Magazine article Gramophone

Stradella: San Giovanni Cristostomo

Magazine article Gramophone

Stradella: San Giovanni Cristostomo

Article excerpt


San Giovanni Cristostomo

Nora Tabbush, Arianna Vendittelli sops

Filippo Mineccia counterten

Luca Cervoni ten Matteo Bellotto bass

Ensemble Mare Nostrum / Andrea De Carlo

Arcana [F] A389 (70' * DDD * T/t)

A vast amount of interesting music by Alessandro Stradella (1639-82) remains unpublished, scarcely performed and unrecorded, but times could be gradually changing. This premiere recording of San Giovanni Cristostomo is the second instalment in the Stradella Project spearheaded by Andrea De Carlo and his Ensemble Mare Nostrum, in conjunction with the annual festival held in the composer's birthplace Nepi (a small town in the Lazio hills). The manuscript score was already in the Estense library in Modena by 1680, but it may have been first performed in Rome during the papacy of Innocent XI (elected in 1676). The libretto concerns the opposition of St John Chrysostom (the early fifth-century Archbishop of Constantinople) to the idolatrous and vain empress Eudoxia (who wishes to erect a statue to herself). Unable to tolerate the humble call to penitence from the holy man, she banishes him to a remote village in Armenia. …

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