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Huelgas Ensemble - Francesca Caccini: La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina (Live)

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Francesca Caccini: La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina (Live)

Huelgas Ensemble

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Francesca Caccini was one of the leading musical figures at the Medici court in the first half of the 17th century. Even today it is still unusual for a woman to be equally successful as a professional singer, a published composer and a singing teacher. La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina was commissioned by Maria Maddalena of Austria, who married Grand Duke Cosimo II de’ Medici in 1608, and was written to be performed on the occasion of a visit by Crown Prince of Poland. A single extravagantly staged performance took place on 3 February 1625, ending with an equestrian ballet performed by no fewer than twenty-four horsemen.

Like most Italian operas dating from that time, La Liberazione requires today’s musicians to take several important decisions. For one, the score contains two passages where Caccini explicitly demands music that is not found in the score. The missing passages have been completed with music by Caccini’s contemporary Salomone Rossi, taken from his Primo libro delle sinfonie e gagliarde. Another decision concerns the instruments. The ones that were used during the 1625 performance are indicated in a number of stage directions and offer us a good idea of the sort of instruments that were available to the composer. Even so, it is not always possible to follow them to the letter. The instruments used to realize the thoroughbass are not listed. Just as the composer allotted a particular key to each of the three main roles, so the Huelgas Ensemble have retained the same instrumental colour for each of these parts. Alcina is always accompanied by strings and mostly also by a virginal. Ruggiero is accompanied by four recorders, while the bass is sometimes doubled by a viol or a Baroque trombone. Melissa is accompanied by a lira da gamba, a virginal and a bass instrument. And Neptune is accompanied by three trombones intended to lend further emphasis to his masculine strength.

The score of La Liberazione di Ruggiero is notable for its rapid shifts between vivid recitatives with different accompaniments, extremely melodious arias, lively choral movements in the form of canzonettas and madrigals sung by constantly changing forces, including ladies of the court, demons, enchanted trees, liberated knights and, in the final madrigal, the assembled company, and colourful instrumental sinfonias, ritornellos and intermedi. The historical stage directions also contain a number of notes on the instrumentation. These leave the modern interpreter in no doubt that the continuo needs to be realized in the most colourful way imaginable. As for the tonality, the work is laid out along carefully structured lines, each of the solo roles having its own distinctive tonality. A very modern way of dealing with characterizations. © SM/Qobuz

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Francesca Caccini: La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina (Live)

Huelgas Ensemble

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La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina (Francesca Caccini)

1
Sinfonia - Non perche congiurati (Live) (Live)
00:09:16

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Bernd Oliver Fröhlich, Tenor - Matthew Vine, Tenor

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

2
Scena I. Sinfonia - Cosi perfida Alcina. - Scena II. Qui si può dire (Live) (Live)
00:05:16

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sabine Lutzenberger, Mezzo-Soprano - Francesca Caccini, Composer

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

3
Scena II. Quanto per dolce, e mia beata sorte (Live) (Live)
00:06:38

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Michaela Riener, Mezzo-Soprano - Achim Schulz, Tenor

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

4
Scena II. Rimanti, o mio signore (Live) (Live)
00:03:42

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Michaela Riener, Mezzo-Soprano - Achim Schulz, Tenor

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

5
Scena II. O quanto è dolce amar beltà pietosa (Live) (Live)
00:05:16

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Bernd Oliver Fröhlich, Tenor - Achim Schulz, Tenor

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

6
Scena II. Chi nel fior di giovinezza (Live) (Live)
00:04:16

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Katelijne Van Laethem, Soprano - Achim Schulz, Tenor

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

7
Scena II. Ecco l'ora, ecco il punto (Live) (Live)
00:05:11

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sabine Lutzenberger, Mezzo-Soprano - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Achim Schulz, Tenor

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

8
Scena II. Ruggier de danni asprissimi (Live) (Live)
00:07:33

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sabine Lutzenberger, Mezzo-Soprano - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Achim Schulz, Tenor

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

DISC 2

1
Scena II. Lasso, qual vista atroce (Live) (Live)
00:04:09

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Michaela Riener, Mezzo-Soprano

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

2
Scena II. Non sò qual sia maggiore (Live) (Live)
00:05:11

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Michaela Riener, Mezzo-Soprano - Axelle Bernage, Mezzo-Soprano

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

3
Scena II. Ahi, Melissa (Live) (Live)
00:04:02

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Michaela Riener, Mezzo-Soprano

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

4
Scena II. Alcina, il pianto affrena (Live) (Live)
00:05:25

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Michaela Riener, Mezzo-Soprano - Achim Schulz, Tenor

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

5
Scena II. Deh taci omai troppo d'amore amica (Live) (Live)
00:05:52

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sabine Lutzenberger, Mezzo-Soprano - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Michaela Riener, Mezzo-Soprano - Achim Schulz, Tenor

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

6
Scena III. Sinfonia - Qual temerario core (Live) (Live)
00:03:50

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Michaela Riener, Mezzo-Soprano

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

7
Scena III. E come ohimè - Scena IV. Fuggirò, fuggirò (Live) (Live)
00:06:16

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sabine Lutzenberger, Mezzo-Soprano - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Matthew Vine, Tenor - Michaela Riener, Mezzo-Soprano

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

8
Scena IV. Versate occhi, versate (Live) (Live)
00:06:31

Paul Van Nevel, Conductor - Huelgas Ensemble, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sabine Lutzenberger, Mezzo-Soprano - Francesca Caccini, Composer - Katelijne Van Laethem, Soprano

(P) 2018 Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

Album Description

Francesca Caccini was one of the leading musical figures at the Medici court in the first half of the 17th century. Even today it is still unusual for a woman to be equally successful as a professional singer, a published composer and a singing teacher. La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina was commissioned by Maria Maddalena of Austria, who married Grand Duke Cosimo II de’ Medici in 1608, and was written to be performed on the occasion of a visit by Crown Prince of Poland. A single extravagantly staged performance took place on 3 February 1625, ending with an equestrian ballet performed by no fewer than twenty-four horsemen.

Like most Italian operas dating from that time, La Liberazione requires today’s musicians to take several important decisions. For one, the score contains two passages where Caccini explicitly demands music that is not found in the score. The missing passages have been completed with music by Caccini’s contemporary Salomone Rossi, taken from his Primo libro delle sinfonie e gagliarde. Another decision concerns the instruments. The ones that were used during the 1625 performance are indicated in a number of stage directions and offer us a good idea of the sort of instruments that were available to the composer. Even so, it is not always possible to follow them to the letter. The instruments used to realize the thoroughbass are not listed. Just as the composer allotted a particular key to each of the three main roles, so the Huelgas Ensemble have retained the same instrumental colour for each of these parts. Alcina is always accompanied by strings and mostly also by a virginal. Ruggiero is accompanied by four recorders, while the bass is sometimes doubled by a viol or a Baroque trombone. Melissa is accompanied by a lira da gamba, a virginal and a bass instrument. And Neptune is accompanied by three trombones intended to lend further emphasis to his masculine strength.

The score of La Liberazione di Ruggiero is notable for its rapid shifts between vivid recitatives with different accompaniments, extremely melodious arias, lively choral movements in the form of canzonettas and madrigals sung by constantly changing forces, including ladies of the court, demons, enchanted trees, liberated knights and, in the final madrigal, the assembled company, and colourful instrumental sinfonias, ritornellos and intermedi. The historical stage directions also contain a number of notes on the instrumentation. These leave the modern interpreter in no doubt that the continuo needs to be realized in the most colourful way imaginable. As for the tonality, the work is laid out along carefully structured lines, each of the solo roles having its own distinctive tonality. A very modern way of dealing with characterizations. © SM/Qobuz

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