Delphine Galou / Ottavio Dantone / Accademia Bizantina

Vivaldi: Arie e cantate per contralto

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Naïve's "Vivaldi Edition" is not a complete set of works (who knows how hefty that would be?), but an ongoing project devoted to recording the Vivaldi works discovered in the 1990s in the Italian National Library in Turin. This release is one of a pair, the 59th, and 60th in the series, which at the time of the album's release had been underway for two decades. Some of the performers, such as the Accademia Bizantina and its director, Ottavio Dantone, are mainstays of the series, but the emergence of a new star is often enough to prompt new albums, and so it is here. Contralto Delphine Galou is heard on this album and its companion, Musica sacra per alto. Both are worthwhile. On this release you get secular arias and cantatas, the latter especially underrepresented in the Vivaldi discography, but with the exception of the arias from Tito Manlio, RV 738, and Il Giustino, RV 717, the operas involved are also pretty obscure. Much of the music reinforces how progressive Vivaldi was, even in the late 1710s when the earlier pieces here were written. Consider and sample the fetching tune of "Andrò fida e sconsolata" from Tito Manlio, so varied in its texture and so far from the heroic spirit of opera seria. The cantatas experiment with sharp interior contrasts, and overall, the variety of moods in this almost unknown repertory is impressive. Galou is clearly a major talent, not a powerhouse voice in the mold of Sara Mingardo (often heard in this series) but agile and dramatically convincing. There isn't an aria here that will become instantly familiar, but neither is there one that was dashed off. Like so many other releases in the series, this one brings something new for Vivaldi lovers.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Cessate, omai cessate, cantata RV 684
1 01:49
2 05:15
3 01:13
4 03:45
Tito Manlio RV 738
5 05:09
Tieteberga RV 737
6 02:06
La Candace o siano li veri amici RV 704
7 03:41
O mie porpore più belle, cantata RV 685
8 03:48
9 00:14
10 03:26
Tito Manlio RV 738
11 03:56
La Candace o siano li veri amici RV 704
12 03:50
La verità in cimento RV 739
13 04:00
Qual in pioggia dorata, cantata RV 686
14 00:44
15 04:17
16 00:31
17 03:48
La Candace o siano li veri amici RV 704
18 03:20
Il Giustino RV 717
19 02:43
blue highlight denotes track pick