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Born in Florence, Conti (c.1681-1732) was a notable composer of his time. His Missa Sancti Pauli in G minor (1715) is a major work and an inspired masterpiece. The performing edition for this CD was made for the Orfeo Music Foundation by Anna Scholz from manuscript sources at the Schottenstift, Vienna. A fascinating booklet reveals many questions, but scholarship and intelligent deductions have made these editions possible – it has been well worth the effort. György Vashegyi founded the Purcell Choir in 1990, and a year later the Orfeo Orchestra of period instruments. This outstanding group of musicians, together with exceptional soloists, give a memorable performance of Conti’s Mass; perfectly phrased singing and cleverly articulated playing allows this tuneful music to flow with pure enjoyment. An intriguing discovery in the Schottenstiftscore revealed two other pieces by Conti inserted before his creative setting of the Credo – an instrumental sonata and the motet Fastos caeli audite, both included here. The disc ends with an aria for tenor and strings, Pie Jesu, ad te refugio. This CD should be one of the highlights of 2019.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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