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Vinci’s 1725 opera La Rosmira fedele appears strangely altered here; its title has been changed to La Partenope, arias have been cut and entire scenes omitted, presumably to accommodate three supposedly comic intermezzi by Vinci’s contemporary Sarro, which are not in the least funny (and were wisely dropped from the CD issue). Other attempts at HIP are more successful, especially the reconstructions of baroque costume, gesture and ballet, all highly stylised and visually very arresting. Sonia Prina is a regal Partenope, though the real stars here are Maria Ercolano (Arsace) and Maria Grazia Schiavo (Rosmira), who deliver the opera’s most attractive arias with verve and style, despite Dynamic’s thin recorded sound. This La Partenope is a patchy affair, especially compared to the later Artaserse, given a splendid performance last year by Philippe Jaroussky, Max Emanuel Cencic and Diego Fasolis: their CD easily trumps all-comers as the perfect introduction to Vinci’s music.

Graham Lock Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Early Music Today, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing