AbstractThe generation of Roman composers after Monteverdi, led by Luigi Rossi and Marco Marazzoli, intensified the rich and rhetorically powerful poetry of their contemporaries to create a new musical aesthetic that was sensual, passionate, ecstatic, even erotic. Rossi and Marazzoli produced sacred and secular operas and oratorios, and vocal chamber music, of which their combined output of solo and ensemble cantatas numbers over 700. Rossi was the leading composer of 17th-century bel canto, the new elegant and lyrical style of melodic writing and ultra expressive recitative that was a reaction to the earlier, text-dominated stilo rappresentativo. The triple-time arias in particular are full of his unmistakable suavity. However, in his lament of the Magdalene, Rossi conveys the penitent’s torturous spiritual and sensual journey almost entirely through extravagant recitative. Only a brief aria, whose long-awaited arrival comes near the end, delivers the poignant moment of resignation and final despair. Erin Headley’s sensational new group Atalante is named in honour of Leonardo da Vinci’s friend and pupil Atalante Migliorotti, inventor of the lirone. That magic and ethereal bowed instrument has been Erin Headley’s domain for the past 30 years, through an astonishing number of performances and recordings that have been acclaimed worldwide.
Headley, Erin and Atalante (2011) Reliquie di Roma I: Lamentarium.