The opportunity to record music which is both challenging, good to listen to and fun to play requires a certain degree of balance and judging by the reception in Classic FM music magazine, we have come some way towards achieving this on In Venetia. The disc is primarily devoted to Giovanni Gabrieli's contemporaries Giovanni Picchi and Giovanni Priuli, all of whose music on this disc was printed in Venice, hence the name, In Venetia.
The instrumental forces employed reflect a personal preference and a desire to collaborate again with the extra performers that we have grown used to over recent years and who have actively supported the group in the past. We therefore have the use of the tenor cornett of Anthony Legget, a sound which blends the lower cornett register with the upper range of the sackbuts in such a way as to make the join seamless; track 19, Gabrieli's 1615 Canzon Prima, in our scoring of three cornetts and two tenor sackbuts. To reflect the open-minded approach to scoring, we never felt that all of the works included on the disc need always employ sackbuts and cornetts exclusively, and Canzon Decima Nona by Picchi (track 12) amply shows off the dynamism of juxtaposing strings and brass. Punctuating the instrumental canzonas are four stunning organ pieces by our longstanding continuo player Colm Carey, an exceptional soloist in his own right.
It is also worth noting that the sleeve note by Keith McGowan circumvents the usual specific reference to the music and illustrates a fascinating overview of the life of the well to do Venetian nobleman.