Notes & Reviews:
The reputation of San Giovanni Battista - by far Alessandro Stradella's best-known and most recorded work - has hitherto overshadowed the rest of his surviving oratorio output, amounting to a total of six works. Unlike that masterwork, San Giovanni Crisostomo (here released for the first time) was conceived for more intimate resources, but it expresses perfectly the modernity of the oratorio genre as it appeared in the second half of the seventeenth century. Sacred and moral themes are combined with political, social, and sometimes even erotic ones, while subject, libretto, and music interact with amazing boldness and freedom on many different levels. Masterfully Stradella presents the age-old conflict between lust for power and the vanity of life, using a wide variety of expressive means and a refined dramatic and psychological depiction of the two protagonists, St John Chrysostom and the empress Eudoxia.
American Record Guide, March/April 2016
The singers here are really good in their roles. Vendittelli makes a very lively villainess, with a lot of strong musical characterization. Bellotto sings it handsomely. Countertenor Mineccia sounds awfully feminine in the alto role of the Inviato. Tenor Cervoni is strongly assertive in his two functions, and the additional singers blend quite attractively. The surviving score gives only a continuo part for instrumentation, and here a crew of seven players offers a strong but flexible accompaniment. The sound is clear and unmannered. The booklet gives very illuminating notes and - blessings be on ye! - the full libretto and translations.
In sum, this is an enjoyable recording debut for this work, and lovers of Baroque music will find this a welcome event.
Recording information: Church of San Giovanni Battista in Sacrofano (Rome) (09/06/2014-09/09/2014).
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Works DetailsStradella, Alessandro : San Giovanni Crisostomo, oratorio for 5 voices & continuo
- Performer: Nora Tabbush
- Conductor: Andrea Carlo
- Ensemble: Ensemble Mare Nostrum
- Notes: Church of San Giovanni Battista in Sacrofano (Rome) (09/06/2014-09/09/2014)
- Running Time: 1 min. 36 sec.
- Period Time: Baroque