The early 'wall of sound' effect of so much of Venetian sacred music music of the mid-18th century is epitomised by the music of the three composers featured here: Nicola Porpora, Johann Hasse and Baldassare Galuppi. Masters of music in the various Ospedale in which they were employed, their music takes the listener that step further down the path well-trodden by Vivaldi. Ornate and virtuosic in the solo movements, exciting and invigorating in the choral writing - this is truly something different for those interested in the music of a city as important to musical history as Venice.
The performances are well-shaped and show the music off to its best advantage. The variety of styles and textures is clearly executed and a great deal is made of the occasionally idiosyncratic nature of the composers' work. The soloists are very well cast, the instrumentalists sympathetic and accomplished and the choral singing clear and well-focussed, the many tempi are effective and the recording itself is a pleasure to listen to.
Why don't we hear more of this untapped well of music?