Eighteenth-century opera owes much to its most celebrated teacher of singing, Nicola Porpora (born Naples 1686, died Naples 1768), not least because his restless nature led him several times to Venice, twice to Vienna, to Dresden and to London—all Europe thus learned of his grand style of vocalization. Vienna in 1725 was not a success because the Emperor Charles VI disliked florid and profuse ornamentation, but in Dresden Porpora was warmly received. In London for seven years, until 1737, he was director of the opera house established in opposition to that presided over by Handel. His compositions are basically contrapuntal but the thematic material is highly ornamental, derived of course from contemporary operatic style. The cello is the virtuoso singer in this concerto, although its tenor voice is often involved directly in the musical texture. Both Allegros, the first being a double fugue, feature florid passage-work while the melody of the slow movements is developed contrapuntally.
from notes by Hyperion Records Ltd © 1988