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Cat. No. CHAN 0656(3) Price: £31.5 No. of discs: 3
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CHAN 0656 - Marcello: Arianna
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Available From: 25 May 2000
‘Arianna’ was first performed in Venice, in the winter of 1726, when Marcello had turned forty and was at the height of his fame. He had just published his ‘L’estro poetico-armonico’, and enjoyed the success in Vienna of a eulogising serenata commissioned for the birthday of the emperor Charles VI.

Marcello was a high-born amateur musician, who had a clear competitive streak in him, he wanted to shine in everything that he did, particularly in the field of music and against the professional musicians with whom he felt he was competing. His ‘Canzoni madrigalesche’, for example, were written with the objective of perfecting the style of Antonio Lotti’s ‘Duetti’, and the title of his own magnum opus (‘L’estro poetico-armonico’) not only recalls, but also goes one better than, Antonio Vivaldi’s Op. 3 (‘L’estro armonico’). It is striking that in the year following his important Viennese commission coincidences can be observed which link his most important works to events that occurred in the Austrian capital. In 1726 Antonio Caldara’s oratorio ‘Joaz’ had been performed at court, and at almost the same time Marcello set the same text.

‘Arianna’ is almost contemporary with ‘Joaz’, and here too the subject is identical to a stage play performed in Vienna the same year, ‘La corona d’Arianna’, with music by the court Kapell-meister Johann Joseph Fux. It was typical of eighteenth-century librettists to insert a wealth of references to contemporary life which frequently resulted in the accretion of many layers of motifs around a single dramatic nucleus, enriching it to the extent that the survival of the work was guaranteed despite the changes in public taste and that of the commissioning patrons.
Reviews

‘Filippo Maria Bressan’s all-Italian forces give a vivid performance of this fascinating if uneven work… Recommended to any baroque enthusiast who fancies venturing off the beaten track.’
The Daily Telegraph on CHAN 0637 (Marcello)

‘The quality of this performance is high, with a fine Italian period-instrument orchestra, the Academia di li Musici, under the attentive direction of Filippo Maria Bressan…Excellent sound, and comprehensive information on the work and its context in the booklet’.
Opera Now

Performance and sound are excellent. Such music can glitter; here the sound is velvety, which is much more appropriate’
Fanfare on CHAN 0637 (Marcello)

 

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