Somewhat unexpectedly, baritone Matthias Goerne has emerged as one of the rising Wagnerian singers of our time, making something of a transition from the art song repertoire of Schubert and Schumann to music drama in a series of important recordings, including appearing as Wotan in Jaap van Zweden's Ring cycle on Naxos. For this 2017 Harmonia Mundi release, Goerne joins Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in The Wagner Project, a double-disc sampler of vocal and orchestral highlights from Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Tristan und Isolde, Der fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser, Parsifal, and of course, Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Francesco Feo was one of the greatest Neapolitan composers of the first half of the 18th century. During a career extending from 1713 through 1760, the year before his death, he remained in Naples, where he composed operas, oratorios, cantatas, masses, passions, psalms, and canticles, among other works. His setting of Metastasio’s first opera libretto, Siface, led to commissions from Rome and Turin. His growing fame resulted in commissions from Madrid and Prague; Hasse, resident in Dresden, where Feo’s works were also performed, wanted to entrust Feo with leading the premiere of a serenata he wrote for Naples. The music historian Charles Burney praised his works for their “fire, invention, and force in the melody and expression in the words.”