Colista: Cantatas & Arias

Colista: Cantatas & Arias
Composer Lelio Colista
Artist Ensemble Giardino di Delizie
Paola Valentina Molinari, Joanna Klisowska sopranos
Massimo Altieri tenor
Andrés Montilla-Acurero tenor-alto
Guglielmo Buonsanti bass
Ewa Anna Augustynowicz Baroque violin & artistic director
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 97277
EAN code 5028421972770
Release June 2024

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About this release

Dramatic secular cantatas from the early Italian Baroque, revived for the first time in the modern age by an acclaimed and enterprising early-music ensemble.

‘This is a disc well worth obtaining,’ reported Fanfare of the previous Colista album by Ensemble Giardino di Delizie on Brilliant Classics (96033). Recorded for the first time complete, the trio sinfonias gathered there are ‘a collection of fine works that seem to foreshadow Corelli almost half a century later. Of course, much of the ability to make these works come alive is due to the Giardino de Delizie under that capable direction of violinist Ewa Augustynowicz… The sound is extremely good and live.’

The ambitions of the ensemble now
extend further still, into the entirely unknown vocal output of this important figure from 17th-century Rome. Born in 1629 to a scribe for the papal Curia, Lelio Costa demonstrated musical and theatrical talent in childhood and soon won the admiration of his contemporaries as both a performer and composer; one of them called him ‘Lelio Amato’. He rose effortlessly through the ranks of the Papal court, becoming in time the equivalent of the Keeper of Pictures. and theatrical talent in childhood and soon won the admiration of his contemporaries as both a performer and composer; one of them called him ‘Lelio Amato’. He rose effortlessly through the ranks of the Papal court, becoming in time the equivalent of the Keeper of Pictures. Colista’s sacred music has entirely disappeared, but ten secular cantatas survive, and six are presented here. They revolve around the conventional theme (for such works) of lost and frustrated love in pastoral and marine contexts: doleful shepherds and fishermen, inconstant shepherdesses and poor Europa, faced with appearance of Jupiter as a bull, in Europa rapita.

Colista proves himself a master of dramatic and picturesque imagery to illustrate his texts, as well as underscoring them with inventive counterpoint, much varied in texture between light and dense according to the context. The result is a significant addition to any library of Baroque vocal works, performed with a full understanding of the required style.

- Lelio Colista (1629-1680) was born in Rome. Raised as a choirboy the child prodigy took Rome by storm, the ‘Orpheus of the city of Rome’ played the guitar, lute, theorbo and harp, as well as being a dancer in the staged performances at the famous Palazzo Barberini. He worked at the courts of several Italian cities (Bologna, Firenze) before settling in Rome again, becoming a sought-after composer and teacher (one of his students was Gaspar Sanz).
- This new recording presents several Cantatas for one, two or three voices and instrumental ensemble, here consisting of two violins, cello, theorbo and harpsichord. The themes are often pastoral, amorous and slightly melancholy, but also playful and witty, the music a perfect expression of the text.
- Played on period instruments by the Early Music group Ensemble Giardino Di Delizie, who already successfully recorded Complete Sinfonias by Lonati (BC 95590), Gems of the Polish Baroque (BC 95955) Gems of the Polish Baroque (BC 95955) and ‘Sinfonie a tre’ by Colista (BC 96033) for Brilliant Classics.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Lelio Colista: Del vasto tuo impero: I. Sinfonia
  2. Lelio Colista: Del vasto tuo impero: II. Del vasto tuo impero
  3. Lelio Colista: Del vasto tuo impero: III. Aurette soavi
  4. Lelio Colista: Del vasto tuo impero: IV. Sù dunque mio core si calchino l’onde
  5. Lelio Colista: Del vasto tuo impero: V. Ma gelido timore
  6. Lelio Colista: Del vasto tuo impero: VI. Crudi mostri d’impietà
  7. Lelio Colista: Del vasto tuo impero: VII. Oh si crudele il vento
  8. Lelio Colista: Del vasto tuo impero: VIII. Di quest’onde che co’ pianti
  9. Lelio Colista: Del vasto tuo impero: IX. Quel nocchier che le tempeste
  10. Lelio Colista: Del vasto tuo impero: X. Non ha il mar fede
  11. Lelio Colista: Questa vita è sempre in guerra
  12. Lelio Colista: Dimmi quando amore indegno
  13. Lelio Colista: Doletevi di voi
  14. Lelio Colista: Europa rapita: I. Era già l’alba
  15. Lelio Colista: Europa rapita: II. Aure placide
  16. Lelio Colista: Europa rapita: III. Mentre cosi dicea
  17. Lelio Colista: Europa rapita: IV. Stolta Europa e tù t’affidi
  18. Lelio Colista: Europa rapita: V. Sù i tuoi campi
  19. Lelio Colista: Europa rapita: VI. Stolta Europa e tu non temi
  20. Lelio Colista: Che tante catene: I. Cha tante catene
  21. Lelio Colista: Che tante catene: II. Molti haverne
  22. Lelio Colista: Che tante catene: III. Un goderne
  23. Lelio Colista: Che tante catene: IV. E cangiar spesso