Music for Francesco II D'Este Prince of Music

Music for Francesco II D'Este Prince of Music
Artist Modena Barocca
Sofia Pezzi soprano
Ettore Agati counter tenor
Giovanni Paganelli direction
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 96236
EAN code 5028421962368
Release November 2020

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About this release

Between 1674 and 1694 the duchy of Modena was ruled by the music-loving Francesco II d’Este: a period of rule that attracted musicians and singers from across northern Italy and farther afield. The music of the chapel was supervised by the duke himself and he established a network of contact with the finest native musicians such as Corelli. Vitali and Domenico Gabrielli both moved to Modena permanently, while the best-known Giovanni Bononcini, member of a formidable musical clan, began his career there and then performed for the grandest courts across Europe.

Countless volumes of chamber, instrumental and vocal music were dedicated to the duke thanks to his generous patronage. This recording project has drawn on the remarkably rich resources of the duke’s own music library, and its unique collection of manuscripts affording the opportunity to make several world-premiere recordings of music that has probably lain unheard since the late 17th-century. A case in point is the cantata composed by Vitali to mark the duke’s birthday, Sopra la nascita. Now much less familiar a name, Giuseppe Colombi wrote with an audaciously personal style, as the cantata Di Lidia al sen vezzoso reveals. Even more expressively striking is the cantata composed by Bononcini on the subject of the death of Cleopatra, and Gabrielli’s cantata Amore m’hai così avinto is an absorbing exploration of sexual jealousy.

Interspersed with these cantatas are sonatas and dances by Vitali and Bononcini which radiate brio and rhythmic verve, and the album concludes with another jealousy-themed duet by an unfamiliar name, Pietro Nicolò Sorosina (c. 1645-1732). The project came to life from an invitation on the part of the Grandezze e Meraviglie festival in Modena, and it is performed according to the highest standards of modern period-instrument practice by the festival’s house ensemble and led by the local early-music maestro Giovanni Paganelli, born in Modena in 1992.

Francesco II d’Este ruled over his duchy from 1674 to 1694, two decades that proved to be of exceptional importance for the history of music in Modena.
The duke’s profound interest in music gave rise to a major upsurge in composition, performance and conservation. Indeed, his constant support for all things musical was captured by the historian Ludovico Antonio Muratori, who described the prince of d’Este as “extraordinarily handsome, with a charming combination of sweetness and majesty”.
Francesco surrounded himself with musicians of quality, keeping abreast of all the musical styles, genres and tastes of the time. Exceptional composers, singers and instrumentalists headed for Modena, and some of them, such as Giovanni Battista Vitali (1632-1692) or Domenico Gabrielli (1659-1690), moved there permanently.
This new recording presents music by Bononcini, Gabrielli, Colombi, Sorosina, Vitali, in instrumental and vocal music, especially secular Cantatas.
Beautifully performed by Sofia Pezzi (soprano), Ettore Agati (counter-tenor) and the instrumental ensemble Modena Barocca, whose mission it is to discover and present the musical treasures of its city.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Giovanni Battista Vitali: Sonata No. 1: I. Largo
  2. Giovanni Battista Vitali: Sonata No. 1: II. Allegro
  3. Giovanni Battista Vitali: Sonata No. 1: II. —
  4. Giovanni Battista Vitali: Sonata No. 1: IV. —
  5. Giovanni Battista Vitali: Sonata No. 1: V. —
  6. Giovanni Battista Vitali: Coronata d’applausi: I. Recitativo coronata d’applausi
  7. Giovanni Battista Vitali: Coronata d’applausi: II. Aria per freggiare un sol che nasce
  8. Giovanni Battista Vitali: Coronata d’applausi: III. Recitativo doppo lieve contesa
  9. Giovanni Battista Vitali: Coronata d’applausi: IV. Aria sì bel giorno più splendido e adorno
  10. Giovanni Battista Vitali: Coronata d’applausi: V. Recitativo già l’Invidia e la sorte
  11. Giovanni Battista Vitali: Coronata d’applausi: VI. Aria godan gl’astri e rida il sole
  12. Giovanni Battista Vitali: Coronata d’applausi: VII. Recitativo sì disse e fe’ ritorno
  13. Giuseppe Colombi: Ciaccona in F Major
  14. Giuseppe Colombi: Di Lidia al sen vezzoso
  15. Giuseppe Colombi: Giga La cimicella
  16. Giuseppe Colombi: Sarabanda
  17. Giuseppe Colombi: Cleopatra Moribonda: I. Recitativo per non calcar di Roma
  18. Giuseppe Colombi: Cleopatra Moribonda: II. Aria allegro che mi giova di fortuna
  19. Giuseppe Colombi: Cleopatra Moribonda: III. Recitativo di diane, di febi
  20. Giuseppe Colombi: Cleopatra Moribonda: IV. Aria vivo ma che pensi, fortuna crudele
  21. Giuseppe Colombi: Cleopatra Moribonda: V. Recitativo schiava non mi vedrai
  22. Giuseppe Colombi: Cleopatra Moribonda: VI. Aria vivace non trarrò già scalzo il piè
  23. Giuseppe Colombi: Cleopatra Moribonda: VII. Recitativo sì, che morrò da forte
  24. Giuseppe Colombi: Cleopatra Moribonda: VIII. Aria vago oh, dell’aspe che ’l seno m’ancide
  25. Giuseppe Colombi: Cleopatra Moribonda: IX. Recitativo ma già con piè veloce
  26. Domenico Gabrielli: Amor m’hai così avinto: I. Recitativo amor, m’hai così avinto
  27. Domenico Gabrielli: Amor m’hai così avinto: II. Aria andante se a guardar bellezze amabili
  28. Domenico Gabrielli: Amor m’hai così avinto: III. Recitativo ma, almen s’altro non posso
  29. Domenico Gabrielli: Amor m’hai così avinto: IV. Aria allegro amanti, quel volto
  30. Domenico Gabrielli: Amor m’hai così avinto: V. Recitativo ah, che se alcun vedessi
  31. Giovanni Bononcini: Il nume d’amore: I. Aria adagio il nume d’amore
  32. Giovanni Bononcini: Il nume d’amore: II. Recitativo han sì veloce moto le saette
  33. Giovanni Bononcini: Il nume d’amore: III. Aria vivace dunque amor le sue facelle
  34. Giovanni Bononcini: Il nume d’amore: IV. Recitativo sarò sempre costante
  35. Giovanni Bononcini: Il nume d’amore: V. Vivace e a battuta che lusinga e inganna/che consola e diletta e l’alma e il core
  36. Pietro Nicolò Sorosina: Gelosia invidiosa