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Hyperion Records

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Danae (detail) by Antonio Allegri Correggio (c1489-1534)
Galleria Borghese, Rome / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67621
Recording details: October 2006
Oratorio di S Domenico, Pisa, Italy
Produced by Sigrid Lee
Engineered by Roberto Meo
Release date: September 2008
Total duration: 13 minutes 49 seconds

'This outstanding disc not only displays unequivocal proof of Porpora's exceptional skill … but also provides some of the most genuinely enjoyable and captivating performances of eighteenth-century vocal music I have heard on disc for a very long time … these are brilliantly written recitatives, clearly, but with Fedi's clarity of diction and conviction of delivery, they are transformed into something truly exceptional. Yet to single out the recitatives, when the instrumental colouring of the arias and sinfonias is so magical, is to do a major disservice both to Porpora and to Auser Musici … here is music-making of such infectious happiness that this disc is destined to be a constant companion for the foreseeable future' (International Record Review)

'Soprano Elena Cecchi Fedi's singing is both beautiful and vocally deft, and the playing of the Italian group Auser Musici is emotionally responsive and dramatically alert to match. The opening cantata, Or sì m'avveggio, oh Amore, with its rocketing cello obligato, is particularly fine' (The Irish Times)

Credimi pur che t'amo
completed in Rome no 4 July 1712
author of text

Credimi pur che t’amo was completed in Rome (as is indicated by Porpora himself on his conducting score) on 4 July 1712. A constant exchange of composers and performers between Naples and the capital of the Papal States was the norm in the early eighteenth century: one need only think, for example, of the careers of Alessandro Scarlatti and Giovan Carlo Cailò and their respective influence on the Roman operatic scene and the Neapolitan string school. The young and promising Porpora must have quickly entered this virtuoso circle, assimilating the influences of the surroundings in which he found himself. Although the instrumental sections of this cantata are written in the style of the concerto grosso (with systematic alternation between soli and tutti), and while some passages in the vocal lines display a Scarlattian flavour, and the character of the recitatives and certain harmonic options immediately call to mind the Roman milieu, there are many elements which (even to a modern ear) evince considerable originality and powerful innovations. An example is found in the conclusion of the last movement of the opening Sinfonia. Such innovations would not have stood out so strongly in the artistic climate of Naples, where the far-reaching transformations of musical language that Porpora himself, Leo, Vinci and their contemporaries were shortly to export to the world were already being prepared and tried out.

from notes by Stefano Aresi © 2008
English: Charles Johnston

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