Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

A. Scarlatti: La Santissima Trinità / Biondi, Gens


Release Date: 06/01/2004 
Label:  Virgin Classics Veritas Catalog #: 45666   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alessandro Scarlatti
Performer:  Roberta InvernizziVivica GenauxPaul AgnewRoberto Abbondanza,   ... 
Conductor:  Fabio Biondi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  
On sale! $16.98
CD:  $14.99
Low Stock
MP3: $9.99
What's this?




Notes and Editorial Reviews

With a cast composed entirely of allegorical characters with names such as Faith, Faithlessness, Divine Love, Theology, and Time, one could be justified in assuming that Alessandro Scarlatti’s Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità is not exactly one of his more dramatic pieces. Like the Roman oratorio Colpa, Pentimento e Grazia (1708), a recording of which I reviewed in the last issue of Fanfare, it is rather a theological argument, in this instance one in which the mysterious concept of the Holy Trinity is denied by Faithlessness and upheld by the remaining characters. As the notes for this recording (the oratorio’s first) justly observe, it is hardly the stuff of strong emotion, but the work needs to be placed within context and Read more considered on its own merits. Although no details of the circumstances under which La Santissima Trinità was composed have survived, it was first performed in May 1715, almost certainly in Naples, making it one of the composer’s last oratorios. It was obviously intended to serve the didactic purpose common to all 17th- and 18th-century Italian oratorios, Olivier Rouvière’s notes plausibly suggesting that it might have received some kind of modest staging, a course not infrequently adopted to make such religious instruction more immediate for the faithful.

Despite what will undoubtedly be a distinctly unpromising scenario to the majority of 21st-century listeners, La Santissima Trinità is in fact an immensely rewarding work. Scarlatti, far from being inhibited by the subject matter, produced a score that extracts maximum effect from the conflict of views, articulating Faithlessness’s mockery and sturdy skepticisms with a strength that demands all the resources of his opponents, who reply through a variety of means often employing metaphor. It is some of these mimetic arias—the depiction of the turtledove’s freedom (enhanced by two solo violins) in Faith’s “Vedrai la tortorella,” or Theology’s evocation of the “hapless little boat” on a stormy sea (“Povera navicello”)—that provide just some of the highlights of a richly varied score that throughout shows Scarlatti at his most imaginative and inventive. Stylistically, numbers range from brief, old-fashioned continuo arias with a concluding instrumental postlude to more modern, fully accompanied arias that frequently include concertante solo-writing for the strings (there are no wind parts).

There is no question that the positive impression made by the oratorio can in no small measure be attributed to a performance that is vocally on the highest level and direction that, while incorporating some of Biondi’s familiar mannerisms, is distinguished by an obviously fervent belief in the work. Let’s get the annoyances out of the way first. Many of the quicker numbers (and some, such as the joyously affirmative duet for Faith and Divine Love that ends Part I, simply sound too fast) are characterized by a spikiness that inhibits Scarlatti’s innate lyricism. Exaggerated ritardandos are a constant aggravation, as is, more occasionally, Biondi’s penchant for percussive plucked continuo effects. His own solo contributions are by no means totally secure as to intonation, and his Europa Galante continues to lag behind the best period-instrument ensembles when it comes to string tone. Such caveats are to a large extent mitigated by the glorious singing of Biondi’s star-studded cast. Roberta Invernizzi’s Faith is a radiant performance, full-toned, splendidly assured in coloratura, and sung with a relish of the Italian language that speaks of a vivid identification with the part. She is finely balanced by the quieter, lyrical beauty of the Divine Love of Véronique Gens, whose exquisitely phrased “Quell’Amore” is one of the most memorable of many highlights. As the “bad guy” in this company, Paul Agnew brings a passionate conviction to Faithlessness, a performance that reaches a peak in the marvelous aria “L’eterno padre,” where Scarlatti both evokes the awe surrounding the Holy Trinity, and then, in the diametrically contrasted central section, has Faithlessness demolish belief in the conception. Time and Theology are less significant roles, but the former (sung with great authority by bass Roberto Abbondanza) has two splendid arias in Part I, and Theology is interestingly the one character that momentarily wobbles in the face of the arguments of Faithlessness. One wonders if the librettist was making a point.

Despite reservations about Biondi’s direction, this is unquestionably a major addition to the Alessandro Scarlatti discography, yet further vitally increasing our understanding of a prolific major composer who was until relatively recently largely restricted to the more shadowy realms of the Baroque.
Brian Robins, FANFARE Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
La Santissima Trinità by Alessandro Scarlatti
Performer:  Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano), Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano), Paul Agnew (Tenor),
Roberto Abbondanza (Bass), Véronique Gens (Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Biondi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1715; Naples, Italy 
Length: 67 Minutes 0 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Sinfonia
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Duetto - No, possibil non è (Fede/Teologia)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Recitativo - Io che tutti secreti (Teologia)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Aria - Una pianta tre rami distende (Teologia)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Aria - Cieca talpa intorno al sole (Fede)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Recitativo - Baldanzose donzelle (Infedeltà)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Aria - Che da un mar nascano i fiumi (Infeldeltà)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Recitativo - Si profondo mistero (Teologia)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Aria - Constante prestar fede (Fede)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Recitativo - Con l'ali al piede (Tempo)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Aria - Pretende invano (Tempo)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Recitativo - Dunque è ver (Infedeltà/Fede)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Aria - Della Fede il bel candore (Fede)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Recitativo - O tu che vanti (Tempo/Infedeltà)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Aria - Che sia Tempo (Tempo)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Aria - L'eterno Padre (Infedeltà)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Recitativo - Ti risponde dal Cielo (Amor divino)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Aria - Quell'Amore ch'eterno si scorge (Amor divino)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Aria - Ma nobile scudo (Teologia)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Recitativo - È ver che luce (Amor divino)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Aria - Or di voi più fortunato (Amor divino)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Prima Parte: Duetto - Quanto invidio i tuoi contenti (Fede/Amor divino)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Duetto - Cedi, infida, al mio valore (Fede/Infedeltà)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Recitativo - Cara Fede adorata (Teologia)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Aria - Pensier così fundesto (Teologia)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Recitativo - Non paventar (Amor divino/Infedeltà)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Aria - Un volere, un potere (Amore divino)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Recitativo - Ancor non sei convinta? (Tempo/Infedeltà/Amor divino)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Aria - Vedrai la tortorella (Fede)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Recitativo - Ancor non cedi (Teologia)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Duetto - L'augelletto che sen vive (Fede/Amor divino)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Recitativo - Con assalto più ardito (Infedeltà)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Aria - Povera navicella (Teologia)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Recitativo - Di naufragio non teme (Amor divino)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Aria - Tanto parla, tanto crede (Amot divino)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Recitativo - Povera Infedeltà (Teologia/Fede/Infedeltà)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Aria - Tutte le furie (Infedeltà)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Aria - Con la Fede e Amor divino (Tempo)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Aria - Ora ch'è vinta (Fede)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Recitativo - É vano il tuo gioir (Infedeltà)
Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, Seconda Parte: Quintetto finale - Ch'oi ti ceda? (Infedeltà/Tempo/Teologia/Amor divino/Fede)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Enjoyable Scarlatti January 19, 2013 By Stephen S. (Houston, TX) See All My Reviews "This disk contains an hour of enjoyable, enthusiastic, often dramatic, Italian Baroque singing. It is a dialog among allegorical characters concerning the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Two reservations: -- The libretto may not be appreciated by non-Christians. -- There are 49 tracks for just over an hour of music. This is the most tracks on any CD in my modest collection, and it is a real annoyance." Report Abuse
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In