Scarlatti's music forms an important link between the early Baroque Italian vocal styles of the 17th century, with their centers in Florence, Venice and Rome, and the classical school of the 18th century, which culminated in Mozart.
The music for harpsichord has been considered an inexplicable chance occurrence in Alessandro Scarlatti's output, and in assessing it, we should avoid unfair and unappropriate comparisons with the work of his exceptionally gifted son. Alessandro's cultural background was quite different and very precise in the way it affected keyboard music: Frescobaldi was the first in a series of figures who are known to a greater or lesser extent today and whose teaching came down to Scarlatti in a solid stylistic tradition. Pasquini, his extremely diligent and prolific contemporary, the last of the line, was strongly motivated by his patron, the Prince Borghese in writing harpsichord music. Alessandro also wished to try his hand in this area. 250th Anniversary Release. On the occasion of the 350th anniversary of Alessandro Scarlatti's birth (Palermo, 2 May 1660), Arcana is re-releasing this anthology of toccatas and fugues by the elder Scarlatti, father of the better-known Domenico.
Per la musicologia italiana Il martirio di Sant'Orsola di Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) – il grande padre del grandissimo Domenico – questo Oratorio è degno di due soli dati, relativi alla (prima) esecuzione: il luogo, Lione, e l'incerta data, 1695-1700. È poco, ma è quello che passa il convento. Le ragioni di questa bella registrazione consistono nella presenza del manoscritto della partitura nella Biblioteca municipale di Lione, che conserva l'Oratorio con il congenere Davidis pugna et victoria di poco posteriore.Lasciata la natia Palermo da ragazzo…
Scarlatti's cantatas are veritable miniature operas in which his writing for the voice highlights the expressive powers of the various affects of love: love the pleasure-seeker, love the tyrant, love the traitor and love the combatant. Voice and instruments unite in an inventive spirit of virtuoso rivalry, laying bare the passions of the soul.
"…This is the only complete recording that I know of this work. It was recorded in 1992 for Symphonia, and probably did not have a great deal of circulation on that less well-known label. (…) If you don’t have the original release in your collection, this is definitely the one you should get. It is an outstanding recording that has certainly stood the test of time." ~Fanfare
"The Accademia Bizantina under conductor and keyboardist Ottavio Dantone is one of a number of young Italian historical-instrument groups that have been revolutionizing the world of Baroque instrumental music performance. (…) The fugues are fast, intense, and dramatic, with wide dynamic range gaining momentum toward a climax. Perhaps the most satisfying of all are the cello sonatas under the care of Baroque cellist Mauro Valli, you get the feeling in the slow movements that you're hearing the Baroque cello, still an acquired taste for many listeners, take on its proper sound as its bendable tones connect with highly expressive lines. An excellent release…" ~AMG
Giovanni Battista Buonamente (ca. 1595 – 1642) was an Italian composer and violinist in the early Baroque era. He served the Gonzagas in Mantua until about 1622, and from about 1626 to 1630 served the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna. Notably, in 1627 he played for the coronation festivities in Prague of Ferdinand III, son of the emperor. He then served as the violinist of Madonna della Steccata church in Parma. After a short service there, he arrived at his final position in 1633 of maestro di cappella at Assisi.
This is luxury casting for Pergolesi’s oft-recorded Stabat Mater, but with very mixed results. The text may speak of the grief of Jesus’ mother standing at the foot of the cross, but there is undeniably an element of comic opera in Pergolesi’s uninhibitedly tuneful setting.
One of the foremost musical artists performing today, William Bennett has raised the profile of the flute to that of an instrument capable of a wide range of tonal colours, dynamics, and expression, giving it the depth, dignity, and grandeur of the voice or a string instrument.