Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

CD REVIEW



Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 

 

 

Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725)
Cinque Profeti, 1705 [59:52]
Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713)
Sonata a Quattro in G Minor (Wo02) [5:51]
Barbara Schlick (soprano); Heike Hallaschka (soprano); Kai Wessel (alto); Christoph Prégardien (tenor); Michael Schopper (bass)
La Stagione/Michael Schneider. DDD
DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 05472-77291-2 [65:43]

 


As with all these Arkiv CDs you’ll get a bargain-priced record company-authorised CD-R with a reproduction of the original product booklet’s cover and back only. The original liner-notes are not included. 

It’s well worth it, though: Cinque Profeti is a little known Christmas cantata by Alessandro Scarlatti. It has a power and subtlety redolent of Handel coupled with touches of early Monteverdi. Sung here to great effect by the five soloists with sensitive instrumentalists, they play together to bring the gentle and subtle melodies - surely written to confer a sense of the special nature of the Christmas season - to life. It’s a recording which is sure to please.

Opera was not performed in Rome for much of Alessandro Scarlatti's lifetime; that's why his vocal church music mostly comprised oratorios and cantatas, of which he wrote three for the Palazzo Apostolico. Only one survives: to a libretto by Silvio Stampiglia. Cinque Profeti takes the inventive form of a conversation between the five old testament prophets, Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Abraham (the cinque profeti) about the birth of Christ – which was about to be celebrated on the occasion of the cantata’s first performance, in 1705 at the Papal Palace in Rome.

By that time it had been a Christmas Eve tradition for thirty years that the Pope should give a banquet after Vespers for the College of Cardinals at which music such as this was performed. From 1700 the influential patron Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni oversaw the papal choir and was thus responsible for these performances. Corelli was Ottoboni's concertmaster and almost certainly took part in Cinque Profeti. His Sonata a Quattro in G Minor is a vibrant piece, characteristically rich harmonically. It is played at the beginning of this little treasure of a CD - as a kind of curtain-raiser. These must surely have been very atmospheric occasions. 

The music of Cinque Profeti is varied – simple arioso exposition, reflective solo and ensemble numbers and some beautiful fugal writing of such delicacy and lightness of touch that – if it weren’t for the melody – you might imagine you were listening to Rameau or Purcell … almost. There is a fair measure of pathos and lamentation, passion and vigour in equal measure from all five singers. Nor is Scarlatti’s writing over-declamatory or in any way bombastic. It manages to blend respect for the occasion and circumstance - celebration of the birth of Christ - with joy and uplift. These sentiments the singers represent well; particularly Schlick and Prégardien, with their careful enunciation and easy-paced delivery.

The performance is of a high standard, though not outstanding; some minor wobbles here and there. But since this is the only version of this interesting and lively work in the current catalogue, if it’s repertoire that interests you, you should not hesitate to get a copy.

Mark Sealey 


 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.