Antonio Lotti, Syred Consort, Orchestra of St Paul's, Ben Palmer - Crucifixius

Published Thursday 2nd June 2016
Antonio Lotti, Syred Consort, Orchestra of St Paul's, Ben Palmer - Crucifixius
Antonio Lotti, Syred Consort, Orchestra of St Paul's, Ben Palmer  - Crucifixius

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 161617-24667
LABEL: Delphian DCD34182

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

While we are more than happy to applaud the musicianship of The Syred Consort and the Orchestra of St Paul's under the direction of Ben Palmer we must first praise musicologist Ben Byram-Wigfield for his work in bringing this survey of Antonio Lotti's music to life. Despite a long and industrious career at the Basilica of San Marco in Venice, Antonio Lotti (1667-1740) is now only remembered for his eight-part setting of the 'Crucifixius'. Not many of us know that this was in fact part of a complete Credo setting which is in turn part of the 'Missa Sancti Christophori' that receives its first recording here. Indeed all but two of the 16 tracks on the disc are premiere recordings so it is safe to say that even if you are familiar with the 'Crucifixius' the rest of the CD will be new to you and if you are familiar with the 'Crucifixius' I am sure you will enjoy what is on offer here. The Syred Consort, named for their patron Richard Syred, give a good account of themselves and the composer on this their debut recording and, as ever, producer/engineer Paul Baxter gives them every chance to shine. Lotti wrote as the Baroque period drew to a close and was prepared to push the boundaries with his use of unprepared dissonances, tritones and the like and it has been suggested, perhaps with tongue in cheek, that Lotti was the first atonalist. Against that, we know that Bach listened to Lotti and borrowed some of his ideas; indeed they were in Dresden at the same time so might have met and if you were to ask me what Lotti sounds like I think the comparison with Bach is far more helpful than labeling him as atonal. This disc is tuneful, well played and sung, and Byram-Wigfield's notes are most informative. Listeners prepared to try something out of the ordinary will appreciate this.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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