Francesco Quattrocchi

Domenico Cimarosa: Coeli Voces

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On Bongiovanni's Domenico Cimarosa: Coeli Voces, conductor Francesco Quattrocchi continues surveying the output of Cimarosa, as he did within the context of Cimarosa's contemporaries in his excellent release Sinfonie Avanti l'Opera, with the Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese. Here Quattrocchi is joined by soloists and the Schola Cantorum San Sisto in a selection of Cimarosa's sacred works, which in stylistic terms fall halfway between the sacred choral/orchestral music of Franz Joseph Haydn and the opera stages that proved Cimarosa's main stomping grounds. It's interesting and good music, although the vocal soloists are uneven; alto Antonio Giovannini has a sturdy voice, but it's a shade flat for much of the motet Antra, ubi quaestus Echo and ultimately sounds a little dull over the course of the work's 11 minutes. At the other end of the spectrum is soprano Alessia de Amicis, who has the rarely combined capabilities of singing very high notes very loudly; it is not the prettiest tone quality, and in one spot it is apparent that Amicis is "stealing" a high note or two, but it's still something to hear; those interested in voices in their own right will be amazed. It also makes one pause to wonder what kinds of sopranos Cimarosa had access to that he would write such a high tessitura. The chorus, likewise, is a little unpredictable; for most of the album it sounds like a chorus, but in some spots, it sounds like a mob.

While overall this Bongiovanni release clearly isn't on the level of Sinfonie Avanti l'Opera, the Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese sounds splendid throughout, setting the bar yet higher than it was on the earlier release. If he can just get his singers and chorus under control, Quattrocchi will really have something sensational, and Cimarosa's music is of the quality that the effort is definitely worth it.

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