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American Record Guide: (03/2017) 
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Reviewer: John W. Barker


Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) was one of the most prolific and influential of Baroque operatic composers. Recordings are gradually, if still slowly, exploring his vast output in that form. But attention is also being paid to his important sacred music. The current program testifies to the composer’s experimentation with several different styles, with impressive results.

The initial work here, and the longest in the program, is a Missa Defunctorum or Requiem Mass, dating from around 171 . It is written for four voices, and though it contains a basso continuo it clearly reflects Scarlatti’s interest in going back to the polyphonic traditions of the Renaissance, if in his own terms. It is a work of dignity and restraint, perhaps a bit long for its austerity, but full of very lovely



The most “polyphonic” of the works here is a setting of Psalm 51, Miserere Meus, for a nine-voice double choir, written in 1708. Scarlatti achieves an antidote to Allegri’s simplistic but popular treatment of the same text. The earliest piece here, dating from 1697, is the one I find most fetching: a Salve Regina for four singers with two violins and continuo, using an assimilation of Renaissance madrigalian and Baroque textural styles. Such assimilation of styles, if with prevailing Baroque flavors, is displayed in a 1715 setting of the Magnificat for five voices and continuo. Solo sections for the singers abound, and there is a lively vigor to the piece. There are 15 singers and 5 instrumental-ists (including organist Liuwe Tamminga), and they blend nicely. Good notes, full texts with translations. A very worthwhile addition to this composer’s discography.


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