Rediscover Passiontide through exquisite motets from master composers of the Baroque era. Bringing together three beautiful Passiontide works for tenor soloist and small ensemble, this recording revisits some of the most outstanding, but little performed repertoire of the Baroque in powerful performances from musicians of the Apollo Baroque Consort.
I. Miserere à Voix Seule – Michel Richard de Lalande
II. Pianto della Madonna – Giovanni de Sances
III. Lamentations I: for Good Friday – Jan Dismas Zelenka
‘This recording is one of the most beguiling I have enjoyed in recent years. Rare, lyrical, involving music sung musically and intelligently by Chris Fitzgerald-Lombard and supported sensitively and unobtrusively by Joe Waggott makes this CD a must for any music lover. The supporting cast of singers and instrumentalists add to the colourand variety of the sound world and the generous acoustic of the wonderful Pearson church of St Alban, Highgate, Birmingham provides a suitable halo to the recorded sound which is excellent – clear, warm and present. Both these young musicians from Birmingham Conservatoire demonstrate their professionalism at every turn but, as much as anything else, the overriding and lasting impression is the love of the music and the sheer physicality of the music making which connects at every turn. Now on my third straight through listen I expect this disc to join me on my desert island to which I would retire with pleasure in this company.’ – Paul Spicer
‘The solo motet was one of the more important, and now less understood and known, genres of the the Baroque era, the sacred counterpart of the operatic aria. This little disc is a worthy debut for the recently formed ensemble known as the Apollo Baroque Consort, bringing together three longer works that are all mostly solo settings of important texts associated with Holy Week: the penitential psalm Miserere mei deus by Michel-Richard de Lalande (1657-1726); the sequence Stabat mater dolorosa, in the Pianto della Madonna by Giovanni-Felice Sances (1600-1679), last heard on a recording by Philippe Jaroussky; and a section of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, proper to Good Friday, by Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745).The composers’ life spans cover most of the Baroque period and three different geographic and stylistic areas: the elegant and expressive French style, the more florid Italian, and the more polyphonic and complex German. The solo motet will work only with a beautiful voice that holds the ear, which this disc has in tenor Chris Fitzgerald-Lombard, who founded Apollo Baroque Consort with Joe Waggott last year; Waggott ably provides most of the accompaniment on continuo organ (plus cello and theorbo), in keeping with the relatively simple style of the solo motet, sometimes in alternation with a small chorus. Only the Zelenka, the most complicated score by far, requires a larger, but still relatively small, consort of instruments. The combination of unusual repertoire and generally beautiful sound, recorded this past February at St Alban the Martyr in Highgate, Birmingham, make for an accomplished debut.’ – Charles T. Downey