Agostino Steffani: Duetti da Camera - Crudo Amor Forma Antiqva & Aarón Zapico

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  • Agostino Steffani (1654-1728): Begl'occhi, oh Dio, non piú piangete
  • 1Begl'occhi, oh Dio, non piú piangete02:23
  • 2Begl'occhi, oh Dio, non piú piangete (Clori mia, s'il cor t'ingombra)02:22
  • 3Begl'occhi, oh Dio, non piú piangete (Se la tua gelosia)01:14
  • 4Begl'occhi, oh Dio, non piú piangete (Clori mia, deh, ferma alquanto)02:22
  • Occhi, Perché piangete?
  • 5Occhi, Perché piangete?06:50
  • Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger (c.1580-1651): Libro Terzo d'intavolatura di chitarrone
  • 6Toccata Terza from Libro Terzo d'intavolatura di chitarrone03:38
  • Steffani: Dimmi, dimmi, Cupido
  • 7Dimmi, dimmi, Cupido01:27
  • 8Steffani: Dimmi, dimmi, Cupido (Son erede dei tormanti)02:37
  • 9Dimmi, dimmi, Cupido (Ah, che quei piedi, oh Dio)02:01
  • 10Dimmi, dimmi, Cupido (Non bastava al Dio d'amore)02:19
  • Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer (c.1656-1746): Musikalischer Parnassus
  • 11Passacaglia from Musikalischer Parnassus04:45
  • Steffani: Crudo amor, morir Mi sento
  • 12Crudo amor, morir Mi sento02:05
  • 13Crudo amor (Come nel mar d'amore)01:34
  • 14Crudo amor (La stella ch'a me splende)03:00
  • 15Crudo amor (È la speme un falso bene)02:45
  • Placidissime catene
  • 16Placidissime catene06:45
  • Francesco Corbetta (c1615 – 1681): Passachaglia from Varii scherzi di sonate per la chitara spagnola, Libro Qvarto
  • 17Passachaglia from Varii scherzi di sonate per la chitara spagnola, Libro Qvarto03:35
  • Steffani: Sol negl'occhi del mio bene
  • 18Sol negl'occhi del mio bene02:15
  • 19Sol negl'occhi del mio bene (Filli crudele, oh Dio!)01:45
  • 20Sol negl'occhi del mio bene (Ma, se nel tuo bel viso)01:02
  • 21Sol negl'occhi del mio bene (Chi vedesse la beltà)01:01
  • Total Runtime57:45

Info for Agostino Steffani: Duetti da Camera - Crudo Amor

Agostino Steffani (1654–1728), better known in the poet’s world as Gregorio Piva, hid himself behind many masks. A Baroque personality, if there ever was one, in who a singer – probably a castrato with a beautiful voice that Count Tattenbach had discovered in San Marco in Venice – composer, bishop, apostolic vicar, spy … and diplomat met, to handle delicate missions at various German courts until he continued his musical career as it were almost only in seclusion. In seclusion or not that much. Steffani’s music was widely admired, so much that the young Georg Friedrich Händel owned a copy of the manuscripts of his chamber duets, eager to imitate them in his own duets from the years 1708 to 1712. In many elements of his elegant and tasteful style Steffani recognised the great talent of the young Händel, who he rightly considered as his operatic successor.

Steffani’s elegant chamber duets, composed in the style of Giovanni Clari’s duets as cantatas for two voices with continuo, are a milestone in the development of the secular vocal music between Giacomo Carissimi and Händel. With them he reaches his compositional high point; they are an advanced development of the Italian solo cantata during that period, enriched with playfulness of the vocal counterpoint, in the manner of the two solo violins in the trio sonata. They feature flexible melodies, an elegant counterpoint and perfect formal proportions. His style can be compared to the one of Alessandro Stradella, Arcangelo Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti or the young Händel. Most of the duets were written before 1702, the same year when Steffani started to revise them after the failure of one of his diplomatic endeavours, only two duets were composed after 1702. His reworking continued until 1710. Full of grace and bucolic themes, similar to the Italian chamber cantata at the time, different voice combinations can be found in the duets – soprano and contralto, soprano and tenor, soprano and bass – with continuo as well as a structure of up to six parts between solos and duets. Applied are the closed forms of the 17th century cantata – aria da capo and rondo – as well as a more open form, a multiple section concept bringing them close to the Renaissance madrigal, Steffani’s preferred choice in the revised versions, where he in favour of the duos abandons repetitions and explores the possibilities of the counterpoint and fugal passages. Much admired, Steffani’s duets exerted great influence. They became models for composers such as Reinhard Keiser, Georg Caspar Schürmann and Georg Philipp Telemann, served the most excellent singers of their time as vocal exercises and were highly praised by Johann Mattheson, Padre Martini, Charles Burney and E.T.A. Hoffmann. In England they were utilised in the sacred repertoire by replacing the Italian original lyrics with English religious texts. All this happened with a high degree of respect that Steffani’s œuvre as composer and diplomat received during his lifetime and as well later in the enthusiastic imaginary world of the romanticist Hoffmann.

Steffani was an excellent singer and linguist, who managed to skillfully pursue all the different vocations of his life. An extraordinary virtuosity is revealed in his vocal compositions, but also the ability to express a great sensitivity in the text and the special gift to convey emotions and feelings. Passions and emotions in the words, the sounds and the colours of the voices. The bitter side of love and the gentleness of pleasurably endured and sought pain. Soprano and alto, continuo and voices, love and dislike.

Forma Antiqva:
Aarón Zapico, harpsichord, musical director
Pablo Zapico, baroque guitar
Daniel Zapico, theorbo
Ruth Verona, violoncello
Eugenia Boix, soprano
Carlos Mena, countertenor

Forma Antiqva
Das 1998 gegründete spanische Barock-Ensemble Forma Antiqva um die Brüder Pablo, Daniel und Aarón Zapico bringt hervorragende Instrumentalisten in variabler Besetzung zusammen. Zahlreiche Konzerte spielten sie bei wichtigen spanischen Festivals wie dem Internationalen Festival für Musik und Tanz in Granada und den San Sebastian Musical Fortnight. Sie touren aber auch mit vielseitigen Programmen auf internationalen Festivals wie den Van Vlaanderen in Brügge oder den Sommerfestspielen alter Musik in Prag. Darüber hinaus spielten sie in verschiedenen Konzerthäusern in Bolivien, Brasilien, Singapur, Australien, Japan und Frankreich. Forma Antiqva erhielt die Auszeichnung »Bestes Ensemble 2010« der Radio Televisión del Principado de Asturias. Zuletzt produzierte das unter der Leitung von Aarón Zapico stehende Ensemble im Jahr 2012 eine CD mit Antonio Vivaldis »Die vier Jahreszeiten«.

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Booklet for Agostino Steffani: Duetti da Camera - Crudo Amor

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