This set contains eight charming secular cantatas by D. Scarlatti. Their subjects, of course, being love or rather the pains and aches it causes. Their scale intimately small with just one soprano and instrumental accompaniment. Their style – by the first quarter of the 18th century the cantata genre was well past its peak – extremely refined and at times demanding for the singer.
To many Domenico Scarlatti will equal (555) keyboard sonatas. But this composer wrote much more including a dozen of operas, several oratorios and some 60 (sacred) cantatas. Most of these are now lost. Other pieces have remained hidden in unpublished manuscripts for centuries.
Among them the cantatas recorded here. They were unearthed several years ago and prove an interesting addition to the image of the composer who worked in Portugal and Spain for the greater part of his life. 2007 being Scarlatti year – he died 250 years ago – it is only fitting to release some of his lesser-known works.
In these cantatas too Scarlatti’s highly individual style shines through convincingly. They also have a definite theatrical dimension. The intense performances by the Italian ensemble Seicento Italiano with soprano Lavinia Bertotti doing more than justice to this unknown and appealing repertoire.