Porpora: Arie d'Opera (CD)

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Angelo Manzotti, Concordia Ensemble, Musici della Concordia, I, Nicola Breda

For ten years, with dedication and impeccable results, Angelo Manzotti has given voice to a theatrical performance which brings the vocal ghost of Farinelli to the stage—conjuring him forth, making him appear and vanish, bringing him to life. Listening to Angelo Manzotti and seeing the conscious sobriety of his gestures and the rapport which he manages to create between persona and voice, the words of Rodolfo Celletti, Angelo’s finest teacher, are confirmed: “Belcanto, as a direct emanation of the baroque, creates its own criteria of plausibility and credibility. In this sense it might be defined as the historical period which had the greatest faith in the expressive possibilities of singing. A faith which is so boundless that the timbre and vocal melodies suffice to create an autonomous reality independent from the reality of the senses. ”This monographic recording dedicated to Nicola Porpora (1686-1768) does just that: it creates, via the voice, “an autonomous reality independent from the reality of the senses.” Was it this prodigious effect of alienation and immaterial truth to which Gioachino Rossini was referring when, as an old man, he expressed regret over the lost art of singing of the castratos—an art which was by then obsolete both stylistically and culturally—calling it “the singing which is felt in the soul”?

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