Church of Santa Caterina da Siena

“Missa Defunctorum” and other sacred compositions by Alessandro Scarlatti


Paolo Da Col conductor


Miserere for 9 voices in double choir, 1708

Salve Regina  for 4 voices, 1703

Missa defunctoruma for 4 voices and continuo, c. 1717

The music is performed according to the critical edition by Luca Della Libera, published by ‘A-R Editions’.

With this programme, Odhecaton proposes some of the most interesting and so far, unknown pages of the great Italian composer, who lived between 1660 and 1725. This repertoire was recently published by ‘A-R Editions’ in a critical version edited by Luca Della Libera. Halfway, the Missa defunctorum for four voices and continuo. Composed in 1717, this piece is an admirable example of the coexistence of Renaissance matrices and Baroque sensibility. The predominantly contrapuntal writing that pervades this piece does not prevent Scarlatti from using stylistic choices of great expressive and rhetorical impact, as in the extraordinary Lacrimosa.

The Miserere for nine voices, composed in 1708 for the Pontifical Chapel, only externally follows the Allegri model, but in reality it departs from it for harmonic audaciousness, formal complexity and expressiveness. The programme is completed by an intonation of the Salve Regina for four voices. It is part of the Concerti sacri, the only printed collection of sacred music published during the composer’s life, composed at the end of his first stay in Naples. This piece as well highlights the originality and richness of Scarlatti’s style, which blends the great Renaissance tradition and the expressive demands of its time in the instrumental choices and in relation to the text.


A «smashing entrée» in the world of Renaissance polyphony, in the words of the French magazine “Diapason”. The Odhecaton ensemble, since its debut in 1998, has won some of the most prestigious record awards. It has also received recognition from critics for having inaugurated a new interpretative attitude in the field of polyphonic performance, which bases the mobile and expressive reading of polyphony on the declamation of the word. The vocal ensemble derives its name from Harmonice Musices Odhecaton, the first printed book of polyphonic music, published in Venice by Ottaviano Petrucci in 1501. Its chosen repertoire is represented by European musical production between the 15th and 17th centuries. Odhecaton brings together some of the most select Italian male voices specialized in the execution of Renaissance and pre-classical music under the guide of Paolo Da Col. The ensemble has recorded twelve CDs, dedicated respectively to music by Gombert, Isaac, Josquin, Peñalosa, Compère, to the masters of Picardie, to the Spanish and Portuguese composers active in the 17th century in the Canary Islands, to Palestrina, Monteverdi, Carlo Gesualdo and Orlando di Lasso. With its repertoire Odhecaton is a guest in the main festivals in Europe and America and has obtained the greatest record recognition: diapason d’or de l’année, 5 diapason (Diapason), choc (Classical), disc of the month (Amadeus and CD Classics) , cd of the Year (Goldberg). Odhecaton produced Orazio Vecchi’s Amfiparnaso, with the participation of the actor Enrico Bonavera and the scenes designed by Lele Luzzati. In recent years Odhecaton has devoted a large part of its interpretative commitment to the sacred music of Palestrina, Orlando di Lasso, Gesualdo da Venosa, Claudio Monteverdi and to the contemporary repertoire (Sciarrino, Scelsi, Pärt, Rihm). In 2010 Odhecaton obtained two diapason d’or with the recordings O gente brunette and Missa Papae Marcelli by Palestrina; this latest CD (with which, according to Le Monde, “les Italiens d’Odhecaton ont détruit l’icône pour mieux rendre Palestrina à la vie”) achieved unanimous critical acclaim. Odhecaton’s CD (Ricercar) dedicated to Claudio Monteverdi’s Missa In illo tempore, awarded the diapason d’or de l’année, choc and grand prix international de l’Académie du disque lyrique awards, contains the first world recording of three unreleased motets by Monteverdi.

Odhecaton’s latest recordings include the complete recording of Gesualdo’s Motets for five voices (diapason d’or September 2014) and the CD Roland de Lassus, Biographie musicale vol. IV, La vieillesse, (5 diapason January 2015).

PAOLO DA COL,  conductor
Singer, organist, conductor and musicologist, Paolo Da Col completed his musical studies at the Bologna Conservatory and musicological studies at the University of Venice, favoring, from a very young age,the Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. He has been part of numerous Italian vocal ensembles for over twenty years, including the Cappella di S. Petronio in Bologna and the Istitutioni Harmoniche Ensemble. Since 1998 he has conducted the Odhecaton vocal ensemble, as well as leading other vocal and instrumental formations of Baroque repertoire. He teaches at the Trieste Conservatory. He collaborates with Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini on the editorial board of the magazine L’Organo and as a music critic with the Giornale della Musica and other specialized magazines. He directs the music catalog of the publisher Arnaldo Forni of Bologna, he is the editor of instrumental and vocal music editions, and also the author of catalogs of musical collections and essays on the history of Renaissance and pre-classical vocalism. He collaborates on the critical edition of Gioachino Rossini’s works.

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