December 2020

«Compline» is the final prayer in the monastic day. It is unsurprising that such a moment should be honoured by composers with music of radiant beauty; what is surprising is that this performance of, to accord the work's full title, Giovanni Legrenzi's Compiete con le lettanie et antifone della B. V., a 5, Op. 7' is a World Premiere recording. This is music of freshness and emotion, shot through with profound spirituality and (thankfully, given the World Premiere status this disc enjoys) heard in a performance of the utmost beauty. [...] Today, Legrenzi is perhaps best known for his instrumental music, but this disc implies we should be looking elsewhere. [...] Just wait until you hear this new Naxos recording tbough, with the five male voices of Nova Ars Contandi (CATTB) in magnificent form, along with Ivana Valotti on organ; director Giovani Acciai seems to find the perfect tempos throughout. [...] the point is that this is a massively varied work of heart-melting beauty. [...] Do hear this Compiete; this is one of the most significant Baroque releases I have come across this year and, being perfectly honest, it presents the truest distillation of  the beauty of Legrenzi's music of all the listed releases.

(Colin Clarke)


December 2020

If you enter the heart of reading made by Giovanni Acciai with his ensemble, the Nova Ars Cantandi, you are impressed by how the Latin text is made intelligible, and more comprehensible; [...] it is an approach that not only exceeds the normal understanding evoked by the semantic force of the words , but it represents the spatial depth from which the text itself radiates [...] . And this is especially true when the overlay of more lines in the song merge into a unique vision, such as many tributaries converge into a single river, (listen to the incipit of the Converte nos, Deus). These melodic lines are always intelligible thanks to this distinguishing feature: the purity and clarity of singing [...] Another detail not be underestimated: the inner rhythm impressed by Giovanni Acciai in the reading of the Compiete. It is a rhythm that, starting from the organ's emission, spreads in the voices coming into a «sing intimately»  [ …]. A song able to transform itself into «breath»  (listen to In te, Domine, speravi), thanks to its «inner rhythm». This is due to the admirable excavation work, a sort of bulin engraving sound, realized by Giovanni Acciai with his authentic choral war machine that is the Nova Ars Cantandi. This ensemble has become the first consolidated point of reference for the great Renaissance and Baroque music. Not by chance Nova Ars Cantandi with its not only philological, but so moving and emotional performances, represents one of the most acclaimed performing realities at the international level. In short, it is an unavoidable recording.

(Andrea Bedetti)



August 2019

[...] in the darkened church, we were treated to a most moving spectacle. The music (Responsoria of Leonardo Leo) was very moving and the singing was superb.May be (Nova Ars Cantandi) another contender for best concert of the Festival?

(Christopher Price Pontifex)

The four singers produce an admirable performance both from a vocal and interpretative point of view. [...] Giovanni Acciai wisely manages times and breaks, always keeping tension high and arousing attention.

(Daniela Goldoni, Opera Click)





February 2019


LEONARDO LEO,  Responsoria (CD Archiv, 481 7351)

Artistic evaluation: EXCEPTIONAL

In this world premiere recording Giovanni Acciai and his ensemble Nova Ars Cantandi [...] were able to trasform the expressive intensity of the singing lines of this sacred work in many scenic characters in wich the spiritual inspiration is perfectly combined with the contrapuntual texture. Acciai gives life to a reading in wich purity and suffering find common ground.

(Andrea Bedetti)


December 2018

LEONARDO LEO Responsoria (CD Archiv, 481 7351)

Artistic judgment: EXCEPTIONAL

[...] The five male voices [...] with Ivana Valotti (organ) form Nova Ars Cantandi, an ensemble particularly suited to the new spiritual context,  conducted by Giovanni Acciai with great sensitivity and stylistic awareness.

(Paolo Petazzi)


November 2018

[...] Acciai has made an act of conversion, imposing himself as the arbiter of an absolute textual rigor, in the word and its semanticity: the quartet of voices in a mellow ensemble, the splendid continuo on the organ of the champion Ivana Valotti: all compact and sound. [...].

(Salvatore Morra)


November 2018

A precious harmonic-timbral warp, achieved through a very pure vertical balances and skilful accent turnings, artfully chiseled through a sublime symbiosis of singing and counterpoint realized by the four voices and continuo.

It’s a reading that knows how to restore and highlight at best the sacred and dramatic substance of theatrical gestures through a peculiar Neapolitan sensibility. This is recognizable in the very high technical-analytical teaching and in the admirable expressive intentions achieved by the most recent record product given to us by Giovanni Acciai at the head of the talented Collegium vocale et instrumentale Nova Ars Cantandi.

(Paola De Simone)



November 2018

[...] From a technical point of view, the merits of the performance must be grasped in the delicacy of the vocal mixture obtained though a care given to each melodic phrase and through an adherence to the contrapuntual lines standing out, in a writing, as essential reference trace [...]. The detailed work in combining vocal colours and performing gestures contributes at best to the dramatization of this proposal [...].The Nova Ars Cantandi finds in Ivana Valotti, organist, an assiduous and pertinent instrumental support, and in Giovanni Acciai the natural reference.

(Stefano Valanzuolo)


December 2018 

[...] As the voice of all humanity turning to God for help and comfort, yesterday, in Santa Barbara, G. A. seemed to play with his whole body a celestial organ made by human voices. In fact he moved five extraordinary singers with invisible threads, in the performance of Claudio Monteverdi-Aquilino Coppini's Contrafacta.

(Maria Antonietta Filippini)


May 2017

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI,  Contrafacta (CD Archiv, 481 5086)

Artistic judgment: FIVE  STARS

[...] with a wealth of ideas, with only male voices and an organ, if necessary by substituting unattuned parts above the instrument, according to a typical practice in use, Acciai digs into words, broadens the range of emotions, savors notes and words, creates a constantly changing sound: splendid, languid, turgid, soft, sometimes sidereal in a way making pain and suffering universal. At present, this is the most successful record production dedicated to the anniversary of Monteverdi.

(Massimo Rolando Zegna)


March 2017

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI,  Contrafacta (CD Archiv, 481 5086)

[...] A fascinating record by Archiv, made by that extraordinary interpreter of the madrigal world that is Giovanni Acciai, with the excellent ensemble Nova Ars Cantandi. He guides us to the most reserved places in our musical history.

(Gian Paolo Minardi)


March 2017

[...] an evening beyond belief to one's ears, even in a metaphorical sense. In addition to the excellent performing, the Bramante Sacristy of Madonna delle Grazie, in Milan, a 200-seat hall, was packed with people queiting in the streeet.

(Stefano Jacini)

© 2021 by Collegium vocale et instrumentale «Nova Ars Cantandi»

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