One can hear, from the very beginning of this work, that it is both firmly rooted in its past, yet fully modern for its time. It opens with a brief phrase in plainchant, and such sections are interspersed throughout the work. Yet when the whole choir begins singing, the sound blossoms with sonorities that were certainly modern at the time, and, even now, awaken the ear to new sounds. The music is rich with emotion - the colors and tones it contains are breathtaking. One could make a comparison with Hildegard of Bingen, but only in the intensity of the music - the two composers were separated by several centuries, but one can clearly hear that the music comes from the same place in the soul. At times, the choir sings in subtle layers of delicate voicing, similar to the madrigal style. At other times, a soloist takes the music to a different plane, singing what is almost an aria with the choir accompanying her.
The choir on this recording is excellent, with a beautiful tone and a magnificent texture. The rerecording is about as good as it could be, and puts these women's voices in the perfect light. The resulting sound is captivating and enthralling.
Musica Omnia has come up with an original idea. Each of its recordings contains an additional CD, called Beyond the Notes. This is basically a presentation of the music with spoken text and musical examples. In a way, it can be seen as liner notes with music. While one would not want to listen to this CD many times, it is invaluable in giving the listener a more complete approach to the music. Whether listened to before or after hearing the music, it opens the ears to new insights, in a way that printed liner notes cannot. Musica Omnia deserves kudos for this idea, and it would be wonderful if other labels picked up on it. Here, Warren Stewart discusses the spirituality of Cozzolani's music, and puts it into the context in which it was written and performed.
This beautiful recording is a revelation. Cozzolani was a unique composer, and her music has an otherworldly sound that is deeply attaching. Rush out and listen to this - you will be surprised, enchanted, and most probably delighted.
Classical Music Web (UK)
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1. CD1 - T1 - Versiculus et Responsorium: Deus in adiutorium
2. CD1 - T2 - Antiphona: Missus est
3. CD1 - T3 - Ps 109: Dixit Dominus
4. CD1 - T4 - in loco 1. Antiphona: Concinant linguae
5. CD1 - T5 - 2. Antiphona Ave Maria
6. CD1 - T6 - Ps 112: Laudate Pueri
7. CD1 - T7 - in loco 2. Antiphona: O quam bonus
8. CD1 - T8 - 3. Antiphona: Ne timeas
9. CD1 - T9 - Ps 121: Laetatus sum
10. CD1 - T10 - in loco 3. Antiphona: Venimus in altitudinem maris
11. CD1 - T11 - 4. Antiphona: Dabit ei Dominus
12. CD1 - T12 - Ps 126: Nisi Dominus
13. CD1 - T13 - in loco 4. Antiphona: O gloriosa Domina
14. CD2 - T1 - Capitulum: Isaiah 7, 14-15
15. CD2 - T2 - Responsorium breve: Angelus Domini
16. CD2 - T3 - Hymnus: Ave maris stella
17. CD2 - T4 - Antiphona ad Magnificat: Gabriel Angelus
18. CD2 - T5 - Magnificat primo
19. CD2 - T6 - in loco Antiphona ad Magnificat: Quid, miseri, quid f
20. CD2 - T7 - Collecta
21. CD2 - T8 - Benedicamus Domino
22. CD2 - T9 - in loco Deo Gratias: Surgamus omnes
23. CD2 - T10 - Versiculus et Responsorium: Fidelium animae