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Gli amori d’Apollo e di Dafne, premiered at the Teatro Tron di San Cassiano in Venice in 1640, marked the first collaboration between two geniuses, the poet Giovan Francesco Busenello and the composer Francesco Cavalli. The value of this first libretto, magnified by the superb music of Cavalli, lies above all in the beauty and rich poetry of its literary style.
Musically, the work is still, in certain respects, dependent on the Florentine tradition of recitar cantando: until fairly late in the Seicento, recitative remained the most important and prestigious musical and stylistic tool in opera. Nonetheless, closed forms are fairly widespread, and the opera abounds in ensembles. The rhythmic and metrical richness of the text allows Cavalli to give free rein to his creative genius: arias, lamenti, duets, even trios, choruses – the variety of strophic forms is as great as the expressiveness of the recitative…
Glossa now reissues a fine recording of this opera, performed by the Argentinian Gabriel Garrido and his Ensemble Elyma, with a splendid vocal cast including Anders Dahlin, Rosa Domínguez, Emanuela Galli, Paola Quagliata and Salvo Vitale.