The Augustinus Muziekcentrum in Antwerp is a deconsecrated church repurposed for concerts, especially in the field of early music. The venue may work well for some pieces, but it's bothersome in this program of comic vocal and instrumental music by Telemann, where it's completely inappropriate. The two comic cantatas here presuppose an intimate environment of connoisseurs, but the voice of soprano soloist Dorothee Mields gets lots in the church's vast spaces to such an extent that text intelligibility is a problem, even with the aid of printed texts in German, Dutch, French, and English./quote]
Amongst several contemporaries of Scarlatti who devoted themselves to the solo cantata, one of the most prolific was influential globetrotter Giovanni Bononcini, who wrote up to 283. During the first quarter of the 18th century, Bononcini's cantatas represented the principal trend of this genre. In these works, a fluent and effective technique is combined with a real gift for the composition of melodies. These lamenti are the central element of Bononcini's dramatic works; his genius is perfectly adapted to tender and pathetic emotions. Another important aspect of his music is the magnificent use of the text. In 1789, Charles Burney called Bononcini "the most prolific cantatas composer" and claimed that Bononcini's recitatives were universally perceived as the best of their time. Now, Cyril Auvity and his ensemble L'Yriade offer an enthusiastic and totally committed interpretation of some of Bononcini's cantatas, revealing the extreme force of those magical works.
This disc presents three vocal pieces for soprano with oboe and basso continuo, interspersed between four trio sonatas for 2 oboes & basso continuo.The first cantata "Mi palpita il cor" was written in England - there are four existing variants, but this presented here is probably the earliest, the date given here as 1717. The theme is typically pastoral, with the singer's amorous affliction, the sorrow and hope of being in love with Chloris. The second vocal piece "Meine Seele hort im Sehen" is one of Handel's nine German da capo arias written around 1724/25 which were never published; they were songs of spiritual devotion rejoicing in God's creation as manifested in the beauty of nature, and not intended for concert performance.
Here are two of Rossini's "secular" cantatas: "The Lament of Harmony on the Death of Orpheus" for tenor, male chorus, and orchestra, written when he was a 16-year-old conservatory student, and the far more substantial "Wedding of Thetis and Peleus," one of many such pieces he composed for special occasions, commissioned for the marriage of an Italian princess to a French prince. Both consist of primarily short, separate, contrasting numbers, most of which would be perfectly at home in the opera house.