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Steffani: La lotta d'Ercole con Acheloo
By Aurelio Schiavoni, Dara Savinova, Ensemble barocco dell'Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia, Federica Pagliuca, and Riccardo Angelo Strano. By Agostino Steffani. Classical. Listening CD. Bongiovanni #GB2496-97-2. Published by Bongiovanni (NX.GB2496-97-2).
Item Number: NX.GB2496-97-2
Conducted by Antonio Greco.
Musically active in his home region and subsequently in Munich, Rome, Paris, Turin Hanover and Dusseldorf, Steffani also enjoyed considerable success with opera in Hamburg and garnered academic esteem in London. At the court of the Elector of Mu-nich, he was a chamber musician and principal organist from his early youth until 1688. In Hanover at the court of Duke Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Luneburg he was then kapellmeister until 1710. Dubbed a "dramatic entertainment", La lotta d'Ercole con Acheloo was about a third shorter as was the music, there was no subdivision into acts, the subject was mythologi-cal and the four characters were treated with almost equal importance. The precision-oriented recitatives and markedly confident arias - often in dance time- conform to the rhetoric and patterns governing the Italian style, although the instrumen-tal sections are also French in character - indeed, most of the Duke's orchestra were of French origin. This is readily apparent in the ouverture and especially in the three balli: in keeping with the structure of a divertissement, they are located between the drama sections which in turn recall the acts of the then-contemporary tragedie lyrique.
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