Cima – Sonatas from Concerti Ecclesiastici

July 19, 2009

Giovanni Paolo Cima, Sonata a 2 per Viole e Violone. CD 1,  track 11. Following Psaume III (no.121). 4mins 21secs.



Searching, canzona-like (viol consort theme initially until the elegant violin sound takes over); very much a conversation between two string instruments rather than any strong presence of ‘continuo’ instruments. Not overly ornamented, very much in the style of bastard viol playing in the fast runs, contrasting with the poignant long descending notes.

Sonata a3 per violino, cornetto and violone. C 2, track 3. 3mins 17secs.

Lots of short and long phrases for individual instruments contrasting with more homophonic passages. Beautiful and elegant playing with lots of dance-like lightness – not rushed but sufficiently langorous to allow for the virtuosic runs required in all parts. Great contrast with the a capella singing in which it is interpolated.


Concerti Ecclesiastici a 1,2,3,4,5 e 8 voci. Milano, 1610. Firenze, Studio per edizioni scelte, 1986. Archivum Musicum series, La cantata Barocca. Includes a Capricio a due d’Andrea Cima; Sonata per cornetto, trombone overo Violino e Violone; Sonata a4 of Giovanni Andrea Cima for Violino, e Violone, Cornetto e Trombone, in addition to the two sonatas mentioned here.


Claudio Monteverdi, Vespro della Beata Bergine. Taverner Consort, Taverner Choir, Taverner Players, dir. Andrew Parrott. EMI, CDS 7470788, 1984. Performed on violino, violoncello, cornetto, chitarrone and organo (Andrew Parrott). 440 pitch.


Milanese contemporary of Monteverdi’s – with his Concerti Ecclesiastici published in 1610, the year of the Monteverdi Vespers. Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott in the recording’s liner notes posit that the six concerti may have been intended to follow the five Psalms and Magnificat of Vespers.



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