O Virgo Justa - Motets and Instrumental Music
Claudio Merulo da Correggio (1533-1604) is noted above all for having been one of the most prestigious principal organists at the basilica of St. Mark’s in Venice. Equally important, however, is his sacred production, for he published two books of Masses and no less than seven books of motets. This disc offers various types of Merulo’s compositions. His motets, recorded here for the first time ever, exhibit great naturalness and expressive intensity, and the musical settings are closely connected to the meaning of the texts. The are polyphonic pieces for five voices which can be performed either by voices and organ or with instruments doubling the voices (in keeping with common practices of the time), or, finally, with a solo soprano voice and instruments playing the other melodic lines, as we have done here. The motets are taken from the collection Liber Primus, Liber Secundus, Sacrarum Cantionum Quinque Vocum, published in Venice by A. Gardano in 1578, and were composed for various religious festivities during the liturgical year.