Search - Antonio Caldara, Alessandro Stradella, Il Seminario musicale :: Caldara: Medea - Stradella: Motets / Piau, Lesne, Il Seminario musicale

Caldara: Medea - Stradella: Motets / Piau, Lesne, Il Seminario musicale
Antonio Caldara, Alessandro Stradella, Il Seminario musicale
Caldara: Medea - Stradella: Motets / Piau, Lesne, Il Seminario musicale
Genres: Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #2


      
?

Larger Image
Listen to Samples

CD Details

 

CD Reviews

An exciting discovery of unknown works
hcf | 01/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I find it really puzzling when people write reviews only to complain about the inadequacy of packaging. I'm sure Gerard Lesne had nothing to do with the label's decision to reissue these recordings without texts - so he shouldn't be getting three stars because of that (see one of the reviews below). These are wonderful recordings. CD1 contains four cantatas and two sonatas by the Venetian composer Antonio Caldara. Until recently, Caldara was barely represented on disc, but now there are two exceptional recordings: this one and Maddalena ai Piedi di Cristo/Jacobs (don't miss!). Although three of the cantatas on this disc are relatively conventional pastorales, the fourth one, Medea in Corinto, is anything but striking. Caldara demonstrates genuine dramatic skills, tracing Medea's famous revenge from the moment she first realizes Jason's been unfaithful to the moment she seals her decision to punish Jason by summoning the demons to carry out the deed. Lesne's superb intonation renders the character of Medea almost jarringly real. Who needs sleeve notes? CD2 features five motets by Alessandro Stradella, another relatively unknown Italian who really deserves to be heard. (don't miss Stradella's oratorio San Giovanni Battista/Minkowski, Erato 2292-45739-2, also with Lesne - buy it, you'll thank me). Each of the motets on this disc is structurally distinct, but what unites them is Stradella's remarkable gift as a melodist. Lesne is joined here by soprano Sandrine Piau, his frequent singing partner. They make a memorable vocal combination. gkolomietz@yahoo.com"
Beatiful music, sung with feeling and meaning
Leslie Richford | 07/19/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"At the time of this review the original full price releases (with sung texts and translations) were available from Amazon.de, but for anyone buying this reissue who wants to know what is being sung, here are texts to one of the Italian tracks on the Caldara CD, and one Italian and two Latin tracks on the Stradella CD. This represents about half the music on the 2CD set:D'improvviso amor ferisce Text by Pietro Ottoboni () Set by Antonio Caldara (1670-1736) Albano, 1712D'improvviso amor ferisce al girar d'un vago ciglio e la piaga sente il cor. par diletto e pur svanisce il piacer quando il periglio si discuopre nel dolor.Cosi, Filli crudel, questo mio seno scopo formasti a strali tuoi di foco, ma poi come baleno spari la tua pietade e di me gioco prendesti, ond'io che mi distruggio in pianto; son di tua crudelta piu che di tua belta misero vanto.Se quanto bella sei, tu fosti a dolor mei, Filli, Filli pietosa, saresto un vago fiore, un fior ma senza spine, fra l'umidette trine, piu grato della rosa.Resta pure nel tuo natio costume, che superbetta ancora, tu del mio cor sarai l'amato Nume; e quell'hora fatal, quell'istess'hora che d'improvviso a te mi rese amante quanto tu sei crudel me vuol costante.Al tuo ciglio che mi feri tante piaghe mostrero sin che havra peta di me. E verra presto quel di che sprezzato non saro e gradita la mia fe.Crocifissione e morte di N.S. Giesu Christo Text by Anonymous Set by Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682) Da cuspide ferrate su la funesta trave inchiodato languia l'Eterno Amore quando giunto al confini di sanguigna agonia in soavi sospiri paleso moribondo i suoi martiri. "Gia compito e de tormenti il rigor che m'impiago. Gia marcati ho quei torrenti ch'il mio duolo insanguino. Quel che chiede la mia fede il mio cor tutto esegui. Giunta e l'hora ch'il mio cor dunque si mora. Su, mio cor, dunque si mora. Gia le funi e le catene il mio amor lieto soffri, gia su e nato fra le pene questo cor al fin langui. In tempesta si funesta questo sen gia naufrago. Giunta e l'hora..." Cosi conchiude al suo morir le prove dell'infocato amore a si dolce parlar. Che pensi, o core!O vos omnes qui transitis per viam Text by Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682) adapted from liturgy. Set by Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682) Rome, c.1670O vos omnes qui transitis per viam, Fulcite me floribus, stipate me malis, quia amore langueo. O amor tonantis quam fervidus es, tu cordis amantis et salus et spes.O quam suavis est spiritus tuus dulcissime Jesu, amandissime Christe diligentibus te.Sordet telus tua flagrani charitate, o mi dilecte inter mille prae electe da quietem laboranti ad superna properanti. Nites huius mundi fructus, cinosura sis et ductus, chare Jesu, suspiranti.Valete mundi gloria, solus amor Jesu me delectat illi vivam, in hoc moriar et requiescam.Chare Jesu suavissime Text by Anonymous Set by Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682) "Chare Jesu suavissime nil desidero nisi te, coeli pignus iucundissime, cibo dulci nutris me, Chare Jesu suavissime... Sic dapes amoris in panem latentis laetificant me, sic unda cruoris in vina manentis inebriat me, Chare Jesu suavissime..."Quis est hic qui tam dulciter alloquitur Deum? Vide Philippum qui totus in charitatis amore conversus ad altissimum prorsus extollitur. Ergi in hac die tanto hoeroi dicato cantemus, celebremus eum.Canite superi, gaudete mortales, et omnes plaudite. Coelum radiis, terra gaudiis refulgeat, et tanti diei gloriae coelitum cantibus, hominum plausibus celebrentur.In flamis amoris nunc vere iucundus, ardescat, liquescat laetissimus mundus, et musicis choris dum iuste laetantur, terrae gaudia coelu sequantur.Expellat iam fletus serenus hic dies, dum venit dum redit duclissima quies, et superum coetus dum iuste laetantur, terrae gaudia coelu sequantur.Admirabile laetitiae signum, o gaudium vere dignum, dum superi et mortales concordi plausu, cythara tangunt, laudes pangunt, et dulciter exhilarant.Ergo cantibus aether exultet, tellus resultet, et digno concentu, in tanto concentu, dum resonet melos terrae, plausus ascendat ad coelus. Alleluia."
Sumptuous Singing but Minus the Documentation
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 04/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Disc 1: Antonio Caldara (1670 - 1736): Cantatas. 1. Medea in Corinto. 2. Soffri, mio caro Alcino. 3. D'improvviso amor ferisce. 4. Vicino a un rivoletto. Additional instrumental music: Sonata da camera in D major, Op. 2 No. 3 [1699]; Sónata a tre, Op. 1 No. 5 [Venice, 1693]. Performed by: Gérard Lesne, male alto, and Il Seminario Musicale [Ryo Terakado, Bernadette Charbonnier, violins; Bruno Cocset, cello; Vincent Charbonnier, double bass; Eric Bellocq, Pascal Monteilhet, theorbos; Pierre Hantai, harpsichord]. Recorded at the Temple de la Villette, Paris, in June 1990. Total time: 67'56".

Disc 2: Alessandro Stradella (1639 - 1682): Motets. 1. Crocifissione e morte die N. S. Giesù Christo. 2. Benedictus Dominus Deus. 3. O vos omnes qui transitis. 4. Chare Jesu suavissime. 5. Lamentatione per il Mercoledi Santo. Performed by Sandrine Piau, soprano, and Gérard Lesne, male alto, with Il Seminario Musicale [Fabrizio Cipriani, Sophie Gevers-Demoures, violins; Bruno Cocset, bass violin and cello; Richard Myron, double bass; Pascal Monteilhet, theorbo; Jean-Charles Ablitzer, positive organ; Blandine Rannou, harpsichord]. Recorded at the Chapelle de l'Ermitage, Versailles, France in March 1995. Total time: 61'38".

The French male alto Gérard Lesne has one of the most fascinating voices to come out of the early music scene, its lovely, smooth and natural timbre being far removed from anything resembling the "crowing" of some eighties' countertenors. Lesne distinguishes himself from the British school of countertenor by his deliberate use of vibrato, something that he has mastered so perfectly that no early music purist will want to fault him, at least not on the repertoire presented here. (I found him a little too operatic when he performed Bach cantatas with Philippe Herreweghe.) The first CD contains four cantatas and two short instrumental pieces by Antonio Caldara, one of those fascinating characters to emerge from the Republic of Venice in the second half of the seventeenth century. The two sonatas played here so delightfully by Il Seminario Musicale are firmly based in the seventeenth century and are very reminiscent of similar works by Arcangelo Corelli. The cantatas on the other hand are highly dramatic (Medea in Corinto) or imitative of nature (Vicino a un rivoletto) and show Caldara not only to be a child of his age but a composer very much worth the listening to. His contemporaries were also of this opinion, and he spent the latter years of his life composing for the Imperial Court in Vienna.

The second CD is devoted to that rather enigmatic composer of a generation earlier, Alessandro Stradella, whose main claim to fame seems to be that he was brutally murdered. Gérard Lesne had already sung the title role in Stradella's oratorio San Giovanni Battista (directed by Mark Minkowski: Stradella: San Giovanni Battista), a recording which received considerable praise in the press, including from the BBC's Edward Greenfield. On this CD Lesne sings two solo motets and then is joined by the lovely French soprano Sandrine Piau for three further sacred pieces. The two harmonize wonderfully, and it is difficult to imagine a better or more engaged performance than this. My only question-mark would be behind the engineering and/or the acoustics which seemed less bright and less convincing than on the Caldara CD.

So, after all that praise, why only four stars? Well, this is a budget priced reissue, and the saving has been made on the documentation. Adelaide de Place's accompanying essay is less than a page long and tells us almost nothing (and the German translation has a hideous misprint [?] in the last sentence which makes Stradella love castrati instead of contrasts!). And there are no texts available, so we never really find out what the beautiful singing is about - a real disadvantage that could make serious listeners try to get hold of the original issues second-hand."