For over a decade Cantica Symphonia has dedicated itself to the recovery and performance of medieval and renaissance polyphony. Founded in 1995 by Giuseppe Maletto and Svetlana Fomina, the group is now one of the most highly regarded interpreters in its field. Cantica Symphonia’s unique style, fruit of intensive analysis of original sources, is characterized by an ability to bring out the structural and expressive richness of its repertoire. The group’s approach is one of particular care and attention to the interaction between voices and instruments, consolidating the collective experience of its members who individually collaborate with the most highly affirmed groups of today’s international Early Music scene. The fulcrum of the group’s activity has always been the music of Guillaume Dufay, the first great musician of the “modern” era whose works enlightened his times and guided western music through the travailed passage from medieval to renaissance.
Since 2005 Cantica Symphonia has been recording exclusively for Glossa and has released a series of three CDs dedicated to the music of Dufay: two volumes of motets (Quadrivium and Supremum est mortalibus bonum) and a companion disc of chansons (Tempio dell’Onore e delle Vertù). All have received strong critical acclaim.
The ensemble’s concert performances have been met with the same warm consensus as its recording projects. Cantica Symphonia has concertized throughout Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Estonia, and Slovenia and appears regularly in prestigious festivals: Rencontres de Musique Médiévale du Thoronet, the Festival van Vlaanderen in Brugge and Antwerp, the Tage Alter Musik in Regensburg, Concerts de St. Germain in Geneva, Settembre Musica and Unione Musicale in Torino.
Composers Filippo Del Corno, Carlo Galante and Yakov Gubanov have written music expressly for Cantica Symphonia. Prior to preparing a new large-scale project Cantica Symphonia have recorded an intimate, voices-only selection of motets and laude inspired by the Virgin Mary entitled Stella del nostro mar.
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Giuseppe Maletto engages in an intense activity as a professional singer, dedicating himself principally to medieval and renaissance polyphony and to the music of Claudio Monteverdi. La Venexiana, La Petite Bande, Hespèrion XXI, Ensemble Gilles Binchois, Concerto Italiano, and Mala Punica are only a few of the prestigious groups with which he collaborates, participating in numerous concert tours in Europe, the United States, Israel, Japan, and Argentina. He has recorded over 40 CDs, several of which have received important awards, such as the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, Prix Cecilia, Diapason d’Or de l’Année, the Premio Cini and the Gramophone Award.
In addition to Cantica Symphonia’s specialization in medieval and renaissance repertoire Maletto has also led performances of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers and the Missa In illo tempore, Carissimi’s Jephté, Odes and Anthems by Purcell, and several of Bach’s Cantatas. He has taught courses at the Scuola di Alto Perfezionamento Musicale in Saluzzo (Italy), at the Corso Internazionale di Musica Antica in Polizzi Generosa (Italy), and has held a seminar on the interpretation of the music of Monteverdi at the Novosibirsk Conservatory (Russia).
Has it really been five years since Cantica Symphonia’s last outing on Glossa? As well as producing two discs which survey the beauties of other important composers from the fifteenth century, Giuseppe Maletto’s steering of this Italian vocal and instrumental ensemble has been focusing much of its performing activity and research on a giant of that time: Guillaume Dufay. Three earlier discs have already focused on the remarkably-varied testament of Dufay through his motets and chansons. What gives the new disc – Dufay: The Masses for 1453 – added force is that it focuses on two of the masses which this Franco-Flemish composer (who lived for the first three quarters of the fifteenth century, and who was widely-travelled in Europe) is best-known for, but with the special and well-honed vocal and instrumental form of interpretation that Cantica Symphonia has made its own in this repertoire. [read more...]
For many years Cantica Symphonia has devoted much performing, musicological and recording energy over the music of the French composer Guillaume Dufay. Born at the dawn of the 15th century, Dufay’s musical career looked back to medieval conventions and forward to the early Renaissance. He was a much-travelled figure and was regularly present as musician, composer and emissary of church and secular powers at the many Ecumenical Councils held by the Roman Catholic Church during these turbulent political times. Dufay was often called on to write motets for important occasions such as the dedication of the Duomo of Florence – Nuper rosarum flores – or an especially critical meeting between the Pope, Eugenius IV and the Emperor, Sigismund – Supremum est mortalibus bonum (the names of both these two are to be found within the words of the motet). [read more...]