Opera Arias and Instrumental Music by Tomaso Albinoni
Albinoni is widely known for the melancholy G minor Adagio – the creation, in fact, of 20th-century musicologist Remo Giazotto. So this disc adds significantly to our knowledge of the composer and of early 18th-century Italian opera. Offering nine world premieres, the result of meticulous research and reconstruction, this musical potpourri spans some four decades of Albinoni’s career, and flits from suave bel canto arias to flashy vocal display pieces and spirited instrumental works.
Portuguese soprano Ana Quintans – her voice bright, silvery, agile – contrasts expressive and virtuosic singing to fine effect. The Italian period-instrument group Concerto de’ Cavalieri offers taut, vigorous ensemble playing and some deft obbligato solos. Conductor Marcello Di Lisa sets some breakneck speeds, and there are occasional fluctuations in tempo (possibly a result of the editing process). The gritty account of the G minor Sinfonia – which prefigures the turbulent Sturm und Drang symphonies of CPE Bach and Haydn – is particularly thrilling. Recorded in Rome’s Parco della Musica, the sound is clean and detailed, if lacking a certain bloom. Kate Bolton-Porciatti