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Stefano Landi (1587-1639): La Morte d'Orfeo / John Elwes, Johanna Koslowsky, David Cordier, Michael Chance, Myra Kroese, Wilfrid Jochens, Harry Van der Kamp

Album Summary

>Landi, Stefano : La Morte D'Orfeo, opera
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Among the works on the Orpheus theme since the start of operatic history, "La Morte d'Orfeo" by Stefano Landi occupies a special place. The conception of Landi's opera differs from all other works having as their theme the triumph of music and love over death, in that it does not concern itself with the death of Eurydice but rather with following the story, in particular the horrible death of the divine singer himself. Apart from the special character of the libretto, "La Morte d'Orfeo" marks a turning point in the musical and dramatic development of the new operatic genre. While it did not conform to the "Florentine opera" model based on recitative, it was, without being a true "Roman opera", already approaching that form with its use of chorus and ensembles. Although Stefano Landi was born and brought up in Rome, "La Morte d'Orfeo" seems to us likely to have come from Northern Italy, in spite of the fact that so far we have not been able to find evidence of a performance taking place during the composer's lifetime. "La Morte d'Orfeo" appears to have been a demonstration of the talent of a young composer who, at the date of the dedication (Summer 1619), was residing in Padua among the entourage of the rich and powerful Cardinal Scipione Borghese. With its motley scenes and rapid twists in the plot, its rich contrasts of musical form and the splendid vocal beauty of the choruses at the end of the acts, "La Morte d'Orfeo" is perhaps the first opera to merit the description "baroque".

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sint Gilliskerk, Bruges (Belgium) (08/1987).


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Works Details

>Landi, Stefano : La Morte D'Orfeo, opera
  • Performers: Lieven Deroo (Bass); David Cordier (Countertenor)
  • Conductor: Stephen Stubbs
  • Ensemble: Tragicomedia
  • Running Time: 6 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1619