Michelangelo Falvetti’s name rarely appears even in the more in-depth and insightful studies of the history of music. Let us just say that in Richard Taruskin’s great five-volume Oxford History of Western Music, he is not mentioned even once on the total of four thousand pages.

His works have been introduced to the concert use in recent years thanks to the enthusiasm of Leonardo García Alarcón, who, enthralled by Falvetti’s work, decided to bring the compositions of the 17th-century kapellmeister of the cathedral in the Sicily’s Messina back to the present day. In the case of Il diluvio universale (1682), Alarcón’s motivation was twofold: his attention was drawn not only by the outstanding music, but also by the subject matter: the deluge sent by God as punishment, from which only Noah and his family, as well as the animals gathered on their ark, a pair from each species, were to survive. This story has stimulated the conductor’s imagination since childhood, and it must have also powerfully stimulated Falvetti’s compositional inventiveness, for the score of the oratorio shimmers with colours and sparkles with emotions more strongly than many operas from that period. Alarcón happened to be in Sicily when he received the work’s score from Vincenzo Di Betta. He was struck by how particularly affecting was the theme right there, on the island: “Studying this piece, I realised the extent to which it is obvious that this place, surrounded on all sides by water, inspired the composer to write music capable of expressing the feelings contained in such an extraordinary story.”



Rad: Mariana Flores – soprano
Noè: Valerio Contaldo – tenor
Dio: Matteo Bellotto – bass
Aqua: Cécile Achille – soprano
Natura Humana: Ana Vieira Leite – soprano
Giustizia Divina: Alessandro Giangrande – alto
Morte: Ilia Mazurov – bass-baritone

Chœur de Chambre de Namur
Cappella Mediterranea
Thibaut Lenaerts – choir preparation
Leonardo García Alarcón – conductor, harpsichord, artistic director




Michelangelo Falvetti (1642–1693)

Il diluvio universale