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VINCI: CATONE IN UTICA - CENCIC, FAGIOLI, SABADUS, SANCHO (3 CDS)

VINCI: CATONE IN UTICA - CENCIC, FAGIOLI, SABADUS, SANCHO (3 CDS)

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World premiere recording of an opera by a Neapolitan master fast gaining a first-rate modern reputation. Max Emanuel Cencic gathers around him an intoxicating mix of stratospheric countertenors, a top tenor, and an orchestra who sizzle with excitement for a performance of an opera that will appeal to all fans of Baroque music’s unsung heroes.

Max Emanuel Cencic has gathered around him, once again, a superb cast to bring Vinci’s “Catone In Utica” to vivid life.

“Vinci is the Lully of Italy: true, simple, natural, expressive”- for generations Leonardo Vinci was just another obscure Baroque composer: this first-rate recording will lift the veil from this forgotten genius of Italian opera, and from the mysterious all-male world of the 18th-century Roman stage.

With a libretto by Metastasio, Vinci’s opera was unveiled in Rome in 1728 with an all-male cast (women having been banned from the stage by the Pope): countertenors took the three heroic male roles as well as the female parts.

As well as Cencic (Arbace), the other superb countertenors are Franco Fagioli (Cesare), Valer Sabadus (Marzia), and Vince Yi (Emilia). Tenor Juan Sancho takes the title role (Catone) in this stage work about Julius Caesar’s defeat of the Republican forces led by Marcus Portius Cato in 46BC, and Riccardo Minasi, who enjoys a considerable reputation for his recordings of Baroque repertoire, conducts.

Director Riccardo Minaso heats up [the] sense of rivalry - the variations get wilder, the yearning more palpable. All three countertenors are virtuosos, but Fagioli takes the laurels…the band contributes enormously throughout, its brash exuberance alternating with continuo realizations as delicate as they are original…[a] superb premiere recording. --BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

there is no disputing everyone's complete dedication to the cause. Cencic's firm yet sensitively balanced singing conveys the pathos of Arbace's numerous expressions of unrequited love...Sancho's beefy tenor aptly characterizes Cato's scepticism about reaching a diplomatic resolution...Il Pomo d'Oro, directed by Riccardo Minasi, vividly characterize each scene with theatrical zest. --GRAMOPHONE

Vinci, Leonardo: Catone in Utica

Juan Sancho (tenor), Max Emanuel Cenčić (counter-tenor), Vince Yi (counter-tenor), Valer Barna-Sabadus (counter-tenor), Martin Mitterrutzner (tenor), Franco Fagioli (counter-tenor)


Il Pomo d'Oro, Riccardo Minasi

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