Joachim Enders playing two lengthy sets of variations for solo piano, by Beethoven and J. B. Cramer.
This CD contains the nine solo anthems/motets composed by Handel between the mid-1720s and the late 1740s, for soprano voice and basso continuo. Also included are three large-scale solo anthems from the later editions of the Harmonia Sacra (which stayed in print throughout Handel's lifetime), as well as instrumental works by Handel and Pittoni. Recorded in December 2016 in Miami, Florida. Lute and Theorbo are played by Victor Coelho and David Dolata, and Juvenal Correa-Salas plays baroque organ.
This selection of motets from the first half of the 17th century explores the various ways in which the Virgin Mary was viewed: as the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God, and the Queen of Heaven. Included are the well-known motets: 'O Quam tu pulchra es' by Alessandro Grandi and 'Exulta Filia' by Claudio Monteverdi, as well as one of my favorite pieces of Christmas music ever: 'Salve Puellule' by Giacomo Carissimi. Michael Eberth is also presented in this CD in two fantastic organ solos by Frescobaldi and J. K. Kerll. This is sweet music, full of wonder, and awe. I hope you enjoy it!. Recorded February 1-5 in Munich in 2010.
These four motets of Carissimi (not really, see below) explore the gamut of emotions, from highest exultation to deepest personal despair. They also push the male soprano voice to its technical as well as expressive limits. These pieces speak to me, personally, on many different levels, musical, emotional, and intellectual. I have loved singing them, both for this recording, and in concerts in as disparate places as the Jesuit chapel in the shadow of the Bavarian Alps, where we recorded them, to the wood-beamed Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe, New Mexico, during a rare, desert thunderstorm. If I had a personal recommendation, it would be to not listen to them all at once, but rather take them one at a time, on different days. 'Oleum effusum est' is my particular favorite. It was not until recent years that I discovered, somewhat to my chagrin, that this final motet is in fact Barbara Strozzi's, in a heretofore unknown form. Barbara composed a setting for solo voice of Psalm 21/22 (depending upon the numbering system) as a continuation of (not merely appended to) the previously existing solo motet at some point apparently late in life. I published this new version as a part of Cor Donato's Complete Works of Barbara Strozzi series in 2019.