ANTONIO CALDARA Il più bel nome Barcelona, 1708
El Concierto Español Emilio Moreno
GCD 920310 2 CDs in slipcase
El Concierto Español Emilio Moreno, direction
María Espada, soprano Raquel Andueza, soprano Marianne Beate Kielland, mezzo-soprano Robin Blaze, countertenor Agustín Prunell-Friend, tenor
Recorded live in Lleida (Auditori Enric Granados), Spain, in November 2009 Engineered and produced by Aline Blondiau and Manuel Mohino Executive producer: Carlos Céster Design: Valentín Iglesias Booklet essays: Miquel Desclot, Miguel Ángel Aguilar English Français Deutsch Español Català
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ANTONIO CALDARA (1670-1736)
Il più bel nome [Libretto: Pietro Pariati]
CD I [54:32]
CD II [62:59]
About this CD
A signal moment in the arrival of Italian music on Spanish soil came in the summer of 1708 when Antonio Caldara, finding his opportunities for providing dramatic works for the opera-loving Duke of Mantua limited by the War of the Spanish Succession, headed off to Barcelona to take on acommission for putting on an operatic work from Archduke Charles (“Carlos III”), who was preparing his own wedding festivities at the court he had established in order to contend for the Spanish throne.
For three centuries this serenata, Il più bel nome has (like much of the hugely successful theatre music of its time written by this Baroque composer from Venice) been passed over – thereby presenting Emilio Moreno and El Concierto Español with a superb opportunity to gather together an outstanding quintet of soloists to lead this paean of praise to St Elisabeth and, by extension, to Archduke Charles’ future wife, Princess Elisabeth Christine of Wolfenbüttel.
With appropriate period stylishness, María Espada, Robin Blaze, Raquel Andueza, Marianne Beate Kielland and Agustín Prunell-Friend conjure up, in this mythological allegory to a libretto penned by a leading contributor for the stage, Pietro Pariati, the splendour of early 18th century courtly musical culture – and, in many ways, the seeds for the enduring operatic passion of Barcelona – directed with equal elegance by Moreno and arising out of a recent concert performance given in Lérida, nearby Barcelona in Catalonia.
There is still much work to be done in creating performing editions of Baroque music originating in Spain (and then going out and performing it...), yet this is just one area of musical life today that Emilio Moreno is contributing to. To follow on from delving into the popular culture of the turn of the 19th century, as epitomized by the tonadilla, which he successfully recreated for Glossa on La Tirana contra Mambrú, Moreno – along with El Concierto Español – turns now to the world of allegorical courtly serenatas as the shifting political national landscapes of the 17th century were disintegrating into the War of the Spanish Succession. [read more...]
If Spanish music from the Renaissance has become increasingly appreciated in recent decades that from the turn of the 19th century remains a blur for many. Not so for Emilio Moreno who – in addition to his musical expertise inthe Baroque and Classical, especially that gained through long association with the Orchestra of the 18th Century – has become something of a specialist in the music of the Age of Enlightenment in Spain. Moreno has been combining Herculean labours transcribing the scores of tonadillas from two centuries past with bringing their populist texts and music to audiences of the 21st century – both with singular success. Here he describes the nature of the dramatic genre that is the tonadilla and the level of its original success acting as barometer of the feelings of the ordinary people in Spain, especially those of Madrid. [read more...]
Whether it is as a string player, as a director of ensembles like La Real Cámara or El Concierto Español, or as a teacher and a scholar Emilio Moreno has been applying his talents in the cause of the music that he loves and defends: the previously ignored area of the Spanish Baroque and pre-Classical eras. Fortunately — and through the efforts of musicians such as Moreno — this area is far less of a desert on record than it once was (for Moreno there could still be yet more concerts). Moreno’s wide experience of such music is enhanced by his long-standing involvement with Frans Brüggen’s Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, where he is the leader of the viola section.[read more...]