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<<  -- 3 --  Maria Nockin    ARIAS FOR FARINELLI


The tuneful 'Or la nube procellosa' is another composition of Porpora's, but in this case it was written to be inserted into Hasse's opera Artaserse. A triumphant piece with a toe tapping rhythm, it celebrates the work's happy ending and is performed most energetically by these able musicians.

'Per questo amplesso' is an aria by Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783) from the same opera. Hasse, a Saxon who began his career as a tenor, travelled to Italy so that he could study with Porpora and Alessandro Scarlatti. Like many composers of his time, he knew what it was like to be on stage communicating directly with his audience and this experience served him well as a composer. In this aria the singer shows his willingness to sacrifice his life to save that of his father. Hasse begins with a simple melody which is varied and embellished with intricate ornaments that make it memorable.

A good recording requires a splendid finish, and Giacomelli's 'Nightingale' [listen -- track 11, 2:09-3:09] from Merope fills the bill admirably. The singer and the piccolo player, Xenia Löffler, perform the most intriguing musical gymnastics and the combination is bound to leave bravura lovers in ecstasy.

The sound on this CD is life-like and the balances are good. The accompanying booklet contains translations of the arias, an article on Farinelli and another on today's performance practices for this type of music. In conclusion, this recording is played, sung and recorded with exquisite artistry. I could not recommend it with more enthusiasm.

Copyright © 16 October 2002 Maria Nockin, Arizona, USA


Arias for Farinelli

HMC 901778 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 77'35" 2002 harmonia mundi sa

Vivica Genaux, mezzo-soprano; Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, René Jacobs, director

Nicola Antonio Porpora (1686-1768): 'Dall'amor più sventurato' from Orfeo; Riccardo Broschi (c1698-1756): 'Ombra fedele anch'io' and 'Qual guerriero in campo armato' from Idaspe; Geminiano Giacomelli (c1692-1740): 'Mancare Dio mi sento' from Adriano in Siria; Baldassare Galuppi (1706-1785): Concerto a 4 in C minor; Porpora: 'Oh volesser gli Dei ... Dolci freschi aurette' from Polifemo; Porpora: 'Or la nube procellosa' (added aria in Johann Adolf Hasse's Artaserse); Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783): 'Per questo dolce amplesso' from Artaserse; Giacomelli: 'Quell'usignolo' from Merope



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