Alessandro Grandi: Venetian Christmas Vespers, Laudate Dominum; Voices of Music

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The Christmas Vespers Psalm 116, Laudate Dominum, composed in Venice in 1630 by Alessandro Grandi. High Definition video from the Venetian Christmas Vespers Concert, December, 2013, performed on original instruments by the Early Music ensemble Voices of Music. Featuring (Left to Right) Laura Heimes and Jennifer Ellis Kampani, sopranos; John Taylor Ward, baritone; Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin; Carla Moore, baroque violin; Lisa Grodin, baroque viola; William Skeen, viola da gamba; David Tayler, archlute and Hanneke van Proosdij, baroque organ.
Scored for three voices and continuo, Grandi’s Vespers psalms of 1630 present a unique way of declaiming text: each section is framed with an individual rhythmic and harmonic profile, and the three singers combine for solos, duos and trios, using rhythmic shapes that allow the text to be clearly heard at all times; at the same time, the rhythm is set in a way that allows each singer to flex the word groups according to the internal accent, meter and syllable length of the psalms. In his setting of the Psalm texts, Grandi provides a refined intellectual splendor: the words of the psalms are elevated above ostentation into a world of pure rhetoric.

Psalm 116, Laudate Dominum, text & translation
Laudate Dominum omnes gentes:
laudate eum omnes populi.
Quoniam confirmata est super nos misericordia ejus:
et veritas Domini manet in aeternum.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
O praise the Lord, all ye nations:
praise him, all ye people.
Because his mercy is confirmed upon us:
and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and
to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, without end. Amen.

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