Album review: I Turchini/Antonio Florio, Il Tesoro di San Gennaro (Glossa)


Following a series of disasters in the 16th and 17th centuries –the inhabitants of Naples chose St Gennaro as holy protector of the city.

They built a chapel, the Tesoro di San Gennaro, which became a local centre of musical excellence, from whose charts and songbooks are drawn the motets and sinfonia collected here. Accompanied by a small ensemble of strings, I Turchini weave wonderfully ornamented interplay of sopranos and countertenor over bass and tenors, the staccato repetition of syllables in pieces like Caresana's "Canzona per San Gennaro" and Nicola Fago's "Confitebor" akin to a formalised laughter, while on less flamboyant works like Fago's "Stabat Mater" the prominent bass brings a more sombre atmosphere.

Download: Confetibor; Canzona per San Gennaro; Antra Valles Divo Plaudant