Bendetto Marcello - Arianna (3 CD box set, APE)

Bendetto Marcello – Arianna (3 CD box set, APE)

Performers: Mirko Guadagnini, Gloria Banditelli, Antonio Abete, Sergio Foresti, Athestis Chorus, Academia de li Musici, Filippo Maria Bressan, Anna Chierichetti
Composers: Benedetto Marcello
Conductors: Filippo Maria Bressan
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 3 CD box set
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Chandos
ASIN: B00004TD4Z
Size: 777 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes
Server: datafile

Arianna, serenata for 5 voices, chorus, strings, 2 trumpets & continuo, SF. 493

In his satirical introduction to The Beggars’ Opera of 1728, John Gay claims that he “introduced the similes that are in your celebrated operas: the Swallow, the Moth, the Bee, the Ship, the Flower…and I have observed such nice impartiality to our two ladies that it is impossible for either of them to take offence.” He might equally well have been referring to Marcello’s charming Arianna (1726), which does indeed employ the usual Metastasian similes in the arias, and has two plum female roles for Arianna and her sister, Fedra (Phaedra). But–as with many things–it ain’t what you do, it’s the way you do it, and Arianna rings the changes in highly enjoyable ways. The plot brings Teseo (Theseus) and Arianna back together to fight over his betrayal, for example, and even by the end, no one has left Naxos. Some of the music is formulaic (especially the “trumpets and drums” choruses), but much of it is beautiful, and one aria (“Come mai puoi vedermi piàngere?”) is absolutely ravishing. The performers all have young, fresh voices, and though the recitatives are a little underpowered dramatically, the arias carry the energy of the piece. –Warwick Thompson

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