Casani: Il viaggio di Tobia

[Laura Antonaz Angelo, Claudine Ansermet Tobia Figlio, Mya Fracassini Anna, Jeremy Ovenden Raguele, Sergio Foresti Tobia Padre – SsmSTB], Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, I Barocchisti, Diego Fasolis
122:43 (2 CDs)
Dynamic CDS 7055/1-2

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his late 17th-century oratorio has both text and music by the little-known Giovanni Maria Casini, a Florentine who had gained favour at the court of Cosimo III and Ferdinando Medici, where he came into contact with Alessandro Scarlatti. The present recording has five solo singers and a choir for those movements called “coro” (I would have thought Casini would have expected the soloists to sing those, too) and a band of strings and continuo, with a pair of trumpets used sparingly, considering the fact that one of the leading characters in the drama is an angel. I think the strings are playing concertino and ripieno parts, but the booklet is as disappointing in this respect as it is when it comes to a decent translation of the note (concerto becomes concerto, not concert, for example!), let alone one of the text, or even an indication of how the five acts are spread between the 71 tracks! Although there is much to enjoy from the instrumentalists, I am afraid I derived much less pleasure from the solo voices – too much “me” and not enough “essence of the character I’m supposed to be portraying” for my taste.

Brian Clark


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Michel-Richard Delalande: Symphonies pour les Soupers du Roy

Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg, Jürgen Groß
Challenge Classics CC72664

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his music is truly delightful – it’s easy to see why the Sun King made Delalande such a prominent figure in the musical life of his court. Reconstruction of the inner parts has been skilfully undertaken, though for my tastes and, I suspect, those of the time, the changes of sonority within movements are over-elaborate and unnecessary. I also doubt the use of the recorder at 4’ pitch. But what is done, is done very well. In the booklet, the note apparently from the point of view of one of the original players is unconvincing though the main essay is fine.

David Hansell

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