Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano to Release Album by Composer Stradella Mottetti

The album, which features the work of the seventeenth-century composer, will be released on June 21, 2024.

By: May. 23, 2024
Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano to Release Album by Composer Stradella Mottetti
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Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano continue their exploration of 17th century Italian motets with a new disc of works by composer Alessandro Stradella (1643-1682), out on Naïve Classiques on June 21, 2024.
Principally known for his oratorios and operas, Stradella’s output of sacred motets is “still in an embryonic state,” says Rinaldo Alessandrini.  “Three manuscripts can be found in the Biblioteca Estense in Modena: a total of seventeen motets for various ensembles, of which five have been recorded on this CD.” The album also includes Stradella’s Symphonias in D Major and F Major. Except for Stradella’s Exultate in Deo fideles, all of the motets on the album are world premiere recordings.
Rinaldo Alessandrini writes, “Some of the motets recorded here are dedicated to the Virgin Mary, or to be specific, are written for particular festivals: Nascere virgo for the Nativity (September 8); Convocamini, congregamini for the Immaculate Conception (December 8). The motet Sistite sidera was conceived for more general festivities of the Blessed Virgin, as was In tribulationis. Stradella himself, however, is the stated author of the text of the extra-liturgical motet Exultate in Deo fideles referred to as "for the Most Holy".   
The Bibliotheque Estense in Modena offers no information regarding the date or place of composition of these motets, though some clues in the music imply they were written in the Roman choral tradition. The composer, originally from Bologna, probably employed professional singers who used to split their time between the church and the theater. The vast Convocamini congregamini, with its characters drawn from religious imagery (Lucifer, the spirits of Hell, the Virgin Mary) and its various dramatic devices, clearly calls for the stage.   
Alessandrini explains, “The set of compositions preserved in the three manuscripts testifies to the use of the extra-liturgical motet (that is, outside the liturgy of the Ordinary Mass and Vespers), where the texts are composed for an occasion.” But whether for the stage or the sanctuary, “it should not be forgotten that the primary function of music in Roman churches was to attract the greatest number of people.”


Stradella. Mottetti
Alessandro Stradella (1643-1682)
Symphonia in D Major
For 2 violons and basso continuo
In tribulationibus, inangustiis
Motet for 5 voices with instruments
Sonia Tedla, soprano 1 | Monica Piccinini, soprano 2 | Andres Montilla, alto | Luca Cervoni, tenor | Gabriele Lombardi, bass
Exultate in Deo fideles
Motet for solo bass with instruments
Gabriele Lombardi, bass
Nascere virgo potens
Motet for 3 voices
Monica Piccinini, soprano 1 | Francesca Cassinari, soprano 2 | Gabriele Lombardi, bass
Sistite sidera, coeli motus otiamini
Motet for solo soprano with instruments
Sonia Tedla, soprano
Symphonia in F Major
For 2 violons and basso continuo.
Convocamini, congregamini
Motet for 6 voices with instruments
Monica Piccinini, soprano 1 | Sonia Tedla, soprano 2 | Francesca Cassinari, soprano ripieno | Andres Montilla, alto | Luca Cervoni, tenor | Gabriele Lombardi, bass
Concerto Italiano
Rinaldo Alessandrini, Director

About Concerto Italiano

The path taken by Concerto Italiano on its formation by Rinaldo Alessandrini in 1984 intersected with that of the rebirth of early music in Italy. Since that time, exploring notably the works of Monteverdi, Bach and Vivaldi – three tutelary figures whom it champions all over the world – it has renewed the approach to and interpretation of these early repertories, shedding new light on their aesthetic and rhetorical features.
Having initiated many large-scale musical projects and assiduously assembled a large discography over the past three decades, Concerto Italiano has become a frequent visitor to internationally famous concert halls, opera houses and festivals and has produced benchmark versions of its favoured repertory that have enjoyed both public and critical acclaim.
After its long-term immersion in the Monteverdi trilogy staged in collaboration with Robert Wilson at La Scala in Milan and the Paris Opera, Concerto Italiano embarked on a number of major concert tours in 2016: Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine in Australia and New Zealand, Alessandro Scarlatti’s Caino in Europe and a programme of late seventeenth-century Roman polyphony with the RIAS Kammerchor. In 2017 it celebrated the 450th anniversary of the birth of Monteverdi with L’Orfeo on tour in China, the Vespers in Japan, L’incoronazione di Poppea at Carnegie Hall and numerous concerts in Europe.
Concerto Italiano was awarded the Premio Abbiati 2002 for its activities, and has also won five Gramophone Awards (in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2004 and 2015), two Grand Prix du Disque, three Deutsche Schallplattenpreise (including L’Orfeo in 2008), the Premio Cini and five Midem Awards. The British musical press has declared that its recordings of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos are the finest currently available.

About Rinaldo Alessandrini, Organist and Director

The harpsichordist, organist and pianist Rinaldo Alessandrini is one of the leading figures on the international early music scene. His predilection for the Italian repertory and his constant preoccupation with the expressive characteristics specific to the Italian style of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are the decisive factors that orientate his musical approach and interpretative options, both at the head of Concerto Italiano, of which he is the founder and director, and as a soloist and guest conductor.
Among the most notable productions he has conducted are Handel’s Theodora, Alessandro Scarlatti’s La Vergine dei dolori, Monteverdi’s Vespers, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and many works by Vivaldi, including La Senna festeggiante, The Four Seasons, the operas L’Olimpiade and Armida, and the monumental reconstruction of his Solemn Vespers for the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin. Also worthy of mention is his marked penchant for the operas of Monteverdi, Mozart and Handel, which he conducts frequently and with great passion.
A regular guest conductor with leading orchestras in Europe and the United States, but also in Melbourne and São Paulo, he also appears frequently at La Scala in Milan, the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, La Monnaie in Brussels, the Opéra de Liège and Welsh National Opera. In the course of the Monteverdi jubilee year of 2017, he led Concerto Italiano on tour in Australia, China and Japan, and in concerts in Europe and the US. Rinaldo Alessandrini was resident conductor with the RIAS Kammerchor Berlin in the 2015/16 season. In 2016 he was appointed music director of the ‘Purtimiro’ Baroque opera festival at the Teatro Rossini in Lugo di Romagna.
His discography, which has earned frequent awards over the past thirty years, largely coincides with that of Concerto Italiano, and features numerous Italian composers but also members of the German school. He records exclusively for naïve. In 2002, along with Concerto Italiano, he received the Premio Abbiati for his entire career up to that point. He was appointed Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2003, and is a member of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana.


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