The name of Marc'Antonio Ingegneri is known mostly to graduate students who take a course on Renaissance music; perhaps more committed generalists may recognize him as Claudio Monteverdi's teacher. The Choir of Girton College, Cambridge, and director Gareth Wilson have performed a tremendous service by bringing some of his music into the light on recordings, in a series of which this is the second release. In these performances, the music is something of a revelation. The question that may come up first is whether one can hear hints of Monteverdi's earthshaking revolution in this music, and the answer is yes; it has a highly expressive quality and a dense use of what would soon be called harmony that must have impressed the young composer. The program presents a five-voice parody mass along with its motet model by Paolo Animuccia, and its treatment of the model is remarkable. The excellent annotation by Carlos Rodríguez Otero calls it "almost obsessive." The motets are so intensely beautiful that one wonders why they haven't been performed more often. The problem may be the modernist fascination with the freaky chromaticism of Marenzio and Gesualdo in preference to Ingegneri, or simply that Ingegneri, from out-of-the-way Cremona rather than Rome or Venice, has generally received less attention. Sample the Ave verum corpus setting. In any case, this is a real find. The notes also include moving reflections from Wilson on the difficulties of recording this music during a pandemic, offering much to consider. The sound engineering from St. George's, Chesterton, Cambridge, works very well.
Marc'Antonio Ingegneri, Vol. 2: Missa Voce Mea A5 Review
by James Manheim