Das Kleine Konzert;
CPO 777 936-2
Although Alessandro Melani's significance as a composer of operas and sacred oratorios before Alessandro Scarlatti was recognized quite early, his numerous sacred compositions have remained largely unknown. The present selection aims at conveying an impression of the high rank of these works. Little is known about Melani's life. Born into a family of musicians in Pistoia in 1639, he is documented as the chapel master at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore at the very latest in 1667. In 1672 he moved on to San Luigi dei Francesi, where he worked until his death. As we see, church music was his domain, and yet he also regularly wrote great operas that made him famous (cf. the cpo release of his mini-opera Europa: 4481639). All the Vespers compositions by Alessandro Melani for one or two choirs, vocal soloists, and basso continuo brought together here have a festive character and were probably performed at one of Rome's finely endowed churches, possibly in Santa Maria Maggiore or San Luigi dei Francesi during his tenure as chapel master. Soloists of the Rheinische Kantorei interpret the Vespers of the Blessed Virgin and its many challenging solo parts with their hallmark excellence together with the Kleines Konzert under Hermann Max.
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