Magazine article Gramophone

Stradella: La Circe

Magazine article Gramophone

Stradella: La Circe

Article excerpt

Stradella La Circe  Jenny Campanella sop    L'Ombra di Circe Teresa Nesci sop                 Zeffiro Marco Scavazza bar                Algido 

Concerto Madrigalesco / Guglielmi Luca org/hpd

Stradivarius (F) STR37040 (52' * DDD * T/t)

Recorded live 2008

Stradella's serenata La Circe was commissioned by Princess Olimpia Aldobrandini, a Florentine whose deceased Roman husbands had been members of powerful Borghese and Pamphilij families. The occasion was a lavish party at her villa in the Frascati hills on May 16, 1668, that celebrated Leopoldo de' Medici becoming a cardinal. On these grounds alone, the serenata marks a fascinating intersection of aristocratic patronage of the arts in Baroque Rome.

The poet Giovan Filippo Apolloni's panegyric is set at a beautiful fountain on the leafy slopes of Parnassus: the ghost of the sorceress Circe emerges from the Elysian Fields, reminds us that she is Apollo's daughter and informs us she is searching for the tomb of her son Telegonus but has become distracted by a bright fight; the Frascati river god Algido explains that this fight is the presence of a Medici. …

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