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Bertil van Boer
Fanfare, September 2017

The performance by the Consortium Carissimi is defined and well nuanced, with the individuals sounding like a much larger ensemble. Good acoustics in the recording, and a knack of conductor Carrick Comeaux to pick tempos that move it along and yet allow for the intricate lines to emerge, make for a good continuation of this multi-disc exploration of these church works of this important Baroque composer. Recommended. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Dave Lewis
WTJU, July 2017

Eight Motets is the fourth Naxos release of Carissimi from Consortium Carissimi. They have worked diligently to rehabilitate forgotten music from the Scuola Romana, or Roman School—early Baroque composers that sought to preserve polyphonic Renaissance practice and serving as a bulwark against the influences of opera and secular, monodic song.

Carissimi’s music is rich with strikingly complex musical textures one often associates with late Renaissance music, though this is balanced with the clarity, economy and instrumental accompaniments common to the Baroque. It is truly “the Voice of a Great Thunder.” © 2017 WTJU Read complete review



Jerobear
Review Corner, May 2017

You could listen to [this] for its relaxed but respectful religious tones, or just play it to relax. Showing the timelessness of music, it’s a blend of early music and modern ambient.

The performances are excellent, by the Consortium Carissimi (vocals, violin, harp, sackbut, organ etc), conducted by Garrick Comeaux… © 2017 Review Corner Read complete review



Laurence Vittes
Gramophone, April 2017

The performances are confident and secure, although there are some uncomfortable moments; generally, the more vibrato the group employs, the more pleasing the effect and the better the intonation.

Usquequo peccatores is an impressively dramatic 20-minute set piece for three choirs, and in his booklet-note Comeaux comments that its size and length ‘have made musicologists ponder the difference between a motet and an oratorio’. This is followed by a Dixit Dominus that, in the space of six minutes, rolls out a lovely instrumental introduction to exquisite passages radiantly sung by sopranos Heather Cogswell and Link Kauffman which themselves express spiritually charged emotional states. In Timete Dominum, a tour de force for five voices, Carissimi finds just the right blend of smoothly devotional song and lyrical ecstasy. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2017

We have a detailed life history of the Italian composer, Giacomo Carissimi, and he was obviously one of the important composers of sacred works in the 17th century. It is, therefore, strange that almost his entire autograph scores no longer exist, though it is clear that he was a prolific composer who played a very active part in the development of the church oratorio. He was equally involved in writing motets of quality and complexity, eight included on this disc adding to the ten already released on Naxos. They are mostly quite short and in conventional motet mode, though the extensive Usquequo peccatores, of 1672, rather begs the question as to the divide between motets and oratorios of the period. From herein, I depend on the notes that come with the disc, and there you will read of our debt to three Italian conductors who prepared performing versions of Carissimi’s music for the group, Consortium Carissimi, one of those, Vittorio Zanon, being responsible for the earlier recordings on Naxos. In 2007, one of the original three, Garrick Comeaux, returned to the United States after twenty-five years in Italy, and reformed Consortium Carissimi in Minneapolis later that year. As I frequently comment, we know nothing of the sounds produced by singers at the time of composition, though the Consortium reveal that they are difficult to sing and to retain intonation. That said we are in their debt to have the opportunity to hear the works, their instrumental ensemble—and mainly the organ—providing a backdrop rather than adding anything on their own account. A little ‘boxy’ in sound quality. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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