Relique Di Roma I: Lamentarium


Atalante/Erin Headley Nimbus Alliance NI 6152*****

This is an album of 17th-century laments. The subjects vary widely. Marco Marazzoli treats Helen of Troy and Artemisia, Luigi Rossi deals with Mary Magdelene and the Blessed Virgin, and Marc Antonio Pasqualini and Domenico Mazzochi focus on the birth and passion of Jesus. The musical responses range from the plaintive to the penetrating to the momentarily explosive. Atalante is a new ensemble, directed by Erin Headley, which performs the music in staged concerts, with period costumes and props. But the music-making has a kind of unassuming comprehensiveness that communicates vividly without the need for visual stimulation. The two singers, soprano Nadine Balbeisi and mezzo soprano Theodora Baka, have an affecting beauty of tone and blend perfectly. If your head has ever been turned or your heart pierced by Monteverdi’s more famous laments, youll probably love this. See