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Palestrina's Palazzo

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kishnevi:
Hmm, there doesn't seem to be a thread explicitly dedicated to Palestrina, so I'm starting this one!

A question prompted by a complaint of a Facebook friend:

Has anyone (ensemble or label) attempted a complete recording of any segment of Palestrina's music (masses, motets,  liturgical pieces), and, if so, how close did they get to completing it?

The new erato:
Unfortunately not AFAIK.

By his death in 1594, Palestrina had published a huge amount of music including over 100 Masses (Reese lists 104) and over 350 motets. Any of those will be a mammoth undertaking taking a decade and I guess with a very limited market.

kishnevi:

--- Quote from: The new erato on March 09, 2013, 12:15:39 AM ---Unfortunately not AFAIK.

By his death in 1594, Palestrina had published a huge amount of music including over 100 Masses (Reese lists 100) and over 350 motets. Any of those will be a mammoth undetaking taking a decade and I guess with a very limited market.

--- End quote ---

Rather what I expected to be told....

His actual complaint was more limited in scope--that outside a basic core of masses (M. Papae Marcellae, M. Assumpta est Maria, etc.) which he estimated at 9 or 10 in all,   that gets recorded and recorded,  but hardly anyone goes beyond into the other 90 masses--much less the motets (although the Song of Songs motets seem to be getting a good deal of attention nowadays.)  One can't even get a semi-complete collection, apparently, even by assembling recordings from diverse performances.   The most venturesome group, in terms of recording lesser known masses, is apparently the Tallis Scholars, of all people.

I do have this CD, whose title suggests Naxos may have contemplated some sort of series back in the 1990s

since it bears the label "Masses and Motets, Vol. 2"--but, while Amazon shows what was probably volume 1 (Missa de Beata Virgine),  I see no sign of Vol. 3 or later.

The new erato:
Yes I totally agree. It is very unfortunate that with Palestrina, firstly that there seem to be little recording activity in general compared to his position and compared to other composers of the period, and secondly that there seems to be a tendency to record a pretty limited number of works. The Sixteen on the CORO label have stated a project that perhaps will remedy that a little.

Mandryka:

--- Quote from: Dylan Thomas in "Under Milk Wood" ---MRS ORGAN MORGAN
. . . Who do you like best. Organ?
ORGAN MORGAN
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.
MRS ORGAN MORGAN
Organ Morgan, you haven’t been listening to a word
I said. It’s organ organ all the time with you…
FIRST VOICE
And she bursts into tears, and, in the middle of her salty howling, nimbly
spears a small flat fish and pelicans it whole.
ORGAN MORGAN
And then Palestrina,
SECOND VOICE
says Organ Morgan.

--- End quote ---

When I first heard that as a schoolkid I was intrigued, but I've never investigated his music.  Did he write any organ music?

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