Claudio Cavina / Concerto delle Viole / Roberto Gini

De Vitae Fugacitate

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Originally recorded in an Italian villa in 1992, this release covered German solo vocal music ranging over much of the 17th century, most of it with the melancholy tone suggested by the album's title. Its release by Spain's Glossa label in 2009 was likely due to the fact that it includes music that even by then remained unfamiliar. The biggest attraction is the sextet of songs, and songs are what they are, by Adam Krieger, the founder of the Leipzig Collegium Musicum inherited by Bach decades later. Some are secular, some sacred, and they sound very little like Schütz, Schein, or the comparable Italian works of the period; they're free in shape, rather light-hearted, and apparently written for the entertainment of aristocratic amateurs. The rest of the program isn't especially cohesive, with diversions into Schütz and into the various uses of the viola da gamba, and countertenor Claudio Cavina has since gained serious competition in these repertories. The sound is hollow and murky, but despite all this, the Krieger pieces are gems that deserve a place in collections of music of the 17th century.

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