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Cantate Napoletane Del '700 / Pino De Vittorio, Antonio Florio, Cappella De'turchini


Release Date: 09/08/2009 
Label:  Eloquentia   Catalog #: 919   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Niccoló GrilloGiuseppe De MajoNicola UgolinoLeonardo Leo,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



CANTATE NAPOLETANE DEL ’700 Antonio Florio, cond; Pino de Vittorio (ten); Alessandro Ciccolini (vn); Tommaso Rossi (fl); Ugo di Giovanni (lt); Capella della Pietá Turchini (period instruments) ELOQUENTIA 919 (71:20 Text and Translation)


GRILLO Sosutose ’no journo. Visciole de ’sto core. FIORENZA Sinfonia. LEO Siciliana. Flute Read more Concerto in G. MAJO Lo finto laccheo: Gia’ che ‘sto bello sole; Lo villano che ’na chianca; Quanno lo pesce è bivo; Se crede sta’ secura. UGOLINO Lute Concerto in B?


Here is an approximation of what a typical evening of “music conversations” or entertainments might have sounded like in a princely palace of Naples around 1700. No exact programs from these entertainments survive, and so considerable musical detective work is necessary to piece together a reconstruction. The primary sources that were consulted for this CD are the surviving musical libraries of the Neapolitan nobility, which give an idea of the most popular works of the time. Then there are the published anthologies of comic-opera arias in the Neapolitan language. The liner notes go into great detail about the latter—I came away with the realization that an extraordinary number of Neapolitan operas have disappeared forever, leaving behind only a handful of isolated arias as tantalizing tidbits. The instrumental music is in better shape, but is perhaps not as representative as the vocal music. In contrast to the worldly themes and overt theatrical nature of the operas and cantatas, the instrumental music of Naples relies on simple melodies and a certain naiveté for its effect.


In keeping with the underlying operatic theme, the star of this CD is Pino de Vittorio, an actor and singer who specializes in musical theater in the Neapolitan dialect. I was fascinated by his vocal style and delivery. It’s certainly not what you would call operatic—allowing for the language difference, de Vittorio would be right at home on Broadway. But here’s the twist: with his clear enunciation and relatively uncomplicated vocalism, he gets to the heart of this quintessentially Baroque music better than many operatic types who muck it up with a lot of sound and vibrato. Granted, the voice is nothing special—held notes tend to display a pronounced wobble. But singers of Baroque opera could learn a lot about the “tyranny of the word” from this artist. Altogether, de Vittorio is heard in four arias of Giuseppe de Majo (1697–1771), two cantatas of Niccoló Grillo (fl. 18th c.), and a Siciliana for voice and strings by Leonardo Leo (1694–1744), and he grabbed my attention in every one. All the arias and cantatas include orchestral accompaniment, in many cases with extended instrumental ritornellos.


The Lute Concerto of Nicola Ugolino (fl. 18th C.) is the most engaging instrumental piece on the program. Surprisingly, the lute soloist has no trouble making himself heard against the body of strings, but this is due in part to the small size of the ensemble (3-3-1-2-1), and to a certain amount of manipulation by the engineer. The Sinfonia of Nicola Fiorenza (c. 1700–1764) is an extended work in four movements with violin solo, but the soloist here is merely adequate. The Flute Concerto of Leo comes off rather nicely, thanks to the soloist’s solid technique and robust, non-breathy tone. According to the liner notes, the intriguingly named Capella della Pietà de’ Turchini has been around since 1987, and has participated in many latter-day premieres of Baroque operas. They play very well, with a full, well-blended sound that belies their small numbers.


Full texts and translations in Italian, French, and English round out this excellent presentation. In short, if you’re a fan of the Baroque in search of new and unusual material, this CD is definitely worth a listen.


FANFARE: Christopher Brodersen
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sosutose 'no juorno by Niccoló Grillo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini
Period: Baroque 
Length: 3 Minutes 38 Secs. 
2.
Lo finto laccheo by Giuseppe De Majo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini
Period: Baroque 
Length: 18 Minutes 51 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Violin and Lute by Nicola Ugolino
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini
Period: Baroque 
Length: 10 Minutes 9 Secs. 
4.
Siciliana by Leonardo Leo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini
Period: Baroque 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
5.
Concerto per traversiere e archi in Sol maggiore: Allegro by Leonardo Leo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini
Period: Baroque 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
6.
Concerto per traversiere e archi in Sol maggiore: Largo by Leonardo Leo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini
Period: Baroque 
Length: 3 Minutes 55 Secs. 
7.
Visciole de' sto core by Niccoló Grillo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini
Period: Baroque 
Length: 6 Minutes 58 Secs. 
8.
Sinfonia for Violin by Nicola Fiorenza
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini
Period: Baroque 
Length: 14 Minutes 37 Secs. 

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