In 1996, the complete recording of the oratorio La morte del cor penitente (The Death of the Penitent Heart), composed around 1671, by the Northern Italian Early-Music ensemble Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca was a special event: for the first time, the Italian composer Giovanni Legrenzi (1626-1690) an important creator of sacred and chamber music was introduced with a voluminous work. At the same time, the recording, which went on to win several awards, also marked the beginning of the career of the Sonatori around Andrea Marcon, now long famous. Legrenzi was a master of baroque musical rhetoric: expressive harmonies and melodic elegance transformed the libretto by an unknown author, which illustrates its theme with numerous metaphors, into a sensuous pleasure. The little-known masterwork is interpreted sensitively, movingly and mellifluously by soloists with expressive voices (including Roberta Invernizzi, Elisabetta de Mircovich, Mario Cecchetti and Marco Beasley) and the Sonatori, also performing as a collective of soloists. This DIVOX reference recording is reissued at a time in which the outstanding importance of the heart is also recognized by science.
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