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Penguin Guide, January 2009

The Story of Jephtha has interlacing solos, some for characters in the story, others involving narration (Historicus) in free arioso. Punctuating this crisp telling of the story come four choruses in six parts, and a duet for two sopranos. They add to the attractive variety of the piece in madrigal-like numbers, ending with the longest and most impressive. The Story of Jonah follows a similar pattern, with the dialogue between Jonah and the Sailors playing an important part, and ending with a fine eight-part chorus for the people of Nineveh, We have sinned Lord. Described as a Serenade, the third work is equally mellifluous, involving more chordal writing. It is here given with the top lines taken by two tenors instead of two sopranos. The brilliant singers of Consortium Carissimi—with the director, Vittorio Zanon, only indicated in small print at the end of the long list of artists—give magnetic performances, beautifully recorded. In this outstanding bargain issue full texts are given, very necessary for complete enjoyment, and this CD supersedes its Meridian competitor.







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