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Millennium of Music, July 2016

[Graziani’s] elegant mixture of text, melody, and harmonic accompaniment is highly distinctive, with the two oratorios revealing the extent of his compositional breadth. © 2016 Millennium of Music Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, March 2016

Gratiani’s music is excellently performed by Consortium Carissimi in period fashion, with very little vibrato. They are nicely seconded via the accompaniment of archlute, theorbo, viola da gamba, sackbut, harpsichord and/or organ depending on the work. The vocalists are top notch as are the instrumentalists. Gratiani’s music is beautifully crafted. It speaks to us eloquently. © 2016 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Ettore Garzia
Percorsi Musicali, November 2015

The Consortium Carissimi conducted by Garrick Comeaux is able to make us feel this new trend of the early Baroque, with a desiderable operation (in world premiere recordings) in which we find five motets and two famous orators of Graziani: the interpretation emphasizes the relationship between voices and instruments and synthetically reproduces the suave climate of Rome in 1650. © 2015 Percorsi Musicali Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2015

Even among the Early Music admirers, the 17th century Italian, Bonifazio Graziani will be largely unknown, though in his lifetime he was a major church composer. That fame extended to a commission by Pope Innocent X to compose appropriate music for the ‘most holy year’ of 1650, and, unlike many other church composers of the time, his music was subsequently published. Having studied theology, he spent much of his life in Rome as an ordained priest, sharing his time between ecclesiastical duties and that of the maestro di cappella for La Chiesa del Gesu. It was a position of considerable importance, and he would have been obliged to produce a flow of motets and music for special occasions. That he, and his church compatriots, met those exhausting demands with works of such high quality was remarkable. Just turn to track 5, the short, Quid est hoc, to find music that falls so attractively on the ear, while the more extended ‘oratorios’, Adae Oratorium and Filli Prodigi Oratorium—which appear to date from 1650—were more complex and contrasting in their content, both drawing their text from biblical sources, and inducing some exploratory harmonies for the period. As to the performance, Garrick Comeaux, the founder of the North American group, Consortium Carissimi, writes in the booklet notes, “we make no pretence of a historical reconstruction”. That is apparent by the use of female voices in place of boy sopranos, which will considerably change the texture, and it goes a stage further with their use of a marked vibrato when a pure tone was required. That is somewhat mitigated by the ‘authentic’ sounds from the instrumental group of archlute, theorbo, viola da gamba, sackbut, harpsichord and chamber organ. A reverberant church acoustic is ideal, and it is gratifying to encounter seven world premiere recordings sincerely presented. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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