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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mass for Double Choir, 11 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Martin/Pizzetti: Sacred Choral Works (Audio CD)
This must be one of the most extraordinary and beautiful pieces of choral music ever written. It stands so much alone and complete that words are superfluous. While it was written in the magically creative year 1922, the composer did not release it for performance until 1963, and it is recognized as a profound expression of Martin's religious faith.

This over-used phrase does little justice, however, to what Martin has achieved. He has used all the resonant acoustics which a church can offer and all the tension generated by the close-moving dissonance and resolution of a complex arrangement for five small sets of a capella male voices. The result is something wonderful - a combination of form and environment creating a work of art complete in itself. It becomes an expression of something almost solid, quite separate from either its components or its performance, yet dependent on both. The piece requires the chorus to have control over extreme nuances of pitch and dynamics and over the issue of sound so that every silence - between the sections of the mass, between the musical phrases, sometimes between two chords - becomes a physical and integral part of the whole. This can only happen when the pauses are perfectly defined, by a choir which is perfectly in time and perfectly in unison.

Listen to it - then listen to it again and again. A quite exceptional performance of an astonishing musical achievement.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Dec 2011 12:52:52 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Dec 2011 13:00:00 GMT
brychan says:
A very interesting & valuable review ,but sadly,no mention for Pizzetti's stunning 'Messa di Requiem'. Listeners who value this composers superb choral music should think about acquiring the Chandos cd devoted to this masters unaccompanied choral music,which includes some other equally moving pieces. Pizzetti also wrote some equally fine opera's. 'Fedra',from a live recording at Montpelier in 2008,is available as a 2cd set on the Accord label. The performances & recording quality are very good,but there is no libretto. Fortunately Pizzetti's music is very lyrical & this should not get in the way of an adventurous listeners enjoyment. Hyperion's cd of his ripely,romantic orchestral music is also well worth investigating. If you like Respighi you should enjoy that. Pizzetti's style is very similar,but at it's best,arguably more subtle & refined. A neglected master!

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Dec 2011 15:51:48 GMT
V. Kingham says:
Absolutely, and thanks for bringing this to my attention, and for the information about Pizzetti's other work. I bought the CD for the Martin but the Pizzetti was completely unknown to me. Neglected as you say.
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