TU ES PETRUS

St. Peter’s Rome – 1650

Mass for four choirs | Orazio Benevoli


In mid-17th century Rome, Orazio Benevoli brilliantly invigorated the multi-choir style. I Fagiolini’s new project presents the greatest of these in:


- World premiere recordings on CORO

- Performances

- New performance editions


“Benevoli’s Mass is remarkable… Sonic bliss… 

awash in gloriousness… both subtle and shocking… 

Like Italian sunshine… musical magic”  

Gramophone


Maestro of the Cappella Giulia, Benevoli wrote these flamboyant masses for the finest churches in Rome.  The most splendid occasions required doubling or even tripling the four choirs along the nave of a cathedral, each extra ensemble on a specially-built platform (carpenter payment records still survive!)

★★★★★   RECORDING OF THE MONTH

CD No.1 

World premiere on CORO 

CD Cover

ORAZIO BENEVOLI

Mass for 4 Choirs

CORO / 2023

BUY / STREAM >>



PART OF THE BENEVOLI RECORDING PROJECT


CD No.2 

Missa Maria Prodigio Celeste  

Released October 2024


CD No.3

Missa Servire Deo (2 choir) + Missa Angelus Domini (3 choir)

Released October 2025


CD No.4

Missa Dum complerentur (4 choir)

Released May 2026



Tu es petrus - Kyrie

From ORAZIO BENEVOLI - MASS FOR FOUR CHOIRS 

2023 / CORO / 2:07

REINING IN THE DONKEY


The choirs were kept together by a maestro conducting with a roll of paper.  That beat was relayed by special sub-conductors (their sole job) to the other choirs.


A bizarre feature of these Roman masses is called ‘TIRARE LA MULA’ (REINING IN THE DONKEY). In it, the sopranos of all the choirs spread out around the church sang slow held notes (the priest desperately trying to ‘rein in the donkey’) while the lower singing parts (the frantic donkey’s legs) move rapidly underneath.


Did Handel borrow this idea on his visit to Rome for the second part of the Halleluiah Chorus (‘King of Kings’ etc)?


“…this ravishing new disc…  Benevoli’s seamless architecture, his free-flowing polychoral expansionism, takes extravagant flight… theatricality inspired by such colossal basilicas as St Peter’s in Rome.” The Scotsman



PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES


With such ‘new’ repertoire, a performance can be a territory premiere and also programmed with (for example) Carissimi’s Jephte or works of Monteverdi.


I Fagiolini can perform on its own but also with a suitable local ensemble / youth or university choir. Contact us to discuss how this could work for you - mail@ifagiolini.com


Robert Hollingworth has already conducted performances at the University of York, Stour Music and Dartington Summer School with more planned in Oxford and Berlin.  Connections with food (Benevoli's father was a French pastry chef) and art/achitecture of the period are also possible.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

Session photography by Matthew Brodie 

Recording Benevoli - Full Documentary 

From ORAZIO BENEVOLI - MASS FOR FOUR CHOIRS 

2023 / CORO / 9:23

From the team that made the Gramophone award-winning recording in 2011 of Striggio’s 40-part Mass and ‘Super-Excellent’ - the Venice/Spain/South America/UK multi choir programme.  

Gramophone Feature

OCTOBER 2023

Represented by Percius / www.percius.co.uk

© Copyright - I Fagiolini