A. Scarlatti: Alto Cantatas
Gabriella Martellacci (alto)
Gruppo Instrumentale di Roma, Giorgio Sasso
The author of around 800 cantatas, Alessandro Scarlatti was the most prolific composer of this particular chamber genre during the Baroque period. In this engaging release we are introduced to two examples, both with instruments and written for solo contralto, the voice type to which the Sicilian dedicated a mere 10 per cent of his cantata output. Perchè tacete, regolati concenti is the first, a work that corresponds to the typically 17th-century themes of unrequited or unhappy love, with both the character and the music expressing the feeling of grief that underpins the text. The prose is actually quite weak in comparison to the quality of the music, and it may be that Scarlatti wrote it himself: he was, after all, described in the wording of his admission to the Arcadia as a professor or poetry. It is in any case an early composition; the second cantata, Filen, mio caro bene, we know was written later, on account of its style as well as Arcadian subject matter (which by then was in vogue: the work is set in a natural context). Complementing these works are a couple of concertos and sonatas by the composer, each set in a minor key. An all-Italian cast are at hand to perform the programme, with alto Gabriella Martellacci who has appeared as a guest performer with such prestigious orchestras as the Royal Concertgebouw and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia taking the lead in the cantatas.
Other information: Recorded in October 2012, Basilica dei Santi Bonifacio e Alessio, Rome.
Scarlatti, A: Concerto in A minor
Scarlatti, A: Concerto IV in do minore (C minor) per cembalo, archi e continuo
Scarlatti, A: Filen, mio caro bene
Scarlatti, A: Perchè tacete, regolati concenti?
Scarlatti, A: Sonata à 4 No. 4 in D minor
Scarlatti, A: Sonata for Flute, 2 Violins and Basso Continuo No 24 in G minor