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Bononcini: La Nemica D'amore Fatta Amante / Banchini, Et Al

Release Date: 01/13/2004 
Label:  Zig Zag   Catalog #: 30801   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Giovanni Bononcini
Performer:  Andreas TorgersenDavid PlantierHendrike Ter BruggeMartin Oro,   ... 
Conductor:  Chiara Banchini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble 415
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Giovanni Bononcini (1670-1747) was a gifted cellist and a rival of Handel's; he wrote more than 30 operas and 300 cantatas. I approached this "serenata a tre" with trepidation, fearing something coy and intermezzo-like; in fact, it's simply beautiful. The not-riveting plot concerns soprano nymph Cloris' refusal of love for countertenor shepherd Tirsi, and her subsequent turnaround. Baritone Fileno, a satyr, loves her but convinces her that love is cruel because he is jealous of her love for Tirsi. In the end, Fileno vows vengeance and departs, and the lovers unite, praising fidelity and love. Bononcini manages to capture truly felt moments of love, anger, warmth, happiness, and heartbreak
Read more with minimal forces--just a few strings, all played stunningly (as usual) by Ensemble 415--and fine melodies. The prominent, delicately played theorbe in the opening sinfonia is a hint of niceties to come; a solo violin winds around Cloris' "Tortorella inamorata" and adds to its meaning. Throughout, Bononcini shows himself a master at setting words to suitable music for the deeper significance of both. The entire work is both moving and charming--and doesn't have an inelegant moment.

And the performances are excellent. In addition to the right-on playing, the three singers are well cast. Adriana Fernandez has a light, unaffected soprano, and she delivers the recitatives as honestly as she does the arias. Her simplicity keeps her in character throughout. Martin Oro's countertenor sound is diaphanous rather than either hooty or dramatic, and he matches his Cloris in innocence and sincerity. Their little duet--"For you I die, beautiful joy of my heart, my beloved treasure"--is a perfect gem. These are two fine musicians. Furio Zanasi, though possessing a light, "early-music" baritone, conveys wretchedness, resentment, and anger with great zeal. In short, this 68-minute miniature, which could have been a chore, is performed as if it were the only work ever written about nymphs and shepherds, and as such it seems an unhackneyed masterpiece. [3/25/2004]

--Robert Levine
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Works on This Recording

La nemica d'Amore fatta amante by Giovanni Bononcini
Performer:  Andreas Torgersen (Viola), David Plantier (Violin), Hendrike Ter Brugge (Cello),
Martin Oro (Countertenor), Furio Zanasi (Baritone), Adriana Fernández (Soprano),
Chiara Banchini (Violin), Stephanie Pfister (Violin), Helena Zemanova (Violin),
Birgit Goris (Violin), Martine Schnorhk (Viola), Gaetano Nasillo (Cello),
Shizuko Noiri (Lute), Evangelina Mascardi (Theorbo), Michael Chanu (Double Bass),
Olivia Centurioni (Violin)
Conductor:  Chiara Banchini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble 415
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; Rome, Italy 
Length: 68 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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