Serenata a tre, RV690
Marie Lys, Sophie Rennert, Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani; Abchordis Ensemble/Andrea Buccarella
Naïve OP7901 67:25 mins
Vivaldi’s enchanting Arcadian idyll dates from c1716. This miniature opera concerns the attempt of a nymph, Eurilla, to seduce a freedom-loving shepherd, Alcindo. With the help of Nice, her companion, Eurilla makes Alcindo fall in love with her, but when he at last admits that he really does love her she refuses to believe him and calls upon nymphs and shepherds to punish his arrogance.
The music is a delight throughout, and the performance mainly of a high standard. Marie Lys is a spirited Eurilla. Her coloratura in ‘Vorresti lusingarni’ is lightly articulated and admirably controlled. Sophie Rennert’s Nice is comparably impressive; her arias ‘Come l’erba’, and ‘Ad infiammar’ with Boris Begelman’s scintillating violin accompaniment are affecting. Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani (Alcindo) brings lively characterisation to the role but his ‘Acque placide’ lacks the tender lyricism of Alessio Tosi in a competing version of the serenata directed by Federico Maria Sardelli, issued last year (Glossa). Wearing my retro hat for just a moment, perhaps the most tenderly alluring account of this beautiful aria exists in a recording issued exactly 70 years ago, directed by Edwin Loehrer, on the Vox label. For this alone, but also for the evocative Arcadian sleeve design by the Italian artist Silvano Tintori, the recording is well worth looking out for.
In all, Andrea Buccarella, his soloists and his vibrant Abchordis Ensemble do justice to an irresistible score. Readers who want the fuller picture, though, will require the Sardelli version, too, since each contains an aria not included in the other.