Galuppi Messa per San Marco Filippo Maria BressanBaldassarre Galuppi
Messa per San Marco, 1766

Mariachiara Chizzoni, soprano; Karin Selva, soprano; Patrizia Vaccari, soprano; Mya Fracassini, alto; Roberto Balconi, countertenor; Nicola Marchesini, coutertenor; Vincenzo di Donato, tenor; Davide Malvestio, baritone

Accademia de li Musici
Filippo Maria Bressan, conductor

Chandos, 2003

This album offers the reconstruction of a Mass for St Mark (Messa per San Marco) which may have taken place in 1766 during Advent in the famous Venetian Basilica, where Galuppi was maestro di cappella. It was a tradition of the Cappella Marciana that its maestro was responsible for the composition of the two central pieces of the function and it was not strange nor unusual that the other were completed by assistants. Galuppi wrote thus only the Gloria and credo of the Messa per San Marco, while he was temporarily employed at the Court of Elizabeth II of Russia. Ferdinando Giuseppe Bertoni, Galuppi’s apprentice and first organist of St Mark, wrote the Kyrie, which happens to be the most boring and trivial piece of the album and its weakness is even more emphasized by its unfortunate position between a joyful Concerto a quattro and the inspired and varied Gloria.

I warn you that the present Mass must not be confused with another Messa per San Marco, again written for Christmas and completed by Galuppi in 1685, just before his death.

Two Concerti accompany the sacred pieces: the first opens the album and the second divides Gloria from Credo.

Chorus, orchestra and soloists (conducted by Filippo Maria Bressan) are good but not exceptional performers. You may have the impression that they do not give everything and that all of them lack a certain energy: they sing and play very well, but not enough to not sound apathetic. The soloists’ voices are not always exceptional, but at least soprano Mariachiara Chizzoni (the most remarkable among the women’s voices) and countertenors Roberto Balconi and Nicola Marchesini are not really bad and you may enjoy their beautiful performance. I liked less tenor Vincenzo di Donato because of his thin voice.

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