It was enterprising of Naxos to rescue these two extended cantatas (one 33 minutes, its companion 40 minutes), both structured in the same way, with an introductory sinfonia, followed by a series of recitatives and arias, and ending with a final chorus. The influence from Italian opera means that texts are in Italian rather than Latin. The music is eloquent and very well sung by all three soloists, but the end result is comparatively conventional and one remembers the quality of the singing rather than the music itself.
These are world premiere recordings of two major sacred works, 'Della Passione di Gesu Cristo' and 'L'addorato Divina Madre', both from 1759. The dolorous subject matter notwithstanding, the music is for the most part comprised of up-tempo movements, alternating with lyrical outpourings of meltingly beautiful melody. The influence of Vivaldi is plainly recognizable, and that is a good thing - one can't argue with success. The important and very beautiful cello obbligato part in 'L'addorato Divina Madre' is gorgeously played by Massimo Tannoia. The vocal soloists are excellent, and the ensemble playing and audio quality are of the highest calibre.
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