£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Some items
to consider


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

REVIEW



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
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Italian Love Cantatas
Agostino STEFFANI (1654-1728)
Spezza, Amor, l'arco [15:45]
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
All'ombra di sospetto (RV 678) [10:22]
Antonio LOTTI (1667-1740)
Ti sento, o dio bendato [12:06]
Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757)
Di Fille vendicarmi [10:41]
Francesco MANCINI (1672-1737)
Quanto dolce è quell'ardore [11:09]
Antonio Maria BONONCINI (1677-1726)
Idol mio, mio bel tesoro [12:28]
Silvia Vajente (soprano)
Epoca Barocca (Marcello Gatti (transverse flute), Alessandro Piqué (oboe), Veit Scholz (bassoon), Werner Matzke (cello), Matthias Spaeter (archlute), Christoph Anselm Noll (harpsichord, organ))
rec. December 2007 and February 2008, chamber music room of Deutschlandfunk, Cologne, Germany. DDD
CPO 777 583-2 [73:00]

Experience Classicsonline

The title of this disc suggests that we get a programme as we have seen so many times on discs and in concert programmes: Italian chamber cantatas for soprano and basso continuo. That is not quite the case: all but one cantatas are scored for soprano, one or two obbligato instruments and bc. The inclusion of obbligato instruments is unusual indeed: Alessandro Scarlatti, the most prolific composer of chamber cantatas, composed 600 of them, and only 70 are employing instruments. The cantatas on this disc are even more remarkable because the instruments involved are the transverse flute and the oboe.
 
It is telling that Carlo Vitali starts his liner-notes by dwelling on the subject of the role of these two instruments, and in particular the oboe, in the early 18th century in Italy. In France the oboe had become a common instrument in the 17th century. It was a standard part of the opera orchestra under Lully, playing mostly colla parte with the violins. In Italy the oboe made its first appearance in the orchestra of the San Marco in Venice in 1698. Here it replaced the cornett, which is particularly interesting in regard to the role it was going to play. The reason the cornett was in such high demand in the 17th century was its ability to imitate the human voice. This was exactly the quality which was attributed to the oboe. Vitali quotes the German theorist Johann Mattheson: "The Hautbois, after the Flûte allemande, is the closest there is to the human voice, when one treats it in the correct manner and in accordance with the practices of singing (...)".
 
It is no wonder that the first teachers of the oboe were from France and Germany. Some of them worked at the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, and soon various girls from this and other ospedali became skilled players of the oboe. This can explain the relatively large number of compositions for the oboe in the oeuvre of Antonio Vivaldi. He didn't use the instrument in his cantatas, though. He composed nine cantatas with obbligato instruments, but none of them has a part for the oboe. The transverse flute appears in one cantata: All'ombra di sospetto, which is included on this disc.
 
The flute and the oboe disseminated across Italy pretty quickly. Vitali mentions the fact that while staying in Rome and Naples Handel composed various pieces with obbligato oboe parts. Apparently in both cities musicians were available who were able to play them. Francesco Mancini was from Naples; his cantata probably dates from between 1720 and 1725. Vitali also reminds us that several composers in the programme were living and working for some time in German-speaking lands, where they may have become acquainted with the flute and the oboe. One of them is Antonio Lotti who was born in Hanover where his father Matteo was Kapellmeister. He went to Venice to study with Legrenzi. He made a career there as a singer and an organist in the San Marco. He was also active as a composer of operas and wrote a large number of solo cantatas. In Ti sento, o dio bendato he deviates from the standard structure of the chamber cantata by including an arioso, which is the most remarkable part of this cantata, as it is filled with Seufzer.
 
The disc begins with a cantata by Agostino Steffani who was born near Venice but moved to Germany at the age of 13 and stayed there most of his life. He made a major contribution to the development of opera in Germany. He has become especially famous for his chamber duets. Spezza, Amor is one of a collection of six Scherzi Musicali, almost the only pieces from his pen in the genre of the chamber cantata. The opening aria is especially nice because of the dialogue between the soprano and the oboe. In this cantata the bassoon also has an obbligato part.
 
Antonio Maria Bononcini was the lesser-known brother of Giovanni; both worked for a number of years at the imperial court in Vienna. Antonio Maria more or less remained in the shadow of his more famous brother. Even so, he was greatly appreciated and in 1710 he was appointed 'composer to the emperor', with retrospective effect from 1707. When Joseph I died in 1711 he was succeeded by his brother as Charles VI. Neither Giovanni nor Antonio Maria received a new appointment at the court. For Antonio this was a blessing in disguise: he developed into a composer of operas in his own right. He moved to Modena in 1713, where he was appointed as maestro di cappella in 1721. Here he stayed until his death. It is assumed that the cantata Idol mio, mio bel tesoro dates from 1720 or a little earlier.
 
The last composer is Domenico Scarlatti whose cantata Di Fille vendicarmi is probably the latest work on the programme, dating from c1730, when he worked in Spain. It is the only cantata on this disc for solo voice and basso continuo, without an obbligato instrumental part. It is quite remarkable for the many pretty wide leaps in the two arias.
 
One may think that most cantatas have been recorded here for the first time. That is not the case. In fact, only the Bononcini has never been recorded before. Even so, this is certainly not standard repertoire, and the collection of these five beautiful cantatas is definitely something to enjoy. That is also thanks to the performances. I didn't know Silvia Vajente until recently when I heard her in a recording of Cavalli's opera La Rosinda (Ludi Musici LM 005; 2008). I liked her singing, and her qualities are confirmed here. She has everything needed to explore the content of this repertoire: a fine and agile voice, an excellent diction and articulation which results in a perfect delivery, and the awareness that the text always comes first. There is no wide vibrato here, she adds stylish ornaments and also takes the necesary rhythmic freedom in the recitatives. It seems that Ms Vajente and Epoca Barocca have found the right approach of this repertoire: these are chamber cantatas and the rather intimate atmosphere suits these cantatas well. The obbligato parts are nicely executed, in an effective dialogue with the voice.
 
In short: this is a highly enjoyable release.
 
Johan van Veen
http://www.musica-dei-donum.org
https://twitter.com/johanvanveen
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






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.