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Avanti l'Opera - An A-Z of Italian Baroque Overtures

Bononcini / Pollarolo / Leo
Release Date: 11/11/2014 
Label:  Signum Classics   Catalog #: 383   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Attilio AriostiLeonardo VinciGiovanni BononciniAntonio Caldara,   ... 
Performer:  Will RussellSimon Desbruslais
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

I had the good fortune, last week, to see someone buy this CD in my local music shop. She studied the back of it for some time, scratched her head, and tentatively handed over her credit card to pay for it. The man at the counter said. “You won’t regret this; it is lovely,” to which the lady buying it responded, “I hope so.” I hoped so, too: It promises so much with that glossy front cover.

It is quite a comprehensive anthology of overtures. There are 17 of them in total. The range of composers is also satisfying, from Albioni to Ziani. Music ranges from the outré and the slapstick, to the coy and simple. Alexander Pope, in his large epic The Dunciad, once called Italian opera a “harlot form, with mincing step and
Read more languid eye,” which is a witticism amply revealed here in the range of aural tricks. As overtures, they are designed to arrest, and like Pope’s “harlot form” the overture has enough to cover the subject, but little enough to remain interesting. We flit between composers, works, time periods, tones, methodologies, keys and characters throughout the course of CD, and it is a genuine pleasure to be thrown hither and thither. A highlight, for me, was Bononcini’s sad and threatening Cefalo, which is full of a cello player’s sense of darkness.

Great credit has to go to Charivari Agréable, the group whose technical proficiency has given life to a series of very obscure opera overtures. This CD is a worthy companion piece to other opera anthologies, both popular and obscure, since it nestles happily in the genre of “introductory” rather than “exhaustive”: an intention highlighted by the obvious fun the orchestra has with its solo moments and general camaraderie. As a window into the period, it makes one realise just how formulaic and repetitive the vogue for Italian opera could be, but it is also refreshingly representative of the variety and nuances composers could inject into the form. It is a confusing collection, in many ways: Scarlatti, Ariosti, Bononcini, Pasquini, and Ziani on one CD is a little baffling. But, I suggest, that is irrelevant, and that the CD is satisfying regardless.

– Dan Sperrin, Fanfare [5-6/2015] Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Vespasiano: Overture by Attilio Ariosti
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 5 Minutes 43 Secs. 
2.
Catone in Utica: Overture by Leonardo Vinci
Performer:  Will Russell (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1728; Italy 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
3.
Cefalo: Overture by Giovanni Bononcini
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1702; Italy 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
4.
L'Olimpiade: Overture by Antonio Caldara
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1733 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
5.
La Proserpine: Overture by Carlo Francesco Pollarolo
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 4 Minutes 14 Secs. 
6.
La Statira: Overture by Alessandro Scarlatti
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
7.
Turno Aricino: Overture by Giovanni Bononcini
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 3 Minutes 45 Secs. 
8.
Il trionfo di Camilla: Overture by Giovanni Bononcini
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1696 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 
9.
L'Ascanio: Overture by Giuseppe Antonio Bernabei
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1686 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
10.
L'Idalma: Overture by Bernardo Pasquini
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
11.
Zenobia: Overture by Tomaso Albinoni
Performer:  Simon Desbruslais (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1694 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs. 
12.
Il Talamo: Overture by Pietro Andrea Ziani
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
13.
Gl'inganni felici: Overture by Carlo Francesco Pollarolo
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1696 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
14.
Il Totila: Overture by Giovanni Legrenzi
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
15.
La lotta d'Alcide con Acheloo: Overture by Agostino Steffani
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1689 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
16.
La caduta di Decemviri: Overture by Alessandro Scarlatti
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1697 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
17.
Il Trionfo della fama: Overture by Francesco B. Conti
Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucest 
Length: 6 Minutes 19 Secs. 

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