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Tonal beauty

The first recording of
Vivaldi's 'Bajazet' -
appreciated by

'... absolutely stunning.'

Vivaldi: Bajazet. Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante. © 2005 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics

Virgin Classics has released the first recording of Antonio Vivaldi's tragedia per musica, Bajazet. The red priest's opera is coupled with a dramatic libretto by the Venetian count Agostino Piovene, who wrote for several other famous composers including Handel. The piece is actually a pastiche, an assemblage of arias from other operas, which the composer described as 'Musica di autori diversi' (music by various authors). It was first performed in Verona during carnival, the season before Lent, in 1735.

Vivaldi used his own arias for the most sympathetic characters, Bajazet, Asteria and Idaspe. For Tamerlano, Andronico and Irene, he used music by other well known composers, including Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783), Geminiano Giacomelli (1692-1740) and Riccardo Broschi (circa 1698-1756). He re-wrote the music so thoroughly, however, that there are never any noticeable differences in style between arias by Vivaldi and those written by the other composers.

Unfortunately, when the recording was planned, the music for several arias was missing from the manuscript so conductor Fabio Biondi, who made the critical edition of this music, had to find the most appropriate accompaniment for Count Piovene's libretto at those points.

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Copyright © 17 July 2005 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA


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