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Cat. No. CHAN 0728 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 0728 - Stradella: Amanti olą, olą/ Chi restiste al Dio bendata
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Available From: 01 September 2006
Practically all the Italian opera composers of the seventeenth century wrote prodigious numbers of cantatas. One of the leading and most versatile composers of the age, however, Alessandro Stradella left a significant mark on composition despite the fact that he was only forty-three when he died, in part due to his tumultuous and dramatic lifestyle!

The music of Stradella is often light-hearted and tuneful. A natural flow of affecting melodies, a constant freshness of invention and an impressive number of sophisticated compositional techniques constitute the principal merits of his cantatas, and now these two jewels of the baroque period can be enjoyed after their long and unjustified period of neglect.

The substantial cantata Amanti, olą, olą! was written in 1665 in Rome in response to a commission from Princess Marina Mancini Colonna. This is a large-scale, well-constructed composition in which various allegorical figures engage in learned discussions similar to those that were taking place in the most cultivated and refined circles of contemporary Roman society. The alternation of recitatives and arias is handled with assurance, while the division of the orchestra into concerto grosso and concertino is particularly impressive. The vocal lines for the singers are very comfortable, eschewing the unbridled virtuosity Stradella so often required of them. In Chi resiste al Dio bendato the meaning of the words is always respected although the use of decoration and virtuosic writing is greater than in Amanti; the interpretation of the text always takes precedence over embellishment.

Since 1990 the Alessandro Stradella Consort has dedicated most of its activity to the revival and re-evaluation of the works of Alessandro Stradella, and Chandos is delighted to add the group to the Chaconne label.

Conductor Estevan Velardi elicits superb dramatic playing from his orchestra.
Opera News

His [Stradella’s] scoring is inspired, with unlikely combinations of movements (sinfonia, a cappella madrigal, arioso recitative), fluid, unpredictable shifts between concrtino and concerto grosso, and tender melodies underpinned by a plangent continuo that conjoin to overpower poetry with music. The consort responds with verve, contrasting percussive attacato with soothing cantabile, while continuo realisations always enhance the dramatic movement.
BBC Music Magazine


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