The Cardinal King
By Cappella Fede, Harmonia Sacra, and Peter Leech. By Sebastiano BOLIS, Giovanni Battista COSTANZI, Nicolo Jommelli (1714-1774), Carlo Tessarini, and Giovanni ZAMBONI. Classical. CD (1 disc). Published by Toccata Classics (NX.TOCC0300).
Item Number: NX.TOCC0300
Everyone has heard of "bonnie Prince Charlie', but almost no one knows his younger brother, Henry Benedict Stuart (1725-1807), grandson of King James II of England and VII of Scotland and the last in the direct line of Jacobite succession, was a major figure in the hierarchy of the Vatican, and an important patron of the arts. This album presents the hitherto forgotten repertoire composed by the many musicians associated with and employed by Henry Benedict. Sitting on the cusp of the Baroque and the Classical, these pieces likewise tread a delicate path between innocence and grandeur, between charm and formality, and suggest that the Cardinal, for all his power, may have been a rather gentle man. Little of the music of these five composers has been recorded- this is yet another areawhere the partnership between musicologist-musicians and Toccata Classics is throwing light on unknown corners of the repertoire. Ensemble Cappella Fede comprises some of the finest specialist early-music performers in Britain. Formed by Peter Leech in 2008 in response to an invitation to perform at St. Francis Xavier's Church, Liverpool, for the 'Held in Trust' exhibition, the group specializes in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music. This is the choir's first recording.