GIACOMO FINETTI:  CONCERTI ECCLESIASTICI (1621).  MOTETS FOR TWO, THREE OR FOUR VOICES AND BASSO CONTINUO.  Edited by Janet E. Hunt.  302 pages. ISBN 978-0-9962221-1-2.  $90.00.  Link to SHOP

Giacomo Finetti (?-d.1630 or 1631) was one of the more prolific contributors to the early 17th-century genre of sacred motets for solo voices and continuo. A native of Ancona, he was a priest as well as a musician, serving churches first in Ancona and eventually in Venice.  His several collections of music include volumes for use at the Divine Offices of Vespers and Compline, in addition to settings of psalms and other sacred texts for more general use.  The inclusion of his works in northern European anthologies attests to his popularity outside his native Italy.  The fact that his Concerti Ecclesiastici was published in the city of Antwerp in 1621, rather than in Venice where many of his earlier works were printed, bears witness to the widespread esteem in which he was held.

Compared to contemporary publications of a similar nature, Concerti Ecclesiastici is a large collection, containing seventy-two motets for liturgical use.  Characteristics of Finetti's style include colorful word-painting, florid vocal effects, and skillful dialogues between singers, all couched in a conservative (for the time) harmonic language and a secure formal framework.  The texts include many which appear in other collections from the era.  There are multiple settings of the psalms for Sunday Vespers, antiphons and psalms intended for specific feasts and general use, and passages from the Song of Songs.  The result is a delightful variety of motets suitable for liturgical use as well as concert performance.

For individual title downloads, click this link to Finetti Concerti Ecclesiastici