Giovanni Croce was fortunate enough to be associated with St Mark’s, Venice, in its heyday, but unfortunate enough to be overshadowed by his great contemporary Giovanni Gabrieli. Croce steered a safe path through the early years of the emerging Baroque era, and remained conservatively linked to the music of the Venetian old school as represented by Gabrieli’s uncle, Andrea. That said, Croce’s sacred music is never less than carefully assembled, and the directness of its text-setting and formal harmonic coherence make it frequently alluring, most obviously in In spiritu humilitatis
by the inspired use of reverentially beautiful accented passing notes at the mention of the Lord’s name (‘Domine Deus’). In spiritu humilitatis
is a model of humanistic humility, the two four-part choirs indulging variously in gentle dialogue and empathetic enjoinment.
from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2013