Giovanni Battista Martini & Domenico Scarlatti: La Dirindina
By I Solisti Ambrosiani, Francesco Motto, Nelson Alejandro Contreras, and Enrico Barbagli. By Giovanni Battista Martini (1706-1784) and Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Country of Origin: Italy. Classical. Listening CD. Published by Bongiovanni (NX.GB2482-2).
Item Number: NX.GB2482-2
This pleasant intermezzo is based on the comic love triangle among the three protagonists (Don Carissimo, the music teacher in love with his voice student Dirindina who, in turn, is in love with the castrato Liscione) cannot help but bring a smile to even modern-day listeners. Today, this all seems a thing of the past and it is easy for us to laugh about it. But in the early 1700s, these characters were all alive and breathing and could be found just about anywhere. This delightful little opera was to have gone on-stage for the 1715 Carnival season of the Teatro Capranica in Rome as an intermezzo during the opera Ambleto when it was suppressed by papal censors due to its racy text. The years passed and dust began to gather on the manuscript of Scarlatti's opera, until an erudite and highly-cultured musician found the libretto. That musician was Padre Giovanni Battisti Martini, but not yet the world-renowned teacher, the one with whom Mozart would come to study. Having found the text (and perhaps even the score), young Martini decided to set it to music in 1737. Of course, the freshness and spontaneity of Scarlatti's score are something else, but Martini's opera is certainly more articulated and had all the attributes required to enter into the standard repertory, despite its vocal challenges. The music is aristocratic and elegant, the recitatives entertaining and the ensemble writing is not, as is so often said about the music of Padre Martini, just an exercise in style.
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