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Neapolitan Cantatas - Hasse, Mancini, Porpora, Porsile
By Antonello Dorigo

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By Antonello Dorigo, Fabio Catania, Giuseppina Ledda, and Pierluigi Morelli. By Giuseppe Porsile, Nicola Antonio Porpora, Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783), and Francesco Mancini. Classical. Listening CD. Brilliant Classics #BRI95778. Published by Brilliant Classics (NX.BRI95778).

Item Number: NX.BRI95778

The works in this collection attest to the high standard of music-making in Naples. The composers here recorded were at the forefront of the achievements of Neapolitan music in the first half of the 18th century, the golden age of music production in the southern Italian centre. And the Neapolitan style at this time was fashionable beyond the borders of Italy, as well. Among all the composers presented, only Mancini lived and worked almost all his life in Naples. The others spent their lives travelling or serving foreign courts. This programme exploits the felicitous pairing of the voice with flute, two instruments similarly tied to the expressivity of human breath. Throughout this programme a baroque transverse flute, or 'traverso', is used, either called for specifically or substituted for the recorder. When these pieces were written the two types of flute still existed alongside each other as equals, as they had done for centuries before the transverse variety began to dominate later in the 18th century. Use of the viola da gamba for the bass part also finds justification in Naples. While in Rome the instrument had almost completely disappeared by the first half of the 17th century, it endured in Naples and continued to be used. Several mid-18th-century viole da gamba, preserved to this day, in various sizes by luthiers from the Neapolitan Gaglian family attest to the much later persistence of this instrument in that area.

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