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Boccherini: Arie accademiche for Soprano and Orchestra

By GianPaolo Mazzoli

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By GianPaolo Mazzoli, Guillermo Pastrana, Orchestra dell'Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali Luigi Boccherini di Lucca, and Sandra Pastrana. By Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805). Classical. CD. Naxos #BRI95280. Published by Naxos (NX.BRI95280).

Item Number: NX.BRI95280

Luigi Boccherini is now best known for his chamber music, which is handsomely represented on Brilliant Classics in recordings by period-instrument ensembles. However, as part of his duties to the royal courts of Europe in which he made his long and distinguished career, Boccherini also wrote operas and zarzuelas - popular Spanish musical theatre - of which few examples survive. There are 18 extant, standalone concert arias, of unknown date, though probably composed between 1786 and 1792. Six of them are presented here, all composed for soprano, and all bold and technically challenging works which would fit within the opera seria genre. The texts are by Metastasio, prolific librettist of the period, whose classically-themed dramas were set by Salieri and Mozart, among many other composers. Sung texts are included in the booklet. The soloist on this recording is the Spanish soprano Sandra Pastrana, who has appeared in all the major Italian opera houses.

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