The Epinicion Marianum (“Song of Praise to the Virgin Mary”) by Valentin Molitor, published in 1683, contains a total of 18 motets. The collection comprises music for six feasts of Our Lady of the liturgical calendar. Two five-part motets and a solo motet were intended for each feast, always with two obbligato violins and other instruments ad libitum. On this recording a selection of pieces for all feasts can be heard.
The volume was probably published on the occasion of Molitor’s appointment as First Cantor of St. Gallen Monastery where the use of instruments in the liturgy was particularly restricted. Beginning in 1645, performing concertante music was only permitted at special festivities. Father Molitor appears to have counteracted this conservative tendency: the first collections of a local composer written in concertante style, as well as the first to be printed at the Monastery. The harpsichordist and leader of the ensemble Musica Fiorita, Daniela Dolci (a native of Sicily), studied early music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, specialising on historical keyboard instruments. Subsequently she went to Amsterdam for further training with Gustav Leonhardt. Her main focus — is the historical basso continuo practice, based on 17th and 18th century sources.