El Maestro Farinelli

A
a
-
Album title:
El Maestro Farinelli
Composer(s):
Blasco, Conforto, CPE Bach, Hasse, Jommelli, Marcolini, Nebra, Porpora, Traetta
Works:
Works by CPE Bach, Conforto, Hasse, Jommelli, Marcolini, Nebra, Blasco, Porpora and Traetta
Performer:
Bejun Mehta (countertenor); Concerto Köln/Pablo Heras-Casado
Label:
Archiv
Catalogue Number:
479 2050
Performance:
starstarstarstarnostar
Recording :
starstarstarstarnostar
4
Reviewer:
BBC Music Magazine
El Maestro Farinelli

In 1737, the much fêted 18th-century Italian castrato Farinelli was invited to the Spanish court to raise the depressed spirits of King Philip V with his legendary singing. Thereafter, as this disc reveals, he had a pervasive influence on Spanish music as a singer, director and impresario, collaborating with the leading composers of the day including CPE Bach, Hasse, Jommelli, Porpora, and local boy José de Nebra – ‘father’ of Spanish opera.

Rather than focusing entirely on their vocal works, this programme interlaces lively sinfonie and opera overtures with dance-inspired numbers from zarzuelas. Rhythmic fandangos and suave seguidillas are pepped with castanets and strumming guitars. But the disc’s highlight is countertenor Bejun Mehta’s poignant and beautifully controlled reading of Porpora’s aria ‘Alto Giove’ from Polifemo – Neapolitan opera at its most exquisitely lyrical. Concerto Köln, under the dynamic baton of Pablo Heras-Casado, offers such taut and spirited playing that surely even the melancholic Philip would have cheered.

Kate Bolton

The Blossoming Vine: Italian Maestri in Poland
The Blossoming Vine: Italian Maestri in Poland
previous review Article
R Strauss
R Strauss
next review Article
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here