A Scarlatti: Cantatas

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COMPOSERS: A Scarlatti
LABELS: Virgin Veritas
WORKS: Cantatas
PERFORMER: Sandrine Piau (soprano), Gérard Lesne (alto); Il Seminario Musicale
CATALOGUE NO: VC 5 45126 2
Following the repression of opera in late 17th-century Italy, composers such as Alessandro Scarlatti produced musical spectacles built on Classical principles with Nature and Love as central dramatic elements. Sandrine Piau (soprano), Gérard Lesne (alto) and Il Seminario Musicale here reveal Scarlatti’s flair for this genre with performances that achieve a satisfying expressive equilibrium between words and music. They evoke with eloquence the bitter-sweet emotions of the plaintive Questo silenzio ombroso and tragic E pur vuole il cielo e amore. However, the strong theatrical presence in their accounts of those works based on historical themes – Ero e Leandro, Marc’ Antonio e Cleopatra and Clori e Mirtillo – most comprehensively display this fine group’s consummate skill at vivid scene painting. Warmly recommended. Nicholas Rast