Cozzolani Project Releases New Track – Laudate pueri a 6
Magnificat and Musica Omnia are pleased to announce the release of Cozzolani’s second setting of the psalm Laudate pueri (à 6), one of only two of her works that call for obbligato instruments in addition to voices and basso continuo. Like her setting of Laudate Dominum for solo soprano, the Laudate pueri à 6 includes parts for two violins.
Despite various Episcopal efforts to ban non-keyboard instruments from convents in 17th-Century Milan, there is considerable evidence for nuns’ ability to play obbligato instrumental parts that occasionally appear in publications of convent music. While there are no records of non-keyboard instrumentalists at Cozzolani’s convent, S. Radegonda, in the 1660s there are accounts of “cantatrice, e sonatrici” (i.e. singers and instrumentalists) at the convent and two or three violinists were associated with each of the convent’s choirs in the 1670s.
The violins offer Cozzolani another element in the psalm’s expansive compositional architecture. Without an opening sinfonia, the psalm establishes a two-period refrain in the opening verse that returns in alternation with an instrumental sinfonia between the verses. Robert Kendrick has noted that in its insistent return to the G final for each verse and the use of similar melodic figuration gives this setting the sound of a strophic variation.
Laudate Pueri à 6 was published for two sopranos, two tenors, and two violins, Magnificat has recorded the work with four sopranos – Catherine Webster, Ruth Escher, Jennifer Ellis Kampani, and Andrea Fullington. The sopranos are joined by Rob Diggins and Jolianne von Einem, violin, John Dornenburg violone, David Tayler, theorbo and Hanneke van Proosdij, organ.