Porpora: Dalla Reggia Di Flora Cantatas

Album cover art for upc 5028421960777
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Catalog: BRI96077
Format: COMPACT DISC

Grifone, Cristina; Musica Perduta

A previous album of cantatas by Nicolo Porpora on Brilliant Classics attracted glowing international reviews, flinging wide open ‘a window on a world generally known only in appearance and from a superficial listening of its flourishes and ornaments, but in reality very concrete and aesthetically complex and articulated.’ (Gothic Network) Now comes a sequel, from a different, equally talented Italian early-music ensemble with an established track record on Brilliant. This album also contains several world premiere or first modern recordings, making available a wider appreciation of Porpora’s dramatic and elaborately decorative vocal idiom. Porpora’s cantatas present an embarrassment of riches to the enterprising performer and the adventurous listener. There are so many that a path must be picked, a theme chosen. For this album, Mvsica Perdvta focus their attention on the subject of flowers and plants, which seems to have inspired the composer to notable artistic heights. Flora’s Realm, ‘Il Reggio di Flore’, stands in for love in the real world, but it also presents a fertile ground for expressive metaphors to be illustrated with instrumental colours and delicately entwining vocal lines. These particular cantatas were newly edited for performance from manuscript sources based in Naples – Porpora’s home city – and Brussels and London. One of the most renowned singing teachers of his day, Porpora had an expert knowledge of the human voice, and these secular cantatas also contain moments of extraordinary pathos, underpinned by great technical skill and remarkable virtuoso élan. Mvsica Perdvta is a flexible chamber group with a particular interest in musicological research. Its Brilliant Classics albums have won praise for their stylish performances and excellent recordings. ‘Sound quality is very good indeed. These days, Brilliant's engineers reliably outperform those of so many bigger labels by some distance… An all but exemplary product.’ (Zuccari, Cello Sonatas, 94306: MusicWeb International)

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