Sonia Prina

Vivaldi: Arie ritrovate

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Part of the fun of following developments in Baroque music is that, while the press is reduced to trying to work up excitement for the merest scrap of music potentially by Mozart or Beethoven, unknown masterpieces by the likes of Vivaldi are still surfacing with regularity. This release by the energetic French label Naïve (check out the wild cover photo, apparently of contralto Sonia Prina) is a case in point. Conductor Ottavio Dantone and his Accademia Bizantina ensemble, prime exponents of the rocking and rolling school of Italian Baroque interpreters, here uncover a dozen arias drawn from little-known Vivaldi manuscripts, or inserted as alternate numbers into existing operas. These Arie ritrovate, or rediscovered arias, are anything but a completist grab bag of odds and ends. There are some bona fide masterpieces here (as indeed there are all through the still largely unmined corpus of Vivaldian opera), and plenty of music to challenge any singer. Prina's voice has an extremely attractive combination of power with a sort of woodwind quality; sample and enjoy. And hear what she can do in the flat-out careering virtuosity of "Per lacerarlo," an alternate aria from Teuzzone, or, by contrast, the emotional indecision and ambiguity of "Vedi le mie catene" from the same opera. The latter is the only work on the album possibly not by Vivaldi, but it's remarkable whoever may have composed it. A few pieces are reconstructions by Dantone and Frédéric Delaméa of arias whose music has been lost, apparently working from deductions that they represented contrafacta of arias with metrically similar texts; one of the few complaints that might be raised here is that it is not exactly clear how they reached their conclusions. The music is at a uniformly high level, however. The 12 arias are grouped into three sets of four, separated by a pair of concertos delivered in Dantone's trademark tumultuous style, and all in all this is as strong a collection of Vivaldi music as has appeared anywhere, with the added bonus that all the music is new. Notes and aria texts are in Italian, French, and English.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Work(s)
1
3:23 Amazon
La verità in cimento, opera in 3 acts, RV739
2
4:46 Amazon
3
2:45 Amazon
Scanderbeg, opera in 3 acts (only 3 arias, 2 recitatives extant), RV 732
4
5:21 Amazon
Concerto for strings & continuo in F major, RV 136
5
1:40 Amazon
6
2:12 Amazon
7
1:13
Teuzzone, pasticcio opera in 3 acts, RV 736
8
2:22 Amazon
9
6:12 Amazon
10
4:20 Amazon
Tito Manlio (I), opera in 3 acts, RV 738
11
10:00 Amazon
Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in B flat major, RV 369
12
4:43 Amazon
13
3:15 Amazon
14
4:10
Scanderbeg, opera in 3 acts (only 3 arias, 2 recitatives extant), RV 732
15
7:06
Teuzzone, pasticcio opera in 3 acts, RV 736
16
2:40 Amazon
Orlando furioso de G. A. Ristori, opera in 3 acts (arranged by Vivaldi), RV Anh. 84
17
2:17 Amazon
Teuzzone, pasticcio opera in 3 acts, RV 736
18
1:53 Amazon
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