Caccini, F: La liberazione di Ruggerio dall'isola di Alcina

Glossa: GCD923902

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Caccini, F: La liberazione di Ruggerio dall'isola di Alcina



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13th Jan 2017




78 minutes


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Caccini, F: La liberazione di Ruggerio dall'isola di Alcina

Commedia in musica Florence, 1625

Elena Sartori (harpsichord/direction), Elena Biscuola, Mauro Borgioni, Gabriella Martellacci, Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli, Emanuela Galli, Raffaele Giordani & Yiannis Vassilakis

Allabastrina, La Pifarescha


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With this production of Francesca Caccini’s 'La liberazione di Ruggerio dall'isola di Alcina', directed by Elena Sartori, an important stepping-stone in the development of 17th-century opera receives a superb new recording from Glossa. For much of her career - Caccini was a composer, a virtuoso singer, a teacher, a poet and a multi-instrumentalist - she worked at the Medici court, and was commissioned by the grand duchess of Tuscany, Maria Maddalena of Austria, to write this commedia in musica for performance in Florence in 1625. Very probably this was the first opera composed by a woman, and its performance in Warsaw in 1628 stands as the first documented Italian opera known to have been staged outside the peninsula. Caccini’s score, evoking not just the music of her father, Giulio, but that of Jacopo Peri and of Monteverdi in Venice, is full of musical diversity and originality. The libretto of 'La liberazione' (by Ferdinando Saracinelli, working from Ludovico Ariosto’s epic 'Orlando furioso') portrays the struggle between two sorceresses - one ‘good’, Melissa, the other ‘evil’, Alcina - over the young knight Ruggiero, who has been bewitched by Alcina. The singers recorded here for these roles are Gabriella Martellacci, Elena Biscuola and Mauro Borgioni, whilst other roles - in a score packed with vocal opportunities - are taken by Emanuela Galli, Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli and Raffaele Giordani. Elena Sartori, who directs the ensembles Allabastrina and La Pifarescha, also contributes an illuminating booklet essay placing Francesca Caccini in her musical and biographical context.

Francesca Caccini: La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, Prologue

Prologue: Sinfonia

Prologue: Non perché congiurati (Nettuno, Vistola)

Prologue: Biondo Dio del bel Permesso (Numi delle acque)

Prologue: Tra gli ardori (Numi delle acque)

Prologue: Poscia che'l cielo (Nettuno, Numi delle acque)

La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, Scene 1

Scene 1: Sinfonia

Scene 1: Così, perfida Alcina (Melissa)

Scene 1: Qui si può dire (Damigelle)

Scene 1: Quanto per dolce e mia beata sorte (Ruggiero, Alcina)

Scene 1: Quando Amor l'arco vuol tendere (Una Damigella)

Scene 1: Rimanti, ò mio Signore (Alcina, Ruggiero)

Scene 1: Aure volanti (Damigelle)

Scene 1: O quanto è dolce amar (Ruggiero)

Scene 1: Per la più vaga e bella (Pastore, Ruggiero)

Scene 1: Chi nel fior di giovinezza (Sirena, Ruggiero)

Scene 1: Il risveglio di Ruggiero

Scene 1: Ecco l'ora ecco il punto (Melissa, Ruggiero)

Scene 1: Ruggier de' danni asprissimi (Piante incantate, Ruggiero, Melissa)

Scene 1: O bei pensieri volate (Damigelle)

Scene 1: Qui lasciai la mia vita (Alcina, una Damigella)

Scene 1: Non so qual sia maggiore (Nunzia, Alcina)

Scene 1: Ahi, Melissa (Alcina, una Damigella, Ruggiero)

Scene 1: Pur quel noioso aspetto (Ruggiero, Melissa)

La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, Scene 2

Scene 2: Proverà, crudeltà (Mostri)

Scene 2: E come ohimè (Astolfo, Melissa, Alcina)

La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, Scene 3

Scene 3: O miseri mortali (Melissa)

La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, Scene 4

Scene 4: Ballo ("Il cavalier di Spagna" by Magistro Rofino)

Scene 4: Versate occhi (Dama disincantata, Melissa)

Scene 4: Ai diletti, al gioire (Chorus)

Scene 4: Ballo ("Battaglia del Barabasso" by Andrea Falconieri)

Scene 4: Tosche, del sol più belle (Chorus)

BBC Music Magazine

April 2017


“The sensitivity of Caccini's word setting rings clear in this sober reading. The choral singing is clean and the instrumental ritornelli are shapely, with tart improvisations for percussion to illustrate Ruggiero's disenchantment and to introduce Alcina's monsters.”

Sunday Times

5th February 2017

“a great new baroque discovery...Elena Sartori directs an immaculate performance with her sonorous ensemble of strings and brass, with imaginatively improvised percussion for dance sequences.”

The Guardian

8th March 2017


“There are echoes of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo...As conductor and harpsichordist Elena Sartori’s performance with the combined forces of musicians Allabastrina and La Pifaresche demonstrates, it’s a work that stands very firmly on its own feet dramatically.”

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