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Giovanni Antonio Rigatti

Vespers for the blessed virgin

[ 10 musicians: 3 voices + continuo + UtFaSol Ensemble (cornett, 3 sackbuts) ]

© Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Wrocław

The backbone of this «Vespro della Beata Vergine» consists of a selection of Psalms and a Magnificat selected from the reprint - the first edition (1641 or 1642) is lost - of «Messa E Salmi Ariosi a Tre Voci Concertati, & parte Con li Ripieni à beneplacito» by Giovanni Antonio Rigatti, edited in Venice in 1643 by Bartolomeo Magni. The instrumentation of this collection is mainly for three male voices - two tenors and a bass - with basso continuo, to which is sometimes added an «ad libitum» four-voices choir, superseded in this case by a quartet of wind intruments (cornetto and three sackbuts), following the widespread custom in the XVII century of replacing missing voices with wind or string instruments with similar tessitura. Considered by many musicologists as one of the most important composers of sacred Italian music from the first half of Seicento, Rigatti began his musical path as «puer cantor» in the choir of St. Mark in Venice, serving then as choirmaster in Udine's Cathedral from 1635 to 1637. Back in Venice, from 1639 he has been organ and music teacher for the young ladies of Ospedale dei Mendicanti and Ospedale degli Incurabili. In addition to his musical career, he also cultivated an ecclesiastical one: he attended the Patriarchal Seminary in Venice, becoming sottocanonico of St. Mark in 1647 thanks to the influence of cardinal Gian Francesco Morosini, for whom Rigatti worked as a chaplain since 1642. Vocal and instrumental pieces of other composers (Carlo Milanuzzi, Giovanni Battista Riccio, Francesco Usper, Adriano Banchieri, Serafino Patta, Gioanpietro Del Buono e Andrea Gabrieli) complete the liturgy of the Vespers, in addition to the proper gregorian chants. Recorded as a world premiere in collaboration with UtFaSol Ensemble, this album has been released by Arcana (Outhere).

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