Notes and Editorial Reviews
Where next for Claudio Cavina and La Venexiana after their exhilarating run of recordings of Monteverdi madrigals, operas and much more? One route is proving to be in the direction of Francesco Cavalli, the 17th century composer who spent much of his working life in Venice, starting off as a chorister in St Mark's Basilica when Monteverdi himself was in charge. Although Cavalli has been known as a composer of Venetian seicento sacred music, it is his prolific contribution in the field of opera - where he became one of the leading figures involved in the development of commercial opera companies from the 1640s onwards - that has been receiving greater attention from artists in more recent times. And it is with a dramma per musica in Artemisia from the mid 1650s, with its tale of love, deceit and honour and the upholding of the virtues of the Venetian Republic (all this richly captured by the expressive style of Cavalli), that Cavina has chosen to contribute to that fresh look at Cavalli's music on this new recording from Glossa. Singers in the established style of La Venexiana, including the vocal star of 'Round M, Roberta Mameli and a recent finalist in the Handel Singing Competition in London in Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli (who takes the role of the love-torn Queen Artemisia, a character strong enough to drink her dead husband's ashes...) give vent to this glorious display of Venetian operatic splendour.