Linda Campanella, Silvia Bossa, Gianluca Belfiori Doro, Mario Gecchetti, Carlo Lepore, Alessandro Stradella Consort, Estévan Velardi
83:51 (2 CDs in a single jewel case)
Brilliant Classics 95535
You wait years for a recording of an oratorio by Alessandro Scarlatti and then two come along at once. Recorded for Brilliant Classics by the same forces as Il Dolore di Maria Vergine and also in an edition by Velardi, the present oratorio was probably composed just two years previously in 1715 and therefore probably intended for performance in Naples. Its cast of allegorical characters – Faith, Divine Love, Theology, Infidelity and Time – make it much less appealing to a modern audience, but my feeling is that the music, too, is inferior with rather brief and obvious arias and nothing like the emotional appeal of the Dolore. The present performers do the best for it that they can, with ravishing accounts of some of the arias and some lovely playing from the instrumental soloists. Certainly, with these two recordings, Estévan Velardi and his excellent forces have made a compelling case for Alessandro Scarlatti’s oratorios becoming better known. An excellent and detailed programme note by Mario Marcarini as well as a listeners’ guide helping the unfamiliar to find their way through the score both enhance this package and are an indication of the performers’ evangelising role.
D. James Ross
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