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  • Stradella: Cantatas / Brandes, Weiss, et al
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Stradella: Cantatas / Brandes, Weiss, et al

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Audio CD, December 8, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

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Alessandro Stradella was one of the more colorful characters of the 17th-century musical world: a Roman aristocrat, composer, marriage broker (!) and spendthrift who was chased by scandal and debt from Rome to Venice to Turin to Genoa, where he was stabbed to death at age 38. The music on this disc--two sinfonias (for violin and viola da gamba with continuo) and four cantatas for solo soprano--is entirely worthy of such a personality: melodies that don't end quite where you'd expect; impossibly long, giddy coloratura phrases; surprising effects, such as those of a violin playing a melody in parallel thirds using double-stops. It's very challenging for the musicians, certainly; but as this disc demonstrates, it's heady stuff when performed well. The instrumentalists, especially violinist Ingrid Matthews and gambist Mary Springfels, play with a winning combination of energy, good taste, and striking tone. Christine Brandes's slight, clear soprano isn't particularly distinctive, but she's an outstanding singer. The rapid descending scales of a jilted lover's furious lament, the lively grace of a simple triple-time air, the impossibly long runs and high notes of the extravagantly lamenting Ariadne: whatever Scarlatti dishes out, she handles with ease. --Matthew Westphal

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 8, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • ASIN: B00000G3YL
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,683 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful recording. Stradella's cantatas are extremely demanding, and here they are given a polished, technically magnificent performance - the last one, Ferma il corso, had me on the edge of my seat. The two sinfonias are very nicely done.
If you enjoyed this CD, check out Ms. Brandes's recording of four of Alessandro Scarlatti's cantatas with the Arcadian Academy (Conifer Classics).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Brandes is stunning in these cantatas, one of which is a "lament of Arianna" that will knock your socks off--it has enormous emotional range and vocal demands--for agility, range, tempo, expression. Stradella is an under-recorded Baroque composer. This CD will convince you.
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