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Cecilia does it again! This is a really fascinating and delightful disc of music culled from the Mariinsky library archives, producing 11 world premiere recordings, played with brilliance and fire by Diego Fasolis and I Barocchisti and sung with undiminished style and (mostly) beauty. It’s mainly repertoire by people you’ve never heard of (except for Cimarosa) and the style is that galanterie interregnum which provided such a strong idiom for 50 years. Some of this is undeniably dignified by its manner of performance, but there is real musical quality too: a charming piece added to a 1734 coronation performance, with strumming archlute and lyrical flute by Domenico Dall’Oglio and Luigi Madonis; some affecting harmonies by Vincenzo Manfredini; and much by Francesco Domenico Araia, who had a monopoly on opera composition for 20 years from 1734. Araia’s leisurely arias – these must have been long evenings – major in attractive duetting for the voice and solo instruments. Cimarosa himself finally arrived in 1787 and the aria here is the highlight, with the instruments messing about in a completely brilliant way.

Robin Thicknesse Read the full review on Agora Classica


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