Porpora: Dalla Reggia di Flora Cantatas

Porpora: Dalla Reggia di Flora Cantatas
Composer Nicola Porpora
Artist Cristina Grifone soprano
Musica Perduta
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 96077
EAN code 5028421960777
Release December 2019

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About this release

A previous album of cantatas by Nicolo Porpora on Brilliant Classics attracted glowing international reviews, flinging wide open ‘a window on a world generally known only in appearance and from a superficial listening of its flourishes and ornaments, but in reality very concrete and aesthetically complex and articulated.’ (Gothic Network)

Now comes a sequel, from a different, equally talented Italian early-music ensemble with an established track record on Brilliant. This album also contains several world premiere or first modern recordings, making available a wider appreciation of Porpora’s dramatic and elaborately decorative vocal idiom.

Porpora’s cantatas present an embarrassment of riches to the enterprising performer and the adventurous listener. There are so many that a path must be picked, a theme chosen. For this album, Mvsica Perdvta focus their attention on the subject of flowers and plants, which seems to have inspired the composer to notable artistic heights. Flora’s Realm, ‘Il Reggio di Flore’, stands in for love in the real world, but it also presents a fertile ground for expressive metaphors to be illustrated with instrumental colours and delicately entwining vocal lines.

These particular cantatas were newly edited for performance from manuscript sources based in Naples – Porpora’s home city – and Brussels and London. One of the most renowned singing teachers of his day, Porpora had an expert knowledge of the human voice, and these secular cantatas also contain moments of extraordinary pathos, underpinned by great technical skill and remarkable virtuoso élan.

Mvsica Perdvta is a flexible chamber group with a particular interest in musicological research. Its Brilliant Classics albums have won praise for their stylish performances and excellent recordings. ‘Sound quality is very good indeed. These days, Brilliant's engineers reliably outperform those of so many bigger labels by some distance… An all but exemplary product.’ (Zuccari, Cello Sonatas, 94306: MusicWeb International)

‘Renato Criscuolo keeps his forces tightly under control, which adds stability to the music. As the cellist in the sinfonia, he gives a rather rousing performance, which brings the music alive.’ (Pergolesi, 94763, Fanfare magazine)

Nicola Porpora (1686-1768) was an important composer, musician and teacher of Baroque Europe. He held several important posts, notably in Dresden, London (where he was Handel’s rival) and Venice. He was the teacher of the famous castrato Farinelli and Joseph Haydn.
In Venice Porpora was teacher and chorus master at the Ospedale della Pietà, a charitable institution for orphans and abandoned girls, where music was an important part of the children’s education.
This new recording brings together a number of Cantatas written about flowers and flowery landscapes, serving as the background for romantic stories about the bliss or curse of love: highly attractive works, full of drama, expressive effects and virtuoso roles for both vocalists and instrumentalists.
Another enterprising recording project of Musica Perduta, led by cellist Renato Criscuolo. Soprano Cristina Grifone is specialized in Early Music, she recorded a.o. for the label Glossa.

Listening

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Nicola Porpora: Dalla reggia di flora, S.20: I. Recitative. Dalla reggia di flora
  2. Nicola Porpora: Dalla reggia di flora, S.20: II. Aria. Più della rosa e'l giglio
  3. Nicola Porpora: Dalla reggia di flora, S.20: III. Recitativo. Cara s’attenta il miri
  4. Nicola Porpora: Dalla reggia di flora, S.20: IV. Aria. Quel leggiadretto fiore
  5. Nicola Porpora: Povero fior di clizia: I. Recitative. Povero fior di clizia
  6. Nicola Porpora: Povero fior di clizia: II. Aria, adagio. Io veggio nel tuo moto i tuoi amori
  7. Nicola Porpora: Povero fior di clizia: III. Recitavive. Sventurato che sei tu segui il sole
  8. Nicola Porpora: Povero fior di clizia: IV. Aria, a tempo giusto. Tu t’aggiri al sole amato
  9. Nicola Porpora: Su collinetta erbosa: I. Aria. Su collinetta erbosa
  10. Nicola Porpora: Su collinetta erbosa: II. Recitative. Invaghita di lei, la dea de' fiori
  11. Nicola Porpora: Su collinetta erbosa: III. Aria. Non ti basta aver ferito
  12. Nicola Porpora: Cieco dio foss’io quel fiore, S.12: I. Amaroso. Cieco dio foss'io quel fiore
  13. Nicola Porpora: Cieco dio foss’io quel fiore, S.12: II. Aria, Recitative. Foss’io quella fonte
  14. Nicola Porpora: Cieco dio foss’io quel fiore, S.12: III. Aria, Allegro. Io vorrei non esser io
  15. Nicola Porpora: Se la rosa fresca e bella, S.101: I. Aria, Allegro. Se la rosa fresca e bella
  16. Nicola Porpora: Se la rosa fresca e bella, S.101: II. Recitative. Io son quell’ape Irene
  17. Nicola Porpora: Se la rosa fresca e bella, S.101: III. Aria, Allegro. Il mio cor nel mio piacer
  18. Nicola Porpora: Questo e il platano frondoso, S.98: I. Aria. Questo è il platano frondoso
  19. Nicola Porpora: Questo e il platano frondoso, S.98: II. Recitative. O rimembranza al mio pensier funesta
  20. Nicola Porpora: Questo e il platano frondoso, S.98: III. Aria. Se mai torna ò pianta amica
  21. Nicola Porpora: La viola che languiva: I. Aria, a tempo giusto. La viola che languiva
  22. Nicola Porpora: La viola che languiva: II. Recitative. Già le sue fronde d’oro
  23. Nicola Porpora: La viola che languiva: III. Aria. Per quelle sponde