Campra: Gli strali d’Amore

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LABELS: Glossa
WORKS: Campra: Gli strali d’Amore
PERFORMER: Roberta Invernizzi, Cyril Auvity, Salvo Vitale; La Risonanza/Fabio Bonizzoni
CATALOGUE NO: Glossa GCD 921512

After the death of Lully and with the gradual eclipse of Louis XIV, French music experienced an Italianate spring. Where the great Charpentier had led the way in the days of Lully’s dominance of French music others now followed, notably André Campra. Turning away from the sterner virtues of the classic tragédie lyrique, Campra produced numerous highly-coloured entertainments.
This beautifully-produced CD collects together melodious numbers from various of Campra’s operas, from L’Europe galante of 1697 to Les amours de Venus of 1712 interspersed with instrumental movements by his younger contemporary, Clérambault, a composer similarly alive to the seductions of Italian music.
While the musical fare is always entertaining, the performing is not uniformly dependable. The instrumental contribution is superb. Roberta Invernizzi is dramatically effective and often delightful in the more extended lyrical moments, if not always comfortable in terms of pitch.
The tenor, Cyril Auvity, is a delight: heroic and fragile, and always with an unfailing sense of style. The main problem is Salvo Vitale’s bass which, while characterful, lacks colour and resonance. But with so much to enjoy, it would be churlish not to recommend this imaginative presentation. Jan Smaczny