Pamela Lucciarini soprano, Alessandro Carmignani alto, Laboratorio Armonico
These recordings of four secular cantatas for solo voice marks the CD debut of a practically unknown 17th-century Italian composer born in Mondolfo and active in and around the Veneto, Pietro Porfiri. The music is charming, if generally conventional, with one or two original instrumental touches, including an early extended use of the cello. As we spend a lot of time in their company the quality of the solo voices is an essential aspect in this type of repertoire, and Pamela Lucciarini has a personable and expressive voice, which invites us in and provides compelling accounts of this unknown repertoire. Alessandro Carmignano’s alto voice is perhaps a little less convincing, showing weaknesses in the lower range and with an occasional tendency to dip below notes. On the other had he has a consistently glowing tone, which adds a pleasant gloss to the texture.