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Sarri is perhaps better known as Sarro and as a composer of opera rather than oratorio. His Achille in Sciro (a collaboration with librettist Metastasio) was unexpectedly revived in 2008. Somewhat like Vivaldi (who was born a year before Sarri, in 1678), the challenge of the music is its rhythmic movement rather than undue harmonic complexity, and the singers tackle it with confidence. Sloppy articulation would leave the Kyrie sounding banal and tawdry, its bravura reduced to bathos. There are some subtle and unexpected harmonic transpositions in the Dixit Dominus but here, too, the music is carried by the performers, who can rely on no familiar recorded history for this material. A sometime star of Neapolitan music, Sarri played a full part in the cultural politics of his time, but like most time-servers scarcely seemed to have survived his period. Matthias Jung’s rediscovery of him is very welcome.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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