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The Gasparini album: opera arias

Roberta Invernizzi (soprano); Auser Musici/Carlo Ipata (Glossa)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
CD_GCD 922905_Gasparin_CMYK

Gasparini
Astianette – ‘Se la Grecia s’armerà’; Il Bajazet – ‘Par che mi nasca in seno’; L’oracolo del fato – ‘Qui ti scrivo o nome’; Ciro – ‘Nell’orror della procella’; Tamerlano – ‘Svena uccidi’; ‘Cor di padre’; Engelberta – Sinfonia; Santa Eufrosina – ‘Qui dal porto d’ocean’; Ambleto – ‘D’ire armato’; L’oracolo del fato – ‘Se non canti più’; Roderico – ‘Non ha incendio’; ‘Non vo lasciarti più’; Atalia – ‘Ombre care’; Cantate da camera a voce sola, Op. 1; Concerto in A
Roberta Invernizzi (soprano); Auser Musici/Carlo Ipata
Glossa GCD 922905 59:30 mins

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Most people don’t know Gasparini, but they should. He excelled in mixing opposites – bravura with intimacy, wit with ferocity, simple melodies with complex harmonies. Excerpting Gasparini’s oratorio, cantata and instrumental works, director and flautist Carlo Ipata puts the composer’s gifts on full display. The music is uniformly ravishing and, the cantata apart, all recorded for the first time. Soprano Roberta Invernizzi approaches Ipata’s project with more sass than subtlety. Sometimes this works; in opera numbers, her sprezzatura is stunning. She weaponises her technique in ‘Svena uccidi abbatti atterra’ (‘Bleed, kill, destroy, strike down’, Il Tamerlano, 1722) and ‘Se non canti più per me’ (L’oracolo del Fato, 1719), pitting her voice against an equally aggressive band. Serenity is, however, in short supply, which obscures Gasparini’s nuances. The acoustic is much to blame. Weirdly, Ipata recorded all tracks in Pisa’s Teatro Rossi Aperto (built 1771), a venue that doesn’t suit several of his selections. Lingering decay kills silence around notes, needed in particular for Gasparini’s cantata, serenata, and traverse flute concerto. This seems to encourage Invernizzi to cloud her radiant passagi with vibrato, especially in ‘Qui dal porto d’ocean’ and ‘Se la Grecia s’armerà’. Ipata’s Gasparini Album is important, but has its flaws.

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Berta Joncus