The oratorio as a musical form emerged toward the end of the seventeenth century as a kind of “spiritual exercise” encouraged by the Congregazione. Maddalena ai Piedi di Cristo (Magdalene at the feet of Christ), however, was one of the earliest, having been given in Venice probably in Find album credit information for Caldara: Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo – René Jacobs on AllMusic.
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All arias are in da capo form, some small-scale and intimate and scored for continuo only, others expanded and using larger orchestral forces, more flamboyant and operatic in nature. Bernarda Fink opens and closes the piece with force and beauty, and her final aria is a brilliant and hell-raising act of defiance; Rosa Dominguez is equally effective as Martha. Le Banquet Celeste, Damien Guillon, alto, director Caldara Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo.
I was aware that Caldara was the most prolific and famous oratorio composer amddalena his day, with some 40 such works to his credit, but I had no inkling that this one written around would prove to be so wonderfully rich in fresh and attractive invention.
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Caldara: Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo
Cast in two parts, the text of Maddalena si an allegory that follows the favourite Baroque conceit of presenting the central character with a moral dilemma, in this case, the choice between earthly pleasures Amor Terrenoand heavenly redemption Amor Celeste. Home News Contacts Copyright. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon. CD Review Antonio Caldara. We receive no advertising income or msddalena other sort of financial support.
That in itself is high praise; we are lucky to have two such outstanding recordings of this lovely work.
There are only three concerted arias, all duets for Earthly and Celestial Love, and relationships among the characters are explored only in the recitatives, with the arias reflecting a variety of moods and emotions. Whether you want to dii what we think of today’s latest releases or discover what our critics thought of your favourite recordings from the past, you will find it all in our full-searchable Reviews Database. Handel probably met Caldara in Rome, and may well have learned something from him; at any rate, the comparison is not at all in Caldara’s disfavor.
Then as later, oratorios generally reflected the popular forms and styles of secular music — and in late Renaissance and Baroque Italy, this meant opera, though based on religious rather than mythological and heroic themes. The sound is excellent. Though practically devoid of external action, it is dramatically tense, concentrating on a continuous struggle between the forces of good and evil counselling the sinner Magdalen, who in addition is urged towards penitence by her sister Martha: This is an issue to be recommended with all possible enthusiasm: Marta the righteous sister of Mary, a cynical Pharisee and Maddalenx himself.
Less praiseworthy was the unnecessary decision to omit the da capo repeats of two arias. If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.
This is unfamiliar music that is too beautiful to be neglected, and these discs caleara very welcome.
A word of praise, too, for the clear diction and insightful approach to the text brought by all the singers, not always calrara with allegorical librettos that today can seem arcane or even irrelevant. Gramophone products and those of specially selected partners from the world of music. In addition to these protagonists, three further characters have a subsidiary role: Gramophone’s expert reviews easier than ever before.
He has had the highly effective idea of differentiating the parts of Earthly and Celestial Love by allocating the former maddalen a mezzo and the latter to a countertenor. Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo Magdalene at the Feet of Christ was probably written around in Rome.
But there is no lack of variety: Rene Jacobs furthers the dramatic impact by his pacing of the recitatives, in particular; and his casting is flawless. Skip to main content.
Caldara: Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo – early music review
For dramatic purposes, Forni introduced the figures of Celestial and Earthly Love representing good and evil in combat for the soul of Maddalena, whose irresolution and anguish — not reflected in the spare Biblical narrative — crsto movingly depicted.
Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo. In keeping with the remainder of the cast, her ornamentation in da capo repeats is invariably appropriate, though as usual the trill is largely a notable absentee from the proceedings. The majority of the latter were sumptuous, large-scale works composed during the period Caldara was employed as vice-Kapellmeister to the Emperor Charles VI in Vienna Maria Cristina Kiehr has a lovely, clear voice and conveys Maddalena’s emotions with much color and feeling.
The instrumental writing is consistently imaginative and expressive, and many of the arias, especially those of Maddalena in the course of her renunciation of worldly cwldara in favor of Jesus, are full of feeling and exceptionally beautiful.