Ombra mai fu - Francesco Cavalli Opera Arias Philippe Jaroussky
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- Francesco Cavalli (1602 - 1676): Cavalli: Il Xerse, Act 1:
- 1Cavalli: Il Xerse, Act 1: "Ombra mai fu" (Xerse)03:19
- Cavalli: Statira, principessa di Persia, Act 2:
- 2Cavalli: Statira, principessa di Persia, Act 2: "All'armi, mio core" (Brimonte)03:05
- Cavalli: L'Erismena, Act 2:
- 3Cavalli: L'Erismena, Act 2: "Dove mi conducete? ... " (Idraspe)00:56
- 4Cavalli: L'Erismena, Act 2: "Uscitemi dal cor, lacrime amare" (Idraspe)05:46
- Cavalli: La Calisto, Act 1:
- 5Cavalli: La Calisto, Act 1: "Interprete mal buona... L'uomo è una dolce cosa" (Linfea)02:51
- 6Cavalli: La Calisto, Act 1: "Ninfa bella" (Il Satirino, Linfea)04:15
- Cavalli: Eliogabalo, Act 1:
- 7Cavalli: Eliogabalo, Act 1: Sinfonia01:59
- Cavalli: Elena, Act 3:
- 8Cavalli: Elena, Act 3: "Ecco l'idolo mio ... Mio diletto, mio sospiro" (Menelao, Elena)03:34
- Cavalli: Ercole amante, Act 1:
- 9Cavalli: Ercole amante, Act 1: Sinfonia00:54
- Cavalli: Eliogabalo, Act 1:
- 10Cavalli: Eliogabalo, Act 1: "Io resto solo? ... Misero, così va" (Alessandro)03:27
- Cavalli: L'Ormindo, Act 2:
- 11Cavalli: L'Ormindo, Act 2: "Che città" (Nerillo)03:19
- Cavalli: Gli amori d'Apollo e di Dafne, Act 3:
- 12Cavalli: Gli amori d'Apollo e di Dafne, Act 3: "Ohimé, che miro?" (Apollo)00:52
- 13Cavalli: Gli amori d'Apollo e di Dafne, Act 3: "Misero Apollo" (Apollo)04:20
- Cavalli: L'Orione:
- 14Cavalli: L'Orione: Sinfonia03:30
- Cavalli: Eritrea, Act 1:
- 15Cavalli: Eritrea, Act 1: "O luci belle" (Laodicea, Theramene)02:29
- Cavalli: Il Giasone, Act 1:
- 16Cavalli: Il Giasone, Act 1: "Delizie, contenti" (Giasone)03:49
- Cavalli: Doriclea:
- 17Cavalli: Doriclea: Sinfonia01:25
- Cavalli: La Calisto, Act 2:
- 18Cavalli: La Calisto, Act 2: "Erme, e solinghe cime ... Lucidissima face" (Endimione)03:26
- Cavalli: La virtù de' strali d'Amore, Act 2:
- 19Cavalli: La virtù de' strali d'Amore, Act 2: "Alcun più di me felice non è" (Clarindo)01:02
- Cavalli: Pompeo Magno, Act 2:
- 20Cavalli: Pompeo Magno, Act 2: "Cieche tenebre" (Sesto)02:23
- Cavalli: Il Xerse, Act 2:
- 21Cavalli: Il Xerse, Act 2: "La bellezza è un don fugace" (Eumene)02:13
- Cavalli: La virtù de' strali d'Amore, Act 1:
- 22Cavalli: La virtù de' strali d'Amore, Act 1: "Il diletto interrotto ... " (Erino)00:41
- 23Cavalli: La virtù de' strali d'Amore, Act 1: "Desia la verginella" (Erino)02:32
- Cavalli: La virtù de' strali d'Amore, Act 3:
- 24Cavalli: La virtù de' strali d'Amore, Act 3: "Che pensi, mio core?" (Amore)02:55
Info for Ombra mai fu - Francesco Cavalli Opera Arias
“Beyond the great musical interest that Cavalli offers, his operas are notable for their richness and modernity, and for the diversity and complexity of their characters,” says countertenor Philippe Jaroussky. “Stage directors and opera houses are increasingly keen to stage his works. His operas are full of fantasy, craziness, humour and emotion. They offer a variety we don’t find in the opera seria of the 18th century.”
Francesco Cavalli (1602–76) is an important figure in the history of opera and his works, which first experienced a revival in the 1960s, have been growing in currency in recent years. The most prominent successor to Monteverdi, Cavalli was active in Venice at a time when opera was moving out of aristocratic palaces and into public theatres. Musically, his operas are notable for the fluid expression of their recitar cantando (“acting in song”), and dramatically for their variety of tone, combining noble, mythical or tragic drama with teasing or bawdy comedy.
As Philippe Jaroussky explains: “Cavalli played a major role in establishing opera – the new genre created by Monteverdi and others – as popular entertainment. He composed many operas for the Teatro San Cassiano, which was the first theatre in Venice to stage opera.”
Cavalli was also active in the field of religious music. As a boy, he had sung under Monteverdi’s direction in the choir of St Mark’s Basilica. He went on to become the cathedral’s organist and eventually, in 1668, to follow in Monteverdi’s footsteps and become its maestro di cappella, the equivalent of a modern-day music director.
When preparing this album, Ombra mai fù, Jaroussky was able to study the manuscripts of most of Cavalli’s 37 surviving operas. “I really wanted to use the album’s playing time to show all the variety and all the qualities of Cavalli’s music. It can sometimes appear disarmingly simple, but it has a very special and distinctive melodic and harmonic flavour. The album is designed to illustrate the contrasts in his operas as they move from one scene to the next, where a lamento might be directly followed by something very humorous.”
Jaroussky has included vocal and instrumental numbers from more than a dozen of Cavalli’s operas, ranging from comparatively well-known works such as Calisto, Ercole amante, Ormindo and Giasone through Eliogabalo, which was recently staged in both Paris and Amsterdam, to such rarities as Statira, principessa di Persia and La virtù dei strali d'Amore. He is joined for the love duets by soprano Emőke Baráth (whose recent Erato recital, Voglio cantar, highlighted the music of Barbara Strozzi, a student of Cavalli) and contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, who spars with him in the comical duet ‘Ninfa bella’ from Calisto.
The title track is taken from the opera Xerse, which dates from 1654 and is set to the same libretto that Handel used for his Serse more than 80 years later. Outside the world of opera, Handel’s version of Emperor Xerxes’ ode to a plane tree is known simply as ‘Handel’s Largo’. Cavalli’s version, while less famous and less dignified, is more graceful and lilting.
“Curiously there are similarities between Cavalli’s and Handel’s settings of Ombra mai fù,” explains Philippe Jaroussky. "Both are quite short and in triple time. Did Handel knew Cavalli’s Xerse? It’s a possibility. An interesting difference between the two arias is that in Handel’s version the first violin plays along with the voice. In Cavalli’s version the violin parts are higher and fill in the harmonies, changing constantly and creating a very beautiful effect of iridescence and colour.” On this recording those violins belong to Ensemble Artaserse, which Jaroussky launched in 2002 in collaboration with other leading musicians in the field of Baroque music.
Philippe Jaroussky, counter-tenor
Emöke Barath, soprano
Marie-Nicole Lemieux, mezzo-soprano
born in 1978 has established himself as the most admired countertenor of his generation, as confirmed by the French 'Victoires de la Musique' awards (‘Revelation Artiste Lyrique’ in 2004, ‘Artiste lyrique de l'année’ in 2007 and in 2010, CD of the Year 2009 ) and the Echo Klassik Awards in Germany in 2008.
Jaroussky's technique allows him the most audacious nuances and impressive pyrotechnics. He has explored a vast Baroque repertoire, from the refinement of the Italian Seicento with Monteverdi, Sances and Rossi, to the staggering brilliance of Handel and Vivaldi arias (singing more music by the latter composer than any other over the last few years). He has worked with renowned period-instrument orchestras such as L'Arpeggiata, Les Arts florissants, Ensemble Matheus, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Le Concert d'Astrée, Le Cercle de l'Harmonie and Europa Galante with conductors including Christina Pluhar, William Christie, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Marc Minkowski, René Jacobs, Jérémie Rhorer, Emmanuelle Haïm, Jean-Claude Malgoire and Fabio Biondi. With pianist Jerôme Ducros, he has looked beyond the Baroque – to fin-de-siècle French song (the album Opium), as well as premiering contemporary vocal music composed for him by Marc-André Dalbavie (Sonnets de Louise Labé, which Jaroussky sang most recently at the 2014 Salzburg Festival).
He has been praised for performances in all the most prestigious concert halls in France (Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Théâtre du Châtelet, Salle Pleyel, Salle Gaveau, Opéra de Lyon, Opéra de Montpellier, Opéra de Nancy, Arsenal de Metz, Théâtre de Caen) and abroad (The Barbican Centre and Southbank Cente in London, the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Grand Théâtre du Luxembourg, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Staatsoper and Philharmonie in Berlin, Teatro Real in Madrid, Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York).
Philippe Jaroussky is signed exclusively to Erato and has received numerous awards for his recordings with the label. With Heroes (Vivaldi opera arias) and La Dolce Fiamma he achieved Gold disc status; his tribute to Carestini (with le Concert d'Astrée and Emmanuelle Haim) won CD of the year at the Victoires de la Musique and the Midem Classical Awards in 2009; his Stabat Mater with soprano Julia Lezhneva and I Barocchisti picked up the 2014 International Classical Music Awards for best Baroque Vocal Album and Best Opera Album. Of the 2013 release Farinelli: Porpora Arias, Gramophone wrote: “Jaroussky's rapid passagework in quick heroic arias is precise...but the outstanding moments are slow arias that could have been tailor-made for Jaroussky's sweetly graceful melodic singing”.
In recent years he has collaborated with singers including Cecilia Bartoli and Nathalie Stutzmann. With Ensemble Artaserse, which he founded in 2002, he gave the spectacular modern revival of Vinci’s opera Artaserse, as one of five exceptional countertenors in the cast.