In the history passion oratorio composition in the 18™ century, Metastasio's poem La Passione di Gesu Crista (1730) constitutes an important step towards the new aesthetics of sentimental descriptions of suffering in its total rejection of the literally recited biblical accounts of the passion. Metastasio's libretto follows genuinely theatrical ideas in the way it completely relinquishes the words of the bible and the person of Jesus and became extremely popular - not only - in Catholic areas of Europe during the entire 18m century. The fact that many renowned composers approached this libretto with their own compositions may serve to give an impression of the huge effect Italian passion oratorios and the emphasis on secular tendencies had during that time.
The Venetian-born composer Antonio Caldara (1670-1736) had held the position of Vizekapell-meister to the Habsburg emperor Charles VI for nearly 15 years when, in 1730, Ketro Metastasio moved from Rome to Vienna to take up an appointment as Poeta di sua Maesta Cesarea e Cattolica at the imperial court. In that time Caldara had set nearly 40 opera and oratorio libret¬ti, and before his death on 27 December 1736, he was to provide the first settings of nine of Metastasio's opera and oratorio texts. Among the oratorios was La Passione di Gesu Crista, Signer Nostra.
First and only recording of this rare but striking beautiful Oratorio by J. G. Naumann. It is composed in the italian style of the late XVIII century (like Salieri's Passione) and contains 2 concertante arias: one with violin, one with bassoon (!!!) which show how good Naumann really was. CPO delivered us a wonderful recording by a great italian specialist: Sergio Balestracci, conducting La Stagione Armonica (chorus) and Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto. The singers are first rated as well, like the japanese tenor Makoto Sakurada in the role of Pietro
It's not exactly made clear in the packaging and notes, but this appears to be the first item in what would seem to be a massive series leading up to the bicentennial of Haydn's birth in 2032. How will music be acquired in 2032? Will it be directly transferred to the brain from the neurocloud? Be that as it may, the historical-instrument group Il Giardino Armonico and its leader Giovanni Antonini make one curious to hear what's coming down the pike. The plan is to place Haydn in a "thematic dialogue with other composers."