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  • Landi - Il Sant'Alessio / Petibon, Rivenq, Bayley, Josey, Wieczorek, Les Arts Florissants, Christie
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Landi - Il Sant'Alessio / Petibon, Rivenq, Bayley, Josey, Wieczorek, Les Arts Florissants, Christie


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Audio CD, October 29, 1996
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Disc: 1
1. Il Sant' Alessio: Prologo: Sinfonia
2. Il Sant' Alessio: Prologo: Chor De Shiavi 'Chiaro Giorno Lieta Sorte'
3. Il Sant' Alessio: Prologo: Ritornello E Roma 'Ne Fur Solo I Miei Figli'
4. Il Sant' Alessio: Prologo: Chor De Shiavi 'Gia Fastosa Gueriera
5. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Primo, Scena Prima: Dopo Tant'anni Al Fine
6. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Primo, Scena Prima: Era La Notte
7. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Primo, Scena Secunda: Sopra Salde Colonne
8. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Primo, Scena Secunda: Se L'hore Volano
9. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Primo, Scena Terza: Arietta A Due Voci 'Poca Voglia Di Far Bene'
10. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Primo, Scena Terza: Ma Cola Mesto
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Secundo, Scena Quinta: Alessio Che Farai?
2. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Secundo, Scena Sesta: Humil Servo
3. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Seculndo, Scena Settima: Alessio, Alessio, A Me Rivolgi Il Guardo
4. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Secundo, Scena Settima: O Morte Gradita
5. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Secundo, Scena Ottava: Gia Con Desir Costante
6. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Secundo, Scena Nona: Lo Di Vera Pieta Madre
7. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Secundo, Scena Nona: Quei, Che Sospirano
8. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Secundo, Scena Decima: Tal' Hor Che Men S'attende
9. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Secundo, Scena Decima: Rassereniamo Il Cor Con Lieti Auspici/Questo Egeo, Che' E Stabil Campo
10. Il Sant' Alessio: Atto Secundo, Scena Decima: Chor 'Il Ciel Pietoso
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Les Arts Florissants
  • Conductor: William Christie
  • Composer: Stefano Landi
  • Audio CD (October 29, 1996)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000005E4H
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,124 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By andrew j frishman on December 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Il Sant'Alessio was written in 1631, and thus falls into the same category as Luigi Rossi or Monteverdi. It subject is religious and it was produced as part of the current anti-reformation movement, meant to inspire Catholic pride and unity. It tells the story of St. Alexis, son of a Roman nobleman, who in embracing Christianity forsook his pagan family and lived underneath the front stairs of his own home, unknown to his relatives. The Saint's harassment by scornful Romans, his temptation by the devil, and the anguish of his loving family, who do not know what has happened to him, make this an interesting departure from early opera's normal mythological subject matter. Musically, the style is austere, dominated by recitative, with sparse accompaniment, though it is relieved by lovely ritornelli, choruses, and simple, heartfelt arias (Alessio's "O morte gradita" is particularly moving). Christie's conducting and singers are as flawless as always (Patricia Petibon has proven herself in Handel, Mozart, Delibes, and she is as beautiful as always here). The opera's sparseness and intensity may well be difficult for listeners unused to this style, and something like Christie's single-disc recordings of L. Rossi oratorios would be a better introduction to early 17th century vocal music; but for those who know they have an interest in the period, this recording is highly recommended.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steven Guy on September 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
There are only two significant recordings of the operas of Stefano Landi I am aware of: Il Sant' Alessio and Stephen Stubbs' recording of La Morte d'Orfeo. Both are extremely good in my opinion.

I was a little surprised that William Christie and his Les Arts Florissants ensemble tackled this early 17th century Italian sacred opera, but of course, Christie has made some excellent recordings of Monteverdi's music and this recording probably provided him with an opportunity to build upon the experience gained from performing music of the older composer.

I have studied the score of Il Sant' Alessio from the FORNI facsimile of the original published score. I am happy to report that Les Arts Florissants' performance closely follows Landi's rather lavish (for the time) score. The work features double choruses and a large(ish) instrumental ensemble.

The cast of this recording is first class and fans of Patricia Petibon will, no doubt, want to own this recording because she sings the title role of the Saint (originally for soprano castrato or a soprano falsettist). The other cast members will be familiar to lovers of Baroque music recordings and opera productions: Nicolas Rivenq, Sophie Marin-Degor, Mhairi Lawson, Maryseult Wieczorek and Steve Dugardin. Australian tenor/countertenor, Christopher Josey, is here, too. Chris is in tenor mode in this recording. More recently, however, he had decided to sing only countertenor roles - I'd like to hear more from Chris in the future. The countertenor, Steve Dugardin, is someone I'd like to hear more of, too.

Patricia Petibon shines here, but then, she always does.

This is a recording for those who love the operas of Monteverdi and his contemporaries.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By andrew j frishman on December 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Il Sant'Alessio was written in 1631, and thus falls into the same category as Luigi Rossi or Monteverdi. It subject is religious and it was produced as part of the current anti-reformation movement, meant to inspire Catholic pride and unity. It tells the story of St. Alexis, son of a Roman nobleman, who in embracing Christianity forsook his pagan family and lived underneath the front stairs of his own home, unknown to his relatives. The Saint's harassment by scornful Romans, his temptation by the devil, and the anguish of his loving family, who do not know what has happened to him, make this an interesting departure from early opera's normal mythological subject matter. Musically, the style is austere, dominated by recitative, with sparse accompaniment, though it is relieved by lovely ritornelli, choruses, and simple, heartfelt arias (Alessio's "O morte gradita" is particularly moving). Christie's conducting and singers are as flawless as always (Patricia Petibon has proven herself in Handel, Mozart, Delibes, and she is as beautiful as always here). The opera's sparseness and intensity may well be difficult for listeners unused to this style, and something like Christie's single-disc recordings of L. Rossi oratorios would be a better introduction to early 17th century vocal music; but for those who know they have an interest in the period, this recording is highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
LANDI, CAVALLI AND MONTEVERDI: THREE OF VENETIAN OPERA'S FINEST!

Stefano Landi(1587-1639), who was Monteverdi's junior by about twenty years, was active in Rome, whereas Monteverdi was active in Venice, though he absorbed the progressive musical ideas of Monteverdi and other 'seconda prattica' composers. That contact would explain why 'Sant' Alessio'(1632) sounds similar to a Monteverdi opera. It is reminiscent of Monteverdi' 'L'Incoronazione di Poppea', with its mixture of tragedy and comedy, its expressive recitatives, gratifying melodies and the intricate psychology of its characters. Pier Francisco Cavalli (1602-1676), who was a pupil of Monteverdi (1567-1643) and a significant exponent of early Venetian Opera, must also be included along with Landi and Monteverdi, for his style matches very closely the other two composers.

If one listens to Monteverdi's "L'Incoronazione", Cavalli's "Giasone" and especially Landi's "Morte D'Orfeo", the similarity is quite obvious. All of these recordings are still available, though not in abundance. Rene Jacobs has a truly amazing 1988 recording of 'Giasone' that the Early Music Lover should not miss and Gardiner's 'L'Incoronazione' is superb; Stubb's 'Morte D'Orfe, excellent.

This opera tells of the life and death of a 5th century saint, and thus is the first opera based on an historical event, rather than on mythology. Early Opera audiences, accustomed as they were to hearing opera that included supernatural or allegorical characters had to be satisfied in 'Sant' Alessio' with the characters of Death and Religion.
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