Hyperion Records

De profundis
Pizzetti could be an immensely charming man but there was a horribly cantankerous side to his personality. Friendships he had held firm for decades would abruptly end as the result of one vehement outburst or a single snide remark. It was as a result of one such shattered friendship (with the composer Gian Francesco Malipiero) that Pizzetti composed one of his finest short choral works – a piece which inspired his most successful composition pupil, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, to describe Pizzetti as ‘without doubt the greatest vocal polyphonist Italy has had since the glorious fifteen-hundreds’. Malipiero had announced bitterly to the world the rift between Pizzetti and himself by publishing a pamphlet describing their argument and ending with the words: ‘Here endeth a friendship that started well but finished badly … de profundis clamavi.’ When, in 1937, that friendship was patched up both composers wrote a setting of Psalm 130, which begins with those Latin words, and dedicated their respective settings to each other. Pizzetti’s De profundis, scored for seven-part unaccompanied choir begins, appropriately, with the lowest voices descending through simple, overlapping arpeggios. The upper voices emerge gradually, building up to a climax on ‘quis sustinebit?’ before subsiding to close this short, but profoundly beautiful work on a single note marked to be sung ppp (as softly as possible).

from notes by Marc Rochester © 1998

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA67017 track 12
Recording date
7 July 1997
Recording venue
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Arthur Johnson
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Martin: Mass; Pizzetti: Messa di Requiem (CDA67017)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: January 1998
  2. Martin: Mass; Pizzetti: Messa di Requiem (GAW21017)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: September 2003
    Deletion date: November 2013
    Superseded by CDA67017
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