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Passo di pena in pena: Italian Cantatas / Ferri-Benedetti / Ensemble Il Profondo

Scarlatti / Ferri-benedetti / Ensemble Il Profondo
Release Date: 10/08/2013 
Label:  Cantus (European Label)   Catalog #: 9636   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alessandro ScarlattiGiovanni BononciniPietro A. LocatelliNicolo Porpora,   ... 
Performer:  Flavio Ferri Benedetti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Il Profondo
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



PASSO DI PENA IN PENA: Italian Cantatas Flavio Ferri-Benedetti (ct); Ens Il Profondo (period instruments) CANTUS 9636 (68:22 Text and Translation)


BONONCINI Ecco Dorinda. LOCATELLI Sonata in f, op. 8/9. PORPORA Venticel che tra le fronde. A. Read more SCARLATTI Ombre tacite e sole. VIVALDI Amor ha vinto, RV 683


As the rather extensive booklet notes by countertenor Flavio Ferri-Benedetti state, the Italian secular cantata was a byproduct of the so-called focus of the early 18th-century intellectual circles on good poetry based generally on classical themes. The result was a veritable torrent of smaller chamber works meant to highlight this literary genre, which had the effect of establishing it as one of the preferred vocal formats of the period. The settings were generally for voice and continuo, but here one finds a selection of works that include a full four-part accompaniment of strings. This allows for a fuller texture, making them more akin to brief opera scenes.


The composers here need no special introductions, as all are fairly well-represented in the historical repertory. Giovanni Bononcini was Handel’s rival in London, and of course Alessandro Scarlatti and Vivaldi were the leading opera composers in their native land. Porpora also established himself as a composer for the stage in both Italy and London before winding up in Vienna, where he taught Haydn (who was also his valet for a time). The only odd person out is Pietro Locatelli, but here one of his trio sonatas offers up a bit of contrast to the Arcadian cantatas. The works too are no strangers, for all have been recorded before, sometimes often. Scarlatti’s Ombre tacite already has a nice performance by Matthew White and the Voix Baroque on Analekta from 2007, and Vivaldi’s Amor ha vinto seems to have been done by any soprano worth her salt. It is hard to compete with the Vivaldi Edition’s recording with Gemma Bertagnolli. That being said, Ferri-Benedetti does these works considerable justice.


In the opening famous aria “Lungi da te ben mio” from Ecco, Dorinda , the gentle wafting of the melody is dream-like, and when the tempo increases in the second section, his decisive rendering of the coloratura makes for a delightful contrast. His ornamentation of the repeat A section is tasteful and sometimes more subtle. The prancing minuet of “D’un cor che tace” in Porpora’s Venticel gives special emphasis to the word “pieta” (mercy), making the imprecation quite insistent as the text requires. The key to the vibrancy of performance, however, lies in the Amor hai vinto by Vivaldi, for this is where one can find the most comparisons. The final aria “Se a me rivogle” with its tortuous vocal roulades is performed here with ease and decisiveness.


The orchestral accompaniment of Il Profondo is nicely equalized in terms of texture and sound. They serve well as partners with Ferri-Benedetti’s flexible and clear voice. In short, this is an excellent disc of intimate chamber works that would well be worth acquiring.


FANFARE: Bertil van Boer
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Works on This Recording

1. Ombre tacite e sole by Alessandro Scarlatti
Performer:  Flavio Ferri Benedetti ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Il Profondo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1716; Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/2011 
Venue:  Kloster Beinwil (CH) 
Length: 17 Minutes 30 Secs. 
2. Ecco Dorinda il giorno, for tenor, 2 violins & basso continuo by Giovanni Bononcini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Il Profondo
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 10/2011 
Venue:  Kloster Beinwil (CH) 
Length: 13 Minutes 48 Secs. 
3. Sonata for 2 violins & continuo in F minor, Op. 8/9 by Pietro A. Locatelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Il Profondo
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 10/2011 
Venue:  Kloster Beinwil (CH) 
Length: 8 Minutes 23 Secs. 
4. Venticel che trà le frondi by Nicolo Porpora
Performer:  Flavio Ferri Benedetti ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Il Profondo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1730 
Date of Recording: 10/2011 
Venue:  Kloster Beinwil (CH) 
Length: 12 Minutes 51 Secs. 
5. Amor hai vinto, RV 683 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Flavio Ferri Benedetti ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Il Profondo
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/2011 
Venue:  Kloster Beinwil (CH) 
Length: 12 Minutes 28 Secs. 

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