Stradella - Santa Pelagia | Arcana A431

Stradella - Santa Pelagia

£12.56

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Label: Arcana

Cat No: A431

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 19th May 2017

Contents

Artists

Roberto Mameli (soprano)
Raffaele Pe (contralto)
Luca Cervoni (tenor)
Sergio Foresti (baritone)
Ensemble Mare Nostrum

Conductor

Andrea De Carlo

Works

Stradella, Alessandro

Santa Pelagia

Artists

Roberto Mameli (soprano)
Raffaele Pe (contralto)
Luca Cervoni (tenor)
Sergio Foresti (baritone)
Ensemble Mare Nostrum

Conductor

Andrea De Carlo

About

With this fourth instalment of the Stradella Project, Andrea De Carlo and Ensemble Mare Nostrum continue their exploration of the oratorio output, following the recent rediscoveries of San Giovanni Crisostomo and Santa Editta.

A pretty dancing-girl at the imperial court of Antioch in Syria, Pelagia, is the object of rivalry between an evil angel, Mondo (the World), urging her to enjoy life to the full before old age destroys her beauty, and Bishop Nonno of Edessa, who with the help of a good angel, Religione, invites her to a life in the service of God. Pelagia succumbs to the flattery offered by Mondo, but just as the latter is celebrating his victory, she retires unexpectedly to a lonely cave in the wilderness where she can dedicate the rest of her life to the loving service of God. Stradella cannot resist revealing his point of view about this sudden change, giving the oratorio a surprise ending.

Soprano Roberta Mameli offers us a complex and seductive portrayal of the title role, surrounded by a distinguished cast including Sergio Foresti as Mondo, Raffaele Pe as Religione and Luca Cervoni as Nonno.

As in previous installments, the recording was made within the framework of the Alessandro Stradella International Festival in Nepi, the composer’s birthplace.

“Ensemble Mare Nostrum … is one of the most original and surprising baroque ensembles, already a reference to the Roman Baroque music and especially the works of the great composer Alessandro Stradella.”

Reviews

This is the fourth instalment of Andrea De Carlo’s Stradella Project with Ensemble Mare Nostrum, which has so far concentrated on the oratorios. Accompanied by just a handful of strings and continuo, there’s a lightness of touch to the performance that is genuinely engaging, and the agile voices of the soloists, led by Roberta Mameli as Pelagia, preserve that sense of airiness. None of it is music of great depth, but it is all presented most attractively.  Andrew Clements
The Guardian 15 June 2017
It’s not a first recording of the oratorio…but the new one for me is now a clear first choice because of this delightfully expressive performance
Record Review (BBC Radio 3) 27 May 2017

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