Albinoni: Cantatas, Op. 4

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COMPOSERS: Albinoni
LABELS: Etcetera
WORKS: Cantatas, Op. 4
PERFORMER: Barbara Schlick (soprano), Derek Lee Ragin (countertenor), Roderick Shaw (harpsichord), Nicholas Selo (cello)
CATALOGUE NO: KTC 2027
Etcetera’s title of ‘Complete Cantatas, Op. 4’ is misleading. This two-CD reissue contains only the complete set (of 12) that appeared in his lifetime – several dozen more are extant. Published as his Op. 4 in Venice in 1702, these chamber cantatas are typical Baroque ‘languish ’n’ anguish’ love laments, six scored for solo soprano voice, six for solo alto. They are beautifully sung by Barbara Schlick and Derek Lee Ragin but, a handful of poignant arias apart, Albinoni’s music generally lacks the melodic and harmonic invention required to sustain over 90 minutes of protracted pastoral complaint. Graham Lock

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