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Agostino Steffani: Stabat Mater ()

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Agostino Steffani, roughly contemporary with Arcangelo Corelli, worked mostly in Germany and was known across the continent for his operatic music. Some of it was championed by mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli on her daring Mission album. Now Bartoli, properly more in the background as part of a sacred-music ensemble, returns with an album of Steffani's religious music, for which he was equally renowned. She joins a group of fine soloists, many of whom will be familiar to early music devotees and quite worthy of the broader audience association with Bartoli and the major Decca label will bring. The vigorous instrumental ensemble I Barocchisti, its leader Diego Fasolis, and the commendably sizable Swiss Radio Choir are all top-notch. As for the music itself, the six sacred pieces (psalms, antiphons, motets) that conclude the album give the best idea of the diversity of Steffani's style. Some are partly in the pure Palestrina traditional unaccompanied choral style; some are in the Italian style of the... Hide synopsis

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