While the German tradition observes a strict distinction between sacred and secular styles, the 19th-century Italian Mass can feel more akin to attending an operatic performance. Donizetti’s church music, consisting of at least a hundred items, has hardly been explored. Individual movements were often later recycled by the composer, in cantata-like fashion, to form a complete Mass, and it is this ad hoc technique that Franz Hauk has used to create a new work, the Messa di Gloria and Credo in D. This includes an expansive Qui sedes with its violin solo written for the famous violinist-composer Pietro Rovelli, and is completed with movements by Johann Simon Mayr from whom Donizetti learned his compositional craft in settings of sacred texts.
Listen to TRACK 2: Concerto for violin, piano and string orchestra
Boris Tishchenko was one of the most recognisable and important Russian composers of his time. His studies with Shostakovich – whose mantle as Russia’s leading symphonist he assumed after his teacher’s death in 1975 – proved decisive. Symphony No. 8, one of his last completed works, was written to be performed immediately after Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony to which it makes reference. The Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra is rich in emotional depth, lyricism and dance rhythms while Three Songs to Poems by Marina Tsvetayeva intriguingly fuses popular song with Russian romance.
Domenico Cimarosa was one of the last great exponents of the ‘Neapolitan School’ and one of the most famous and successful composers before the
arrival of Rossini on the European opera scene. His works were produced and re-staged at innumerable performances in opera houses all over Europe. This programme represents the extraordinary range of Cimarosa’s career, from Le trame deluse (The Foiled Schemes) and La villana riconosciuta (The Country Girl Revealed), which were among his greatest hits, to overtures from cantatas such as Atene edificata (The Founding of Athens) and the ‘dramatic composition’ for Cardinal de Bernis, written on the occasion of the birth of the Dauphin, the firstborn son of Louis XVI.
Listen to TRACK 4: String Quartet No. 8 in A major
This is the fifth and final volume of Carpe Diem’s highly acclaimed cyle of Taneyev’s nine complete string quartets which are notable not only for the composer’s famed meticulous craftsmanship but for their attractive lyrical sweep. Infused with the spirit of Haydn and Mozart, the harmonically adventurous Eighth Quartet includes a beautiful and romantic Adagio. The Second String Quintet is a monumental work in every sense, standing firmly alongside the later quartets.