Admired by Bach and Händel, Giovanni Legrenzi (1626-1690) was undoubtely one of the most important figures who played a leading role in the history of universal music
during the Seventeenth century.
Although the art of Legrenzi as composer of sacred music is sublime, to this day it is neglected and it is far from receiving from performers the attention, esteem and interest it deserves.
The poetry of his music is truly representative of the Baroque style; it raises to a peak of great expressive intensity through a musical language characterized by a subtle and easy singing content, by a singular melodic refinement, by an armonic taste erudition, by a magnificent declamation of the text.
REVELATORY LEGRENZI, COMPIETE, OP. 7
"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 voices of Nova Ars Contandi (SCTTB) in magnificent form, along with Ivana Valotti on organ; director Giovani Acciai seems to find the perfect tempos throughout.
But 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.