viernes, 10 de marzo de 2017

Roberta Invernizzi / I Turchini / Antonio Florio I VIAGGI DI FAUSTINA

I Viaggi di Faustina is part of a series from Spain's Glossa label, with each album examining the legacy of a singer from the 18th century, re-creating the repertory sung and even the sound of the voice insofar as such a thing is possible. The title I Viaggi di Faustina refers to Faustina Bordoni, the Neapolitan singer who became famous for her onstage brawl with her rival Francesca Cuzzoni, shrewdly egged on by Handel's promoters in London. But her career was centered on Naples, where she married German-born composer Johann Adolf Hasse; the "viaggi" here are trips both to and from Naples, and the music consists of excerpts from operas she is known to have sung. A similar album by American mezzo soprano Vivica Genaux brings Handel into the mix, but Italian mezzo Roberta Invernizzi sticks with Italian composers, and the scale of the music, more delicate than fiery, is suited to her voice. The music blooms into high notes only occasionally, but it demands agility and finesse, according well with contemporary descriptions of Bordoni's own voice. And Invernizzi is sympathetic to the music, which includes no killer Handelian tunes but has plenty of charm. The program is mostly by three composers, two known only to Baroque and Classical opera enthusiasts, Leonardo Vinci and Nicola Porpora (the latter Haydn's teacher), and one Neapolitan local unknown to all but serious specialists, Francesco Mancini. The fact that the Mancini pieces are perhaps the most charming of all will recommend this album automatically to anyone with an interest in the period. It all comes together in a piece like "Canta e de caro usignolo," from Mancini's opera Traiano, a night piece that shows off the smooth sound of the Baroque orchestra I Turchini under Antonio Florio to great advantage. A worthwhile addition to any library of Baroque opera and a pleasant foretaste of delights to come in Glossa's series. (James Manheim)

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