MARENZIO LUCA (1553-1599)
Motectorum Pro Festis Totius Anni, 1585 - vol. II
Motets included in this recording are characterised by a composition totally free of experimentalisms, and sound with a very traditional style: these are basically the reasons why they have been very severely criticised. On the contrary, critics rarely acknowledged how these motets are rich, complex and, in conclusion, artistically perfect, if compared to the contemporary motets production rather than Marenzio madrigals or sacred works intentionally anti-traditional. Only in this view we can acknowledge how Marenzio, while in the range of self-adopted limits, can create musical structures which make themselves respected by their absolute formal elegance and by the use of highly mastered contrapuntal artifici. The adherence of the music to the profound meaning of the text is always present, but never in clear evidence, and never breaks the melodic flow. The presentation of some motets played both with vocals and instruments or with only instruments, enriched with diminuzioni, is specific of a performance practice constantly assessed and common at Marenzio age. The use of an instrumental consort of violin, viola da braccio, cello and violone, wants to be an acknowledgement of the key role played by Brescia between 1500 and 1600 in the instrumental music, witnessed by an essay of Rodolfo Baroncini Origini del violino e prassi strumentale in Padania: sonadori di violini bresciani attivi a Venezia in ambito devozionale. This essay shows, beneath any doubt, that in Brescia the presence of string instrumental consorts for isminuir mottetti within liturgical celebration is assessed from mid-1500.