Stradella: San Giovanni Crisostomo

Stradella: San Giovanni Crisostomo
Composer Alessandro Stradella
Artist Harmonices Mundi
Claudio Astronio conductor
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 94847
EAN code 5028421948478
Release July 2016

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About this release

Having lived a short, dramatic life worthy of its own literary account (a highly dramatised novel of his life was produced in 1844 recounting his many scandals and sensational murder), San Giovanni Crisostomo was one of several sacred oratorios to emerge from Alessandro Stradella’s surprisingly large output. It tells of the conflict between the rapacious, tyrannical and yet conflicted Queen Eudosia of Byzantium, and John Chrysostom, the dissident Archbishop of Constantinople, known for his eloquent rebuttals of corruption and wealth. Through this work Stradella and the unknown librettist explore the greater conflict between secular and religious powers, and engage the listener in sophisticated moral and political dilemmas.

Perhaps his best-known work, Stradella’s score makes innovative use of intimate resources; it calls only for a simple basso continuo to accompany the singers, and demonstrates his signature flair for recognising dramatic contours of the text in his vocal works along with his rhythmic fluidity, striking harmonic invention and sensitively designed characterisation of its main roles. Having already tackled the likes of Bach, Albinoni and Vivaldi on previous releases, Baroque aficionados Harmonices Mundi bring their learned interpretations to the recording and breathe new life to Stradella’s remarkable work, while showcasing the copious talents of several leading early music specialists. This exciting new recording is based on a critical edition by Colin Timms, academic and expert in early music.

The music by Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682) is gaining rapidly in recognition and popularity. The composer’s extremely adventurous life (he was an aristocratic lady-killer, who himself was murdered in the end by a revengeful rival) and his equally adventurous music presents a forceful image of a fascinating and important figure of the Italian Baroque.
Stradella is one of the most important composers of dramatic sacred works in 17-th century Italy. San Giovanni Crisostomo is a large scale oratorio, in lyrical vocal style: long and florid cantabile phrases, uninterrupted by frequent cadences and a subtle characterisation of the psychology of the dramatis personae.
Excellent performances by Harmonices Mundi conducted by Claudio Astronio, who already recorded three Stradella CD’s for Brilliant classics: the oratorio La Susanna (BC94345), Duets (with Emma Kirkby and Susanne Rydén, BC94343) and Italian Arias (BC94258). The booklet contains extensive liner notes written by a scholar, and the full libretto in the original language.

Recorded in Italy in August 2014.
Based on a critical edition by Colin Timms.
Contains extensive liner notes on the composer and work.
Contains sung texts in the original language.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Duetto. “Chi ’l freno non regge” (Due consiglieri)
  2. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Recitativo. “Nel regio trono di bisanzio assisa” (Testo, Eudosia)
  3. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Aria. “Rei timori, perché a stuolo” (Eudosia)
  4. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Recitativo. “Ma quai folli deliri” (Eudosia)
  5. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Terzetto. “Se teme chi regna” (Cortigiani di Eudosia)
  6. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Recitativo. “Sì mal nati consigli” (Inviato, Eudosia)
  7. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Aria. “Se le mal corrette voglie” (Inviato)
  8. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Recitativo. “Par che gelida tema” (Eudosia)
  9. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Aria. “Benché audace sia ’l desire” (Eudosia)
  10. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Recitativo. “Crisostomo s’appelli” (Eudosia)
  11. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Duetto. “Talor/Giammai si cade” (Inviato, Teofilo)
  12. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Recitativo. “Eudosia, ah, non son io?” (Eudosia, Crisostomo)
  13. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Aria. “Fugge il dì, fugge la vita” (Crisostomo)
  14. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Recitativo. “Forse non si rammenta” (Crisostomo)
  15. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Aria. “Ogni regno diviso sen va” (Inviato)
  16. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Coro. “Non vil capanna” (Seguito dell’Inviato)
  17. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Recitativo. “Regio cor d’ardimento” (Teofilo, Crisostomo)
  18. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Aria in duetto. “La morte n’addita” (Crisostomo, Inviato)
  19. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Recitativo. “Invano, invan si tenta” (Eudosia, Crisostomo)
  20. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 1: Duetto. “Alme ree, turba mendace” (Inviato, Crisostomo)
  21. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Duetto. “Della vita il fragil legno” (Inviato, Teofilo)
  22. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Recitativo. “Tu forse il patrio lito” (Testo, Eudosia)
  23. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Aria. “Fra procelle la nave perì” (Eudosia)
  24. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Recitativo. “Su, tacete, tacete!” (Eudosia, Inviato, Teofilo)
  25. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Aria. “Chi col picciolo serpent” (Eudosia)
  26. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Recitativo. “Non causi anco pensiero!” (Eudosia, Crisostomo)
  27. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Aria. “Tu che sei di verità” (Crisostomo)
  28. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Recitativo. “Ascolta, Eudosia, ascolta” (Crisostomo, Eudosia)
  29. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Aria. “Su, destati, oh sdegno!” (Eudosia)
  30. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Recitativo. “Atto sempre non è d’alma clemente” (Teofilo, Inviato)
  31. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Terzetto. “Benché giuste tempra l’ire” (Seguito di Teofilo)
  32. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Recitativo. “Crisostomo, deh, ascolta” (Eudosia, Crisostomo, Inviato, Teofilo)
  33. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Aria. “Qual vago candour” (Teofilo)
  34. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Recitativo. “Dal real trono lunge” (Inviato)
  35. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Aria. “È sì bella la luce del dì” (Inviato)
  36. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Recitativo. “Poi ch’a sponde remote” (Eudosia)
  37. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Aria. “Già placata ogni procella” (Eudosia)
  38. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Terzetto. “Al tuo merto, alta reina” (Cortigiani, Eudosia)
  39. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Aria. “D’obbedirti il fato ambisce” (Teofilo)
  40. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Recitativo. “Vive Eudosia tra fasti” (Testo)
  41. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Duetto. “Giocondo nel mondo” (Due consiglieri)
  42. San Giovanni Crisostomo, Pt. 2: Recitativo. “Sperano indarno gl’empi” (Inviato)