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Natalis annuntio

NATALIS ANNUNTIO (del Natale io annuncio)

Small sacred cantata for soprano, choir, harp and percussion instruments

The small sacred cantata Natalis annuntio was commissioned by the «Istitutioni Harmoniche» of Verona for the Christmas Concert that took place in the basilica of St. Zeno on the 16th of December 1997. This concert usually presents performances of ancient music and this was only the second time that a contemporary composer had been commissioned to write a piece for the occasion.

 «(…) This year there is a strong link between past and present because of the work of an author who follows the traditional patterns of polyphony and particularly of Gregorian chant. Gianmartino Durighello belongs to a generation of young musicians which has witnessed and contributed to a renaissance of classical choral music. This revival has resulted in remarkable artistic issues (specially in the Venetian territory).

In the small Christmas cantata Natalis annuntio there are moments in which timbre is particularly bright and strong; they recall the “spectacular” works of Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli. But there are also moments of meditation and absorption in which the lines of the counterpoint draw together and merge in a simple monody of Gregorian style. However, the references to past styles are revisited in a language that is not an avant-garde experimentation but is nevertheless modern: the conduction of the vocal parts is free, the harmony is flexible and there is a careful choice, on the basis of timbre, of the instruments to be coupled to the different voi­ces».

 Mauro Zuccante (composer, conductor of «Le Istitutioni Harmoniche»)From the programme of the Concert, Verona December 16th, 1997


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