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This recording is a welcome modern re-evaluation of the music of Alessandro Scarlatti, whose successful career and stellar reputation have rather fallen into abeyance since his lifetime, obscured both by his son Domenico and by other composers who built on his revolutionising work in opera. Soprano Elizabeth Watts has long been fascinated by his music (read my interview with her on page 26), and has been the driving force behind this project from its very inception, working with conductor Laurence Cummings on determining the programme and on sourcing scores and parts from all over the globe.

Watts has put together a cracker of a programme, including arias from operas, oratorios, serenatas and cantatas, as well as a number of stand- alone works. The title track falls into the last of these categories with obbligato trumpet, and shows offthe remarkable talents of the English Concert’s principal Mark Bennett. The added percussion here is a nice touch, and gives an already high- octane piece (thanks to demanding, high-lying coloratura) even more sparkle and vim. Many of Scarlatti’s most noteworthy stage works are represented here, including Griselda, Tigrane and Mitridate Eupratore; the last of these is widely considered the composer’s masterpiece, and the aria ‘Cara tomba’ is one of several heart- stoppingly beautiful moments on the disc. Watts, Cummings and the English Concert make an ideal partnership in what is one of the most thrilling albums of its kind I’ve heard in recent years; I can’t recommend this recording highly enough.

Adrian Horsewood Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Early Music Today, 2015 - ©Rhinegold Publishing