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Arias For Caffarelli / Franco Fagioli


Release Date: 09/24/2013 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 5333   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Adolf HasseLeonardo VinciLeonardo LeoNicolo Porpora,   ... 
Performer:  Franco Fagioli
Conductor:  Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D'oro
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Caffarelli, castrato assoluto, was a famed rival to the more famous Farinelli. Born Gaetano Majorano in Bitonto in 1710 - he was to die in Naples in 1783 - he studied with his rival’s teacher, Nicola Porpora. He travelled across Europe, singing in the most prestigious opera houses, earning huge amounts and behaving exceptionally badly. His one season in London in 1737-38 singing for Handel was, however, a resounding failure and it’s to the repertoire of the Naples School that this disc turns in order to present arias most associated with this most touchy, querulous and downright rude castrato of the eighteenth-century.

It falls to counter-tenor Franco Fagioli to bring these scenes to life and he does so with spectacular
Read more results. Hasse’s Fra l’orror della tempesta shows the singer starting as he means to go on. His florid vocalism, which admits of a sometimes curiously intrusive chest voice, embarks on a tour-de-force of theatricality; on the plus side it’s impossible to ignore, on the debit side it’s all just a bit relentless. Much better is the lyric legato he finds in the same composer’s Ebbi de te la vita where I detect hints of David Daniels’ tonal colour. It’s inevitable in recitals of this kind that the gentle is immediately contrasted with the fast and furious - maybe a baroque aria recital will one day not do this - in the form of Vinci’s In braccio a mille furie. That said, it can’t be doubted that Fagioli’s divisions, trills and declamation are remarkable; likewise that Il Pomo d’Oro are equally dramatic exponents of the repertoire, fully entering into the viscous vitality of the music-making. Given that he is vaguely reminiscent of Cecilia Bartoli as well as, sometimes, Daniels surely suggests the level of theatrical engagement that Fagioli brings to music which is very hard otherwise to locate on disc.

Some of Fagioli’s best singing, and some of the best orchestral playing, come in Pergolesi’s Lieto così talvolta which is the longest aria and one that reveals his enviably fluttering but precise coloratura. Some of the most exciting is to be heard in Leo’s Sperai vicino il lido where alternating lyricism and quicksilver virtuosity convincingly convey the bipartite emotive states.

Throughout, Riccardo Minasi encourages the brass, in particular, to flare dramatically in support of the martial or otherwise militant feelings of the counter-tenor hero. There is also space for the oboe principal beautifully to lend her obbligato in the Pergolesi aria. Such felicitous touches abound. Indeed Fagioli, for all his occasional exaggerations, remains a truly dramatic exponent of this repertoire and he evokes its milieu with panache and no little sensitivity.

– Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Siroe: Fra L'orror Della Tempesta by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Franco Fagioli (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D'oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1733; Italy 
2.
Siroe: Ebbi Da Te La Vita by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Franco Fagioli (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D'oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1733; Italy 
3.
Semiramide Riconosciuta: In braccio a mille furie by Leonardo Vinci
Performer:  Franco Fagioli (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D'oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1744; Italy 
4.
Demofoonte: Misero pargoletto by Leonardo Leo
Performer:  Franco Fagioli (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D'oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1741; Italy 
5.
Semiramide Riconosciuta: Passaggier che sulla sponda by Nicolo Porpora
Performer:  Franco Fagioli (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D'oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1739; Italy 
6.
Adriano in Siria: Lieto così talvolta by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Performer:  Franco Fagioli (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D'oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734; Italy 
7.
Demofoonte: Sperai vicino il lido by Leonardo Leo
Performer:  Franco Fagioli (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D'oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1741; Italy 
8.
L’Ipermestra: Rendimi più sereno by Pasquale Cafaro
Performer:  Franco Fagioli (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D'oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1751; Italy 
9.
Valdemaro: Un cor che ben ama by Domenico Sarro
Performer:  Franco Fagioli (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D'oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1726; Italy 
10.
Lucio Vero: Cara ti lascio, addio by Gennaro Manna
Performer:  Franco Fagioli (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D'oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1745; Italy 
11.
Lucio Papiro dittatore: Odo il suono di tromba guerrier by Gennaro Manna
Performer:  Franco Fagioli (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Minasi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D'oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1748; Italy 

Sound Samples

Siroe re di Persia: Fra l'orror della tempesta
Siroe re di Persia: Ebbi da te la vita
Semiramide riconosciuta: In braccio a mille furie
Demofoonte: Misero pargoletto
Semiramide riconosciuta: Passaggier che sulla sponda
Adriano in Siria: Lieto cosi talvolta (Thus happy does in captivity)
Demofoonte: Sperai vicino il lido
Ipermestra: Rendimi piu sereno
Il Valdemaro: Un cor che ben ama
Lucio Vero, ossia Il Vologeso: Cara ti lascio, addio
Lucio Papirio dittatore: Odo il suono di tromba guerriera

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Sublime counter-tenor artistry June 5, 2014 By Richard Glashoff (Cape Town, Western Cape) See All My Reviews "Franco Fagioli is one of the new group of counter-tenor superstars, and in this recording he demonstrates that he is at the forefront of his art. The album covers a number of arias originally composed for Caffarelli, a brilliant (albeit rather obnoxious) contemporary of Farinelli. The recording includes some incredibly complex vocal writing which demonstrates the full range and technical brilliance of Fagioli's voice. The star operatic composers of the Neapolitan school are well represented - and include Porpora, Hasse, Pergolesi, Vinci and Leo. Franco Fagioli was one of the contributing artists in the recent full length recording of Vinci's opera Artaserse which has one numerous awards and received multiple accolades. This new solo recording certainly confirms that he is one the best counter-tenors out there. The recording is made even more enjoyable by the wonderful playing of the period ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro under the direction of Riccardo Minasi. They provide exciting and dramatic baroque support and ensure that at the end of the CD one feels one wants more! Bravo." Report Abuse
 Breathtaking Agility & Tessitura January 29, 2014 By Julian Kerrell-Vaughan (SAI KUNG, Hong Kong) See All My Reviews "This is, without doubt, one of the most exciting CDs of pieces from the castrato repertoire. Fagioli has an agility that is extraordinary, and he brings a remarkable palette of colours to these pieces, infusing them with real emotion - indignation, anger, tenderness, longing and pathos to name a few. Despite the huge tessitura, stratospheric at times, there is never any loss of tone or beauty in the voice. Fagioli is magnificently supported throughout by Riccardo Minasi and Il Pomma d'Oro (a play on words between 'golden apple' and 'tomato' in Italian!). Truly this is a remarkable achievement and one which will stand the test of time." Report Abuse
 Amazing and wonderful recording January 29, 2014 By R. Hirst (Salina, KS) See All My Reviews "I collect recordings going back to the "78s" of the early 20th century and I can tell you that this guy has a trill which is at least as good as any the world has heard since the invention of sound recording. Among countertenors he is at least the equal of all of them and better than most. His chest voice is rich and tenorish. His technique is as perfect as you are likely to find. Try the last cut. This should win all the awards there are. It is a treasure." Report Abuse
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