Robert Cascio

Albergati: Il Convito di Baldassarro

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This disc contains a short oratorio, composed in 1691 by Bolognese composer Pirro Capacelli Albergati. Although both composer and music are virtually unknown outside of Italian scholarly circles, the booklet is unhelpful even for italophones; it is quizzically devoted to Bolognese court correspondence only tangentially relevant to the present work, and nothing about the composer or the music is included. Text and an "argomento" plot summary are given in Italian but remain untranslated; the Old Testament Book of Daniel, however, provides some guidance, for Il convito di Baldassarro pertains to the last Babylonian king, Belshazzar, who was the first person in recorded history to "see the writing on the wall." Divided into two parts, the oratorio, with its chunky little choruses and its collection of virtuoso and pastoral arias, has the feeling of music the young Handel might have heard during the early Italian phase of his career. There are five solo parts, plus a chorus. Much of the action is relegated to lengthy recitatives of a not particularly distinctive character, but the dramatic quality of the whole is notable; the oratorio is like a true opera with a biblical story. The singers are not identified by part in the booklet; the Fortuna Ensemble includes voices, strings, and an archlute-and-harpsichord continuo. They are adequate but out of balance; Belshazzar is a blazing Verdian tenor who whips though some fairly difficult arias, but his queen is a tremulous-voiced soul. The primary audience for this disc will be libraries and students of the Italian Baroque who just want an idea of what the music sounds like; among general listeners it's for Baroque completists only.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Il Convito di Baldassarro, oratorio for 5 voices with instruments
1
3:13
2
0:42
3
1:09
4
3:20
5
0:14
6
0:20
7
1:48
8
0:32
9
0:30
10
1:06
11
3:42
12
0:38
13
0:44
14
2:28
15
0:15
16
1:05
17
0:53
18
3:20
19
2:48
20
2:01
21
2:22
22
2:39
23
0:35
24
1:04
25
1:35
26
0:09
27
1:27
28
1:46
29
1:31
30
1:06
31
3:01
32
3:36
33
2:12
34
2:49
35
1:37
blue highlight denotes track pick