Music of the Italian Baroque

Ancient Groove Music specialises in producing editions of sacred choral music that have the highest standards of music engraving, academic rigour and performability. The catalogue consists of scholarly editions, from the Renaissance to the Baroque, designed by performers for performers. We also publish books on music and literature written by musicians.

Antonio Caldara: Credo in C (Crucifixus à 16)

The autograph manuscript for Caldara's Credo in C was written in Venice, 1707. Curiously, the original Crucifixus setting was removed, and a replacement, on different paper (though still by Caldara) was added after the original pages were bound together. Coincidentally, the origin of Caldara's sixteen-part setting of Crucifixus has never been discovered. Beyond this coincidence of a Credo lacking its original Crucifixus, and a Cruxifixus lacking its original Credo, there are a number of other arguments to support the hypothesis that the two works were originally conceived together.

Firstly, the music of the 16-part setting and the replacement (a hurriedly written Soprano solo with violin and continuo accompaniment) start and end on the same tonal centre of A minor. Secondly, the structural form of an expanded vocal scoring for the Crucifixus, with tacet strings, can be seen in the Credo settings of Caldara's Venetian contemporaries. Most notably, Antonio Lotti's Credo settings for SATB and strings, whose Crucifixus sections grow to eight or ten voices, with tacet strings. Other coincidences add to the circumstantial evidence.

This edition 'restores' Caldara's sixteen-part Crucifixus setting to the Credo in C for double choir. The alternative Crucifixus is supplied as an Appendix.

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Claudio Casciolini: Stabat mater dolorosa

NEW EDITION that adds the missing fifth vocal part!
This hitherto rare work by Claudio Casciolini follows the traditional Roman falsobordone practice of two different musical forms alternating between plainsong verses, before a unique final verse. It has been previously published in two 19th-century editions as a four-part work. However, the surviving manuscript source, dated 1751, contains a fifth part (Soprano 1) in the music for the first and last verses. A manuscript copy made by Pietro Alfieri in 1825 seems to have ignored or accidentally forgotten the top Soprano part — possibly an oversight in transcribing from part books? — and this may have been the source for the published versions. The music of the published editions is all but identical to the original, but when the missing part is restored, the harmonic language of the work is clearly completed: this is certainly no ‘descant’ added subsequently to a simpler original.

The original manuscript contains only one example of each musical form: the first verse is set as an SSATB Adagio in 4/2; the next musical form is an SATB Andante in triple-time, set to the words of verse 6 of the hymn (Quis non posset). However, this would normally be a plainsong verse in a typical falsobordone. A third music form is supplied for verse 15 (Virgo virginum): an SATB Adagio; and the work concludes with an SSATB final verse that changes meter (Quando corpus).

This edition has recreated all the verses of the Stabat mater dolorosa hymn from the musical forms in the original manuscript: the plainsong hymn tune is used for even verses, and the two music forms alternate in the odd verses. The third musical form has been used for the penultimate verse (Christe, cum sit hinc) rather than for verse 15, and the music of the final verse completes the text.

This edition can be heard on the CD 'Spirit, Strength & Sorrow: Settings of Stabat Mater' by The Sixteen.

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Antonio Lotti

Editorial notes for the complete range of music by Lotti published by Ancient Groove Music may be found here. This includes motets, masses and concert works for choir and orchestra.

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Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Salve regina

The Salve regina is thought to be Pergolesi’s last work, written immediately after the Stabat mater for which he is best known. Both works share common musical motifs and themes. This piece is frequently found in manuscripts written in F minor for Alto, and in C minor for Soprano, though the Alto version is likely to be the original.

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Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Stabat mater

This masterpiece of the Baroque is available in a new edition, based on Pergolesi's autograph manuscript. However, it also provides alternatives and variations found in other 18th-century manuscripts, through which the work's fame was spread.

Watch a short video documentary about this famous work.

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Alessandro Scarlatti: Stabat mater

Source: Florence, Biblioteca del Conservatorio di musica Luigi Cherubini (I-Fc), Basevi CF.56: an early 18th-century manuscript in score.

A rarely performed setting of this text for Soprano and Alto soloists, who take turns and duets through the verses. Accompanied by 2 violins and continuo.

Duration: under 40 minutes.

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Domenico Scarlatti: Stabat mater

Source: Bologna, Biblioteca della musica, (I-Bc): KK.92. An 18th-century manuscript in score. Fewer than ten manuscript sources of this work exist, nearly all of which date from the 19th century. This edition uses one of the few 18th-century sources, which has some minor differences from later material.

Duration: about 20 minutes.

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