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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Sergio Vartolo, the director of the Cappella Musicale di S. Petronio di Bologna, has sought to place the Mass within a liturgical sequence recalling early performance tradition. Thus it opens with the plainchant introit Gaudeamus omnes in Domino (intended for a major feast of the Virgin Mary) and after the Gloria comes a Gradual and an organ paraphrase of the hymn Ave maris stella (by Girolamo Cavazzoni), very well played by Vartolo himself. Then comes the plainchant Alleluia and, following the Credo, the Gregorian Offertory, Beata ex Virgo Maria, which leads on to the Sanctus; the communion verse precedes Palestrina’s very beautiful double Agnus Dei. The performance has striking character and powerful devotional feeling and is very well recorded in the Church of St Zeno, Cavalo, Verona.

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