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Vivaldi: La Verità In Cimento / Spinosi, Bertagnolli, Et Al


Release Date: 08/19/2003 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 30365   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Gemma BertagnolliGuillemette LaurensPhilippe JarousskyAnthony Rolfe Johnson,   ... 
Conductor:  Jean-Christophe Spinosi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mateus Baroque Ensemble
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 38 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


La verita in cimento ("Truth put to the test"), dating from 1720, is a superb, stageworthy work about a Sultan (Mamud), his wife (Rustena), his mistress (Damira), and the sons each of them bore on the same day many years before (Zelim and Melindo, respectively). The bastard has been raised as the true heir (for reasons too complicated to go into here), but now, late in his life, Mamud wants to make certain that the true heir is not robbed of his inheritance.(As the opera opens, he has just informed Damira of this fact, and she is hardly pleased.) Meanwhile, a foreign Princess, Rosane, is loved by Zelim but she is slated to marry Melindo (for political reasons)--though frankly, she seems
Read more willing to go where the power and money are. All of this makes Damira turn manipulative and upsets the whole court. It is happily resolved, behind the Sultan's back, by wife and mistress. The opera cannot be called comic, but there are wonderfully funny moments of overwrought behavior. The feelings expressed in the arias (24 of them, all da capo, all relatively brief)--jealousy, rage, sarcasm, love, disappointment--are vivid, bordering on ferocious, and they make the characters' strong personalities very clear.

Between January and April, 2002, conductor Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his Ensemble Matheus toured all over France with the work; it then returned to Italy (Bologna) after 282 years and was recorded soon after. Spinosi has his strings attack with vigor and veritable thrashing when the situation calls for it and he relies heavily on the most forceful beat in any given aria so that the entire show practically dances. Most of the scoring is for strings and continuo (including harpsichord, Baroque guitar, theorbo) in different combinations, but the addition of other instruments is magnificently thought out: sweet, pastoral flutes when Rustena is reflecting on her own innocence and prior happiness, trumpets accompanying Melindo when he declares his intention to disobey the cruel Mamud, and so forth. Between Spinosi's vast variances in tempos and dynamics, this is an opera in constant emotional motion and we can hear it even if we can't see it. The arias, alternating between sparkling, introspective, and ironic, are all suitably embellished by singers and players.

Gemma Bertagnolli sings the flighty Rosane's music vividly; her feats of high coloratura belie her sincerity but leave us liking her anyway. The outrageously low tessitura for Damira is superbly handled by Nathalie Stutzmann. Her dissembling reaches its peak in a third-act aria in which she advises the disconsolate Rustena to "add artifice to your truth...use tears as weapons," and the vocal line, to which she adds almost exaggerated portamento, has her slithering up and down the scale with what might be called an "audible sneer". The always wonderful Sara Mingardo (where would Baroque opera be without her?) is fierce as Melindo, certain in his refusal to be deprived of his throne and tossing off the roulades to prove it, and Guillemette Laurens, as Rustena, sings so beautifully that we are never bothered by the character's self-righteousness. Rounding out the cast is countertenor Phillippe Jaroussky--a great discovery--as Zelim, and Anthony Rolfe Johnson as Mamud, with somewhat weary tone but, as always, true authority and musical intelligence.

A trio, "Aure placide e serene", in which the rival half brothers and Rosane, the woman they both love, express their mixed feelings in a garden of citrus trees amid metaphors of breezes, babbling brooks and "lovely, innocent boughs", is as beautiful as Cosi fan tutte's famous "Soave sia il vento", and I suspect we'll never hear it more ravishingly performed. Sonics are just about perfect--clean, clear, and crisp. This opera and recording offer spectacular surprises.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
La verità in cimento, RV 739 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Gemma Bertagnolli (Soprano), Guillemette Laurens (Alto), Philippe Jaroussky (Countertenor),
Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor), Sara Mingardo (Mezzo Soprano), Nathalie Stutzmann (Alto)
Conductor:  Jean-Christophe Spinosi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mateus Baroque Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Venice, Italy 
Language: Italian 

Sound Samples

La verita in cimento, RV 739: Sinfonia: I. Allegro
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Sinfonia: II. Andante
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Sinfonia: III. Allegro
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 1: Recitativo: Non piu, Damira (Mamud, Damira)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 1: Aria: Mi fe reo l'amor d'un figlio (Mamud)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 2: Recitativo: Men agevol sara di chio che credi (Damira, Zelim)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 2: Aria: Vorrei veder anch' io (Damira)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 3: Poveri affetti miei quanto periglio (Zelim, Rustena, Rosane, Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 3: Aria: Solo quella guancia bella (Rosane)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 4: Recitativo: Melindo, egli delira, omai vicina (Rustena, Zelim, Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 4: Aria: Ne vostri dolci sguardi (Rustena)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 5: Recitativo: German, che tal mi sei (Zelim, Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 5: Aria: Tu m'offendi (Zelim)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 6: Recitativo: Affetti mascherati vi conosco (Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 6: Aria: La del Nilo sull'arene (Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 7: Recitativo: Misero cor di Padre, e che farei? (Mamud, Rosane, Zelim, Rustena, Damira)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 8: Recitativo: Amor di Madre all' opra (Damira, Rustena)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 8: Aria: Se l'acquisto di quel Soglio (Damira)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 9: Recitativo: Poco fede a costei prestar io deggio (Rustena)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 9: Aria: Fragil fior, ch'appena nasce (Rustena)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 10: Trio: Aure placide, e serene (Rosane, Zelim, Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 10: Recitativo: Cor mio (Rosane, Zelim, Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 10: Aria: No, non ti credo (Zelim)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 11: Recitativo: Rosane di tua fe' mal m'assicuri (Melindo, Rosane)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 11: Aria: Mi vuoi tradir, lo so (Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 12: Recitativo: E tosto gelosia vuole suo albergo (Rosane)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act I Scene 12: Aria: Amato ben tu sei la mia speranza (Rosane)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 1: Recitativo: Ell' e cosi Rosane (Mamud, Rosane)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 1: Aria: Vinta a pie d'un dolce affetto (Mamud)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 2: Recitativo: Combattuta alma mia, chi piu spietato (Rosane, Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 2: Aria: Addio caro. Tu ben sai (Rosane)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 3: Recitativo: Infedele Rosane, ingiusto Padre (Melindo, Rustena, Damira, Zelim)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 4: Recitativo: Che bel vederti con due serti in fronte (Melindo, Zelim, Rustena)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 4: Aria: Un tenero affetto (Zelim)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 5: Recitativo: Madre, che far si deve? (Rustena, Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 5: Aria: Quel bel ciglio, quel bel volto (Rustena)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 6: Recitativo: Chi vide mai piu barbaro pensiere (Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 6: Aria: Occhio non gira (Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 7: Recitativo: Altrui folle garrir dubbio non renda (Mamud, Rosane, Zelim, Rustena, Damira)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 8: Recitativo: No, fin ch'avrai Melindo (Melindo, Rosane)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 8: Aria: Tu sei sol dell' alma mia (Rosane)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 9: Recitativo: Non mi lasciar mio ben (Mamud, Rustena, Damira, Zelim, Melindo)
La verita in cimento, RV 739: Act II Scene 9: Quintetto: Anima mia, mio ben (Mamud, Rustena, Damira, Zelim, Melindo)

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