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Baroque for the Mass
Ursuline Composers of the 17th Century

CD: "The sound on this CD is excellent. The motets almost echo in reverberant, church-like surroundings...I would recommend purchasing this disc." Karin Pendle, IAWM Journal, Vol. 6 nos. 1/2. "This CD is highly recommended." Barbara Harbach, Women of Note Quarterly.

MOTETS and ANTHEM (1998 recording): "Folan sings with impeccable tone and diction with clear, bell-like tones. Her melismas and ornamentation are natural sounding and always fit into the context of the melodic lines." Regina Caeli: "Solos, duets, and full trio alternate creating a luxuriant Baroque motet with the voices always distinct yet carefully blended together for a close-knit ensemble ... Brooks, Howell, and Haskins [instrumentalists] are sensitive and attentive artists, and it is a joy to hear their impeccable performances, outstanding intonation, with the refinement and elegance of Folan's singing. Barbara Harbach, Women of Note Quarterly. "The motets of Peruchona are the treasures of the recording. The opening Christmas motet Ad gaudia, ad jubila, scored for soprano, strings, and continuo, is exuberant and features Folan's best work on recording; the imaginative continuo playing of organist Rob Haskins shines. Folan, alto Roya Bauman, and tenor Kirk Dougherty excel in an ornate setting of Regina Caeli, and Folan is excellent in the solo motet Solvite, Solvite. Craig Zeichner, Early Music America. "The three singers involved in these pieces are of excellent quality, and they are joined variously by an ensemble of two violins and organ. Barker, American Record Guide. "[Folan's] is a lovely, flexible sound, perfectly suited to this repertoire, and the instrumentalists are able partners." Karin Pendle, IAWM Journal. The Peruchona and Isabella Leonarda motets are performed brightly and with verve, professionalism and enthusiasm. The sound balance is excellent. The works have been compared to Monteverdi, and I would agree with that and add the best of Buxtehude as well. Paul Shoemaker, www.musicweb.uk.net.

FIRST MASS (first issued on LP in 1982): "The well-wrought Mass by the record company's namesake, Isabella Leonarda, composed while Bach and Handel were still schoolboys, foreshadows some of the glories they were to produce while still preserving some cadences that recall the age of Monteverdi." Joseph McLellan, The Washington Post. "...an inspired composer... [Isabella Leonarda's] Mass for four soloists and chorus abounds in spontaneous, individual touches...Throughout the Mass she breathes new life into the familiar texts...glowing, deeply felt performance." Rupert W. Crumb, The New Records. "The style [of the Mass] is close to Carissimi's liturgical works. It is marked by skill, intelligence, and imagination." American Record Guide. "It is a fine work; one which should be available. Anyone who loves music from this period will enjoy this performance very much." Paul Shoemaker, www.musicweb.uk.net. Performance: "The Schola Cantorum at the University of Arkansas under the direction of Jack Groh brings a lively and well-trained ensemble to this performance of Leonarda's Mass. The soloists both vocal and instrumental add immensely to this successful recording." Women of Note Quarterly.


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