Le Poème Harmonique, Vincent Dumestre: Cavalli: l'Egisto [2CD]

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Barokowa Muzyka Klasyczna / Opera Barokowa
premiera polska:
kontynent: Europa
kraj: Francja
opakowanie: Gatefoldowe etui

Editor's info:
In 1643 in Venice, Cavalli's new opera caused a sensation among the audience of the Teatro SanCassiano. L'Egisto takes its name from the piece's main character, an Arcadian shepherd who is misled by an ambiguous inscription into believing his love is lost. A succession of misunderstandings ensues, along with spectacular pieces of music, a scene of madness and a descent into the Underworld for this would-be Orpheus searching for his Eurydice. The sumptuousness of the music, which masterfully illustrates the emotions involved in a love quadrangle, offers Vincent Dumestre and his cast the opportunity to paint with dazzling colours and virtuoso strokes for this first great labyrinth of Baroque sentiment.

Born in 1602 in Crema, Francesco Cavalli was the most celebrated Italian composer of the 17th century, his operas were very widely performed in Italy and throughout the whole of Europe. He arrived in Venice when he was young in 1616 and joined the Saint Mark's Basilica as a singer; it was to become central to his life, firstly under the authority of Monteverdi, then as organist (1639) and finally as Maestro di Cappella in 1668.

His talent naturally led him to opera, a genre which Monteverdi had brought to Venice, and which was confined to official performances in the palaces of great families. But Cavalli was going to keep on top of his time: he was the first to realise how to take advantage of “public” opera, one which was financed solely with the box-office receipts from the spectators, as a show business. Thus, it was in Venice that modern opera was born and took off within three decades, with the opening of nine opera houses! In 1639 therefore Cavalli created Le Nozze di Teti e di Peleo at the Teatro San Cassiano. Thirty-one operas by him were to follow!

In 1641, was to come Cavalli's great success, La Didone, his first master work, soon to be followed by L'Egisto (1643) La Calisto (1651) Xerse (1655 – which remained programmed for twenty-seven years in Italy), Erismena (1656), Ipermestra (1658 for the court in Florence with its equestrian ballets). Cavalli's works quickly had so much success that they were revived and adapted in other cities on the peninsula, notably in Naples. It was thus that his Giasone (1649) was the most performed work in Italy in the 17th century: twenty- nine different productions and sixty-one editions of the libretto!

In 1660, Cavalli was invited to Paris by Cardinal Mazarin where he composed Ercole Amante for the marriage of Louis XIV, a grand opera (in Italian), mixing up Venetian traditions and French particularities: numerous ballets in which the king danced, and an opulent orchestra. However, the delay on the work being carried out on the Salle des Tuileries, where this matrimonial opera was to be performed, obliged him as a first step to perform Xerse (previously performed in Venice), in which Lully integrated a large number of his ballets. The influence of the performance of these two works of Cavalli on the budding genre of the tragédie lyrique was to result in the chefs d'œuvres by Lully that we know. Back in Venice in 1662, the fortune accumulated by the triumph of his operas no longer spurred him on to force his talent. As early as the 1650, he increased the number of arias in his works, with star castrati. He was still to compose a few works which were more “spectacular”, with choruses, ballets and battle scenes, of which Pompeo Magno (1666) and Eliogabalo (1668) which would not be performed: style had changed and Cavalli's inimitable expressive recitatives were replaced by the first signs of opera seria, where everything happens in virtuoso airs entrusted to star singers.

Cavalli passed away in 1676. Apart from his sacred works published while he was alive, Cavalli completely disappeared from the stage. Rediscovered during the second half of the 20th century, his operatic work is an extraordinary landmark in between Monteverdi (the “creator” of opera) and the opera seria of Scarlatti and Vivaldi, and nowadays he is often performed, whilst waiting for the marvels that are concealed in the twenty or so operas as yet unknown to the public.

Le Poème Harmonique:
marc mauillon: egisto
reinoud van mechelen: lidio
claire lefilliâtre: clori
isabelle druet: climene
cyril auvity: hipparco
ana quintans: aurora, amore, prima hora
luciana mancini: didone, volupia
serge goubioud: la notte, dema
caroline meng: belezza, hero
mélodie ruvio: venere, fedra
hasnaa bennani: semele, cinea
david tricou: appolo

Vincent Dumestre: direction

wydano: 24th Mar 2023
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Pietro Francesco Cavalli (1602–76)
Le Poème Harmonique, Vincent Dumestre
Cavalli: l'Egisto [2CD]
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