Stravaganza d’Amore: The Birth of Opera at the Medici Court | Harmonia Mundi HMM90228687

Stravaganza d’Amore: The Birth of Opera at the Medici Court


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Label: Harmonia Mundi

Cat No: HMM90228687

Format: CD + Book

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Opera

Release Date: 30th June 2017





Raphael Pichon




Raphael Pichon


A perfect blend between music and poetry, a Renaissance ideal, 'intermedi', or interludes, were presented with lavish visual and musical resources, using the arts as a demonstration of dynastic and political power in late 16th-century Florence.

After reaching an initial peak in 1589 with the intermedi composed for Bargagli’s La pellegrina, this tradition was furthered in the burgeoning genre of opera by such composers as Peri, Caccini (Euridice, 1600) and, very soon, Monteverdi (L’Orfeo) and Gagliano (Dafne).

Rather than aiming for the impossible ideal of a reconstruction, Raphaël Pichon has devised an imaginary intermedio by selecting the finest gems from this repertory, featuring the figures of Apollo, Orpheus and Eurydice, and above all Cupid.

Make way for a veritable festival devoted to the human passions, sumptuously packaged in a glamorous 160-page


Primo Intermedio: All’imperio d’Amore
Secondo Intermedio: La Favolla d’Apollo
- Scena prima : La discesa d’Apollo
- Scena seconda : Apollo con il serpente
- Scena terza : Gli Amori di Apollo e Dafne

Terzo Intermedio: Le Lagrime d’Orfeo
- Scena prima : Le Nozze
- Scena seconda : La Morte d’Euridice
- Scena terza : L’Inferno
- Scena quarta : L’Apoteosi d’Orfeo
Quarto Intermedio: Il Ballo degli reali amanti

Édition: Nicolas Sceaux & Loïc Chahine, 2016


Raphaël Pichon has ingeniously encouraged structured listening across composers and genres of a kind that rarely occurs on record; the results are fascinating and, at times, revelatory. ... Speeds are finely judged, the sense of vocal and instrumental ensemble is well balanced and there is some impressive solo singing, including Luciana Mancini’s carefully wrought rendition of ‘Lassa, che di spavento’ from Caccini’s L’Euridice. Elsewhere there is some spectacular improvised instrumental ornamentation (just occasionally a little exaggerated), while the whole is expertly underpinned by a rich array of continuo instruments.  Iain Fenlon
Gramophone Awards 2017
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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