Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Neapolitan music of light and shade

Neapolitan Concertos by Fiorenza, Pergolesi, A. Scarlatti, Porpora & Mancini

The composers represented on this disc are roughly Bach and Handel's contemporaries (Nicola Porpora and Francesco Mancini), or come from the generation before (Alessandro Scarlatti) or after (Giovanni Battista Pergolesi and Nicola Fiorenza). They all share a common heritage and a peculiarly brilliant and lyrical style intensified by a sophisticated system of conservatories with high musical standards for both vocal and instrumental music. Josetxu Obregon has created a varied and at times inspired program for the fine players of La Ritirata. The featured soloists are all excellent: Tamar Lalo (recorder), Hiro Kurosaki (violin), Ignacio Prego and Daniel Oyarzabal (harpischords), with his own cello solo rounding up this distinguished group of musicians. The standout works are, unsurprisingly, by Pergolesi (a spritely work featuring two harpsichords), and Alessandro Scarlatti (a recorder concerto on the Telemann level if not quite in the Bach/Handel range). Naples is a city of light and shade; melancholy is never far away, even in the midst of its gaiety. Thanks to Glossa for such a compelling album.

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