San Marco


Festive Vespers for the Basilica of St. Mark
G. Gabrieli, C. Monteverdi


CAPPELLA MARIANA – vocal ensemble
Michaela Riener, Theresa Dlouhy – soprano
Daniela Čermáková, Kamila Mazalová – alto
Tomáš Lajtkep – tenor
Tomáš Král – baritone
Jaromír Nosek – bass
Vojtěch Semerád – tenor, artistic director


CAPELLA ORNAMENTATA - historical wind instruments ensemble
Miroslav Kůzl – cornetto
Jakub Zívalík – alto trombone
Ondřej Sokol – tenor trombone
Bernhard Rainer – bass trombone
Petr Budín – dulcian
Jan Krejča – theorbo
Kateřina Ghannudi - triple harp
Marek Čermák – organ
Richard Šeda – corentto, artistic director


Vojtěch Semerád – musical direction, conductor


Pondělí 1. 8. 2016, 19.30
Sts. Simon and Jude Church
Dušní, Prague 1


In collaboration with Österreichische Kulturforum Prag.


In Psalm 42 we read: “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” The vocal pearls by Claudio Monteverdi and Giovanni Gabrieli have suchlike mighty effect on us. Especially those intended for multiple choirs and dedicated to the Venetian basilica of St Mark’s which has always vibrated with sung music. The first August night, the Cappella Mariana vocal ensemble and the historical winds ensemble Capella Ornamentata enacted a musical conversation between Sts Simon and Jude. The programme, performed under the direction of Vojtěch Semerád, included also some lesser known pieces by two Benedictine nuns, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani and Bianca Maria Meda. Blessed be the times when Renaissance was melting into Baroque!


Concert Programme


Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643)
Selva morale e spirituale (Venetia 1640)
Dixit Dominus II a 8
Confitebor II a 3
Beatus vir I a 6
Laudate pueri I a 5
Laudate Dominun in sanctis eius
Magnificat primo a 8


Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (1602 – ca 1677)
O gloriosa Domina


Bianca Maria Meda (ca 1665 – ca 1700)
Vibrate, fulmina


Giovanni Gabrieli (ca 1555–1612)
Canzoni a 5, 6 et 7 stromenti


St. Mark Visiting at the Church of Sts. Simon and Jude
Opera PLUS, 3. 8. 2016, Eva Polívková
The pronounciation of the singers was as clear as the acoustic of the hall permitted. The rhythmical harmony of the seventeen performers was mostly perfect (I especially appreciated the rendering of the parallel passages in the two soprano parts whose interpreters were positioned on the outer ends of the horshoe shaped ensemble on the stage). […]

On the other hand, the listeners were able to appreciate how masterfully Vojtěch Semerád was able to conduct his fellow musicians while offering and exquisite vocal performance himself. […]

The male part of Cappella Mariana consisted of exceptionally sonorous and pleasant voices which intermingled harmonically with the sound of the cornettos, baroque trombones, and the dulcian. […]

As has become a norm at the Summer Festivities of Early Music, all kinds of listeners went home with their own slice of action. The professional musicians in the audience were able to find inspiration and a touchstone for their own performance. Musicologists were happy to discover new pieces by the nun composers Chiara Margarita Cozzolani and Bianca Maria Meda. Those who opened the well-prepared programme could appreciate the lyrical and dramatic poetry of the texts put to music by these female authors and which stood in a beautiful contrast to the language of the psalms musicalized by Monteverdi. Yet others chose to simply get carried away by the celestial music and to get transferred from the Vltava embankment to the shores of the Venetial lagoon. Which was easily done that night.


Cappella Mariana and Capella Ornamentata: One of the Highlights of this Year’s Festival, 10. 8. 2016, Michalea Freemanová
[…] The performance of both ensembles is characterised by perfect harmony and communication, spotless intonation, attentiona to details, and general brilliance. Still, this is a repertoire which is greatly demanding for singers and instrumentalists in terms of both technique and expression [...] The cornetto is one of the least easily played wind instruments; both Richard Šeda and his colleague Miroslav Kůzl have shown their mastery. Not long gone are the days in which the local audience could only appreciate the sound of this instrument and this type of concerts only at the hands of foreign performers. Today, however, we have our own performing force whose art is comparable with the top players in the world. Among the rich programme offer of this year’s Summer Festivities of Early Music, this was undoubtedly one of the highlights.