Orlando di Lasso –
dolce risonanza & Profeti della Quinta
In its latest CD project, dolce risonanza joins forces with the vocal ensemble Profeti della Quinta to walk in the footsteps of Orlando di Lasso (1532–1594) and the Bavarian Hofkapelle in Munich. With Lasso as its maestro di capella it was one of the most outstanding musical institutions of its era. As the court music establishment of the art-loving Wittelsbach duke Albrecht V of Bavaria (1528–1579), it consisted of excellent singers from all over Europe and the finest Italian instrumental virtuosos. And it was for this distinguished ensemble that Orlando di Lasso composed his famous Psalmi penitentiali.
These expressive psalm settings were documented in a magnificent codex decorated with wonderful miniature illuminations by the Munich court painter Hans Mielich. Albrecht V forbade Lasso to publish these penitential psalms, keeping the valuable manuscript in his private library as MUSICA RESERVATA, granting only privileged guests the opportunity to set eyes upon it. Nonetheless, the fact that this “secret” music was not allowed to be published helped spread Lasso’s fame during his own lifetime.
The latest musicological findings by trombonist Bernhard Rainer now permit the conclusion that the famous portrayal of the Munich Hofkapelle at the end of the codex represents an actual performance situation for Lasso’s psalm compositions. Detailed research has also made it possible to prove which instruments were playing, by whom they were played and which vocal parts they doubled.
In order to accomplish a faithful performance according to Mielich’s painting, dolce risonanza had historical string and wind instruments reconstructed specifically for this recording by leading instrument makers from the field of historically informed performance. So after around 450 years, it has once again become possible to experience this music in the original instrumentation of the Munich Hofkapelle under Orlando di Lasso.