Volume I of the complete works of Chiara Magdalena Cozzolani contains all the works in her 1650 publication Salmi a Otto Voci. The double CD set includes texts and English translations, liner notes by Robert Kendrick and album artwork by Nika Korniyenko.
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Cozzolani's Christmas Dialogue Gloria in altissimis is available for immediate download in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.
Pre-order the two volume complete works of Cozzolani at cozzolani.com/subscribe and receive free digital downloads of all tracks - those currently available and new tracks as they become available. Please visit cozzolani.com for more information about Cozzolani and these recordings.
The Cozzolani Project's first new release is one of the composer’s most immediately appealing works, in which she vividly captures the brilliance and wonder of the Christmas narrative. The anonymous text alludes to Luke 2:10 and 14, and in Cozzolani’s hands it is infused with a gleeful exuberance and a touch of chromatic mystery. The Angels (two sopranos) are “glorious” and the shepherds (scored for alto and tenor) are at first astonished and then jubilant.
In a theatrical gesture at the end of her Christmas dialogue Gloria in altissimis, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani instructs the four singers to “soften the voice as if, little by little, going away” in imitation of the Angelic choir disappearing as they ascend back to Heaven after announcing their good news to the awestruck shepherds.
Gloria in altissimis is designated in the part books (download facsimile) as a “Dialogue between the angels and the shepherds, for the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord” (Dialogo fra gli Angeli, ed I Pastori, nella Natività di N.S.). Robert Kendrick observed that “of all the new genres found in Seicento Milan, the dialogue was the most central, a phenomenon evident in Cozzolani’s motet books…providing a vehicle for the expression of individual affect, whether of generic figures, scriptural characters, or historical saints…” The dialogue embodied the idea of direct communication between humans and the divine that dominated Milanese spiritual writing of the first half of the 17th Century.
Eight of Cozzolani’s works are explicitly designated as “dialogues”, four in each of the two surviving collections. As Kendrick notes, The range of works so designated is remarkable, encompassing as it does acclamatory (Psallite superi, O caeli cives), biblical (Gloria in altissimis for Christmas, Maria Magdalene stabat for Easter), consolatory (Ave mater dilectissima), and liturgical (Beatus vir) settings, as well as the only two penitential motets in Cozzolani’s entire output (O mi domine, and Quid miseri).
Magnificat first performed Gloria in altissimis on the San Francisco Early Music Society series in December 1999. It was performed again in December 2009 on our own series in a program structured around the Midnight Mass. Visit cozzolani.com for more information about Cozzolani and to download a facsimile reproduction of the original publication of this piece.
Warren Stewart, artistic director
Catherine Webster, soprano
Andrea Fullington, soprano
Suzanne Jubenville, alto
Karen Clark, tenor (alto)
David Tayler, theorbo
Hanneke van Proosdij, organ
Text & Translation
Gloria in altissimis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonæ voluntatis. Agite, pastores! Expergiscimini, accurite, videte, adorate!
Quæ nova lux? Quæ læta vox? Quis nuntius alacer?
Ecce vobis gaudium magnum: ecce de cælo labitur Deus, nascitur Deus; ecce splendor patris, ecce candor lucis æternæ terras irradiat, homines visitat.
O beata nox, O lucidæ tenebræ, O dulce, O canorum noctis silentium!
Vobis edicitur virginis partus, verbi nativitas. Vobis indicitur jubilus mentis, cordis jucunditas, aurea pax, serenitas, tranquilitas, gloria.
O felices nos! O dicite, cives cælici, ostendite verbum quod factum est, reserate mysterium, revelate miraculum.
Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good will. Come, shepherds! Awake yourselves, hurry, behold, adore!
What new light, what happy voice is this, who is this joyous messenger?
Behold a great joy for you: behold, God arrives from heaven, and is born; behold the splendor of the father, behold the brightness of eternal light illuminates the earth, and dwells among men.
O blessed night, O bright shadows, O sweet, melodious silence of the night.
The virgin’s son is given to you, the nativity of the word; to you is given the joy of the soul, the happiness of the heart, golden peace, serenity, tranquillity, glory.
O happy we! O tell us, heavenly citizens, show us the word that has been made, unveil the mystery, reveal to us the miracle.
So come, shepherds, come! Awaken, hurry, come , adore!
from Salmi a Otto Voci (1650),
track released December 17, 2009
Recorded in August, 2000 at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Belvedere CA.
Peter Watchorn, producer
Joel Gordon, engineer