WORKS: A ti, invisible ruiseñor canoro
PERFORMER: Nuria Rial (soprano); El Concierto Español/Emilio Moreno
CATALOGUE NO: GCD 920307
Born in Piacenza to French parents, Francisco Corselli (1705-78) established himself initially as a composer of Venetian operas. Thus he might seem an unexpected choice for the first disc in a series intended to rescue composers of Spanish music from obscurity. But he went on to become Maestro de la Real Capilla in Madrid and music tutor to the royal children, so the enterprising period-instrument orchestra El Concierto Español has justifiably appropriated him as its own.
Corselli’s scant entry in Grove describes him as ‘extremely handsome and affable’ and makes much of his charm, all adjectives that might equally apply to his infectiously melodic music. The only real disappointment in this captivating recital is that the programme is so fragmentary: a couple of opera overtures, four marches, two sublime cantatas and two Holy Week lamentations. From the enchanting Christmas cantata A ti, invisible ruiseñor canoro, with its evocative flute obbligato and soaring soprano line, to the heartfelt lamentations, Nuria Rial sings with polished assurance, her tone limpid, her line unflinching, her manner sincere. Emilio Moreno inspires thrilling, incisive playing throughout, even if the pulsing strings can sound a little raw. Claire Wrathall