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These amiable settings of the traditional psalm texts for Vespers, here given in their premiere recording, date from the earliest period of Donizetti’s career, when he was still a student. Vestiges of the dramatic flair that would characterise the later celebrated opera composer can be detected: a neat turn of melody and an imaginative ear for orchestral colour, notably for the woodwind, with one delicious example being the duet for soprano and clarinet in the ‘Tecum principium’. Hauk steers his forces with purpose coupled to a real sense of early 19th-century style. The many soloists are all fit for purpose and the Simon Mayr Chorus makes the most of its four contributions.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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