Claudio Merulo: Motets
By Modus Ensemble and Mauro Marchetti. By Claudio Merulo (1533-1604). Classical. Listening CD. Published by Naxos (NX.BRI95243).
Item Number: NX.BRI95243
Claudio Merulo was one of a small number of Italian Renaissance composers who was instrumental in transforming the musical landscape of the 16th century. He was a hugely prolific writer of keyboard music, marking the change from vocal-based forms to new genres written especially for the instrument. Additionally, he wrote sublime sacred music in the Venetian tradition of the High Renaissance, and his motets, which are intended for the Office, are remarkable for their clear and spacious lines alongside bold imitative counterpoint. This is the fifth book of his motets, which reveal an innovative form and sophisticated linguistic freedom. The interplay of musical spaces and colours anticipate the concertato style of the rising Baroque period. He directs the Modus Ensemble, a group of young Italian musicians whose repertoire also spans many musical periods, from Renaissance to contemporary.Merulo's Motets, though standing in the tradition of the High Renaissance, reveal an innovative form and linguistic freedom. In his 5-part Motets for single choir the initial imitative counterpoints develops into antiphonal sections and ritornello passages that anticipate the "concertato" style of the emerging Baroque period. The Italian Modus Ensemble, conducted by Mauro Marchetti, is accompanied by viola da gamba, violone, theorbo and organ. The complete sung texts in the original language are included in the booklet.
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