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Hasse: Cantatas Vol 1 / Busca, Serafini, Martellacci, Accademia Del Ricercare

Release Date: 02/09/2010 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 93636   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Lia SerafiniGabriella Martellacci
Conductor:  Pietro Busca
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia del Ricercare
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Outstanding performances of some heretofore lost gems for voices lovingly coupled with instrumental works that are sure to please!

Johann Adolf Hasse, although German-born, spent the bulk of his career in Italy, studied with the renowned Alessandro Scarlatti, spoke only Italian and composed vocal music exclusively in his adopted language, or in the case of sacred music, Latin. Although relegated to the sidelines in modern times, he was greatly respected in his day. Mozart held him in the same lofty company as Handel, and aspired to be himself remembered in the same league as Hasse.
Much of the vocal music presented on this elegant program has never been recorded before, and we have the Accademia
Read more del Ricercare to thank for bringing such engaging music back to life. Two fine soloists, soprano Lia Serafini and contralto Gabriella Martellacci alternate to present rich performances of arias and cantatas meant to entertain and impress guests in small intimate gatherings in the home. How lovely it is to hear a female contralto sing these lovely melodies instead of having to endure yet another failed baritone in the guise of a counter-tenor. Note to conductors: unless you can get a Mark Crayton or a David Daniels, use girls!
Hasse favored flutes as accompanying instruments but in keeping with common Baroque practice, any handy melodic instrument could be substituted, and we get superb playing from some outstanding Italian instrumentalists in both the wind and string sections. Of particular merit are the two dreamily charming trio sonatas from Op, 3, which are delivered with both serene airiness and sprightly rhythmic vitality.
Both vocal soloists deliver superb performances. Ms. Serafini’s light and radiant soprano is beautifully contrasted by Ms. Martellacci’s warm yet ever-clear contralto. Both ladies sing with distinct enunciation making the texts easy to understand. Both use ornamentation with ease, employing just enough to make things interesting without it getting in the way of the composer’s lilting melodies.
Kudos go to Brilliant Classics for joining Naxos and Arte Nova in bringing forth fascinating recordings at such a budget price. Program notes are informative and of just enough length to avoid being too academic or tiresome. Texts are provided, but sadly are presented only in the original language. If Brilliant can afford to translate the program note into three languages, why not the texts?
-- Kevin Sutton, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Sonate, arie e cantate by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Lia Serafini (Soprano), Gabriella Martellacci (Alto)
Conductor:  Pietro Busca
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia del Ricercare
Period: Baroque 

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