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Vivaldi’s Dorilla in Tempe is described as a melodrama eroico- pastorale, premiered in Venice 1726. Vivaldi then dabbled with it over the years, even adding numbers by different composers, such as Hasse, and this new recording is based on the surviving score of 1734. Obscure it may be, but almost everyone will recognize one number, as Vivaldi reused it for the opening tune of his Four Seasons’ Spring concerto. The pastoral is slight, with a disguised Apollo rescuing the maiden Dorilla from a sea monster before graciously reuniting her with her true love. The music is typically zesty, with crisp orchestration and frequent opportunities for vocal display shared amongst a plethora of mezzo-sopranos. Romina Basso’s grave tones suit Dorilla’s music well, and Serena Malfi provides more spark as suitor Elmiro. A specialist cast performs with verve under Diego Fasolis, and though it’s not Vivaldi’s most consistently exciting work there are certainly pleasures to be had.

FRANCIS MUZZU Read the full review on Agora Classica

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