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Probably no other composer and vocal pedagogue had a stronger influence on opera seria than the Neapolitan Nicola Porpora. Countless renowned singers emerged from his school; the best-known example is the castrato Farinelli.
Porpora was not only a significant opera composer, however, but also created numerous chamber cantatas - dramatic scenes scored for small ensembles that are almost always set in an Arcadian atmosphere and were intended for performance in the private sphere.
Porpora wrote over 130 works in this appealing genre; on this recording can be heard five cantatas for a deep female voice, interpreted by the mezzo soprano Marina De Liso, one of the most sought-after singers on the baroque scene.
With a wealth of colours and emotions, and a wide range between lyrical expression and dramatic virtuosity, she brings these miniatures about the love troubles of shepherds and shepherdesses to life. The instrumental parts are performed by Stile Galante under the direction of Stefano Aresi. This ensemble, founded in 2010, specialises in the gallant repertoire of the late Italian baroque which the young musicians from all over Europe interpret with brilliance and vitality.
Nicola Porpora: Freme il mar, e col sussurro
Freme il mar, e col sussurro
La pastorella lascia la villa
Nicola Porpora: Ninfe e pastor che al bel Sebeto in riva
Ninfe e pastor che al bel Sebeto in riva
Ditele che il mio core
Ma se forse ritrosa la trovaste
Si, tacete! Se sdegnosa
Nicola Porpora: Cello Sonata in F major
IV. Allegro non presto
Nicola Porpora: Questa dunque e la selva
Questa dunque e la selva
Care piante, amato rio
Ahi, memoria dolente
Vorrei tanto rigor
Nicola Porpora: Ecco che il primo albore
Ecco che il primo albore
La pecorella contenta pasce
Pastor gentil la siegue
Se andra senza il pastore
Nicola Porpora: Partimenti del Signor Nicola Porpora
Scala inventata da Don Nicola Porpora
Partimento in G Major
Partimento in A Minor
Partimento in G Major
Nicola Porpora: D'amor la bella pace
D'amor la bella pace
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14th April 2013
“That the Naples-born Porpora is no longer big box office has nothing to do with the quality of his music...All have texts that are variations upon the pastoral theme, and all are characterised by compositional responses that are far from formulaic. Elegantly turned.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.