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Mission

I Barocchisti

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Don't hate this album because it has been beautifully marketed, for if you do you'll miss out on something extraordinary. Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli reportedly worked on it for three years, even suggesting a mystery-novel tie-in, and her label, Decca, kept the contents under wraps until the album's release, dropping hints via Internet videos. When the album appeared, it was issued in a limited-edition hardbound package including numerous essays covering aspects of the life of the composer involved, Agostino Steffani. These range from the cogent and helpful (one details Steffani's influence on Handel) to the probably woolly, shading off into the fictional treatment that's also associated with the project. The album's title reflects the fact that Steffani was a composer-diplomat, born in Italy but active for much of his life in Germany, and surrounded by various kinds of intrigue that seem to figure tangentially into some of the arias on the album. This is all intriguing, and if it spawns a feature film somewhere along the way that's all to the good, but the best news is that none of it is necessary; you can buy the album online or in its plain jewel-box version, familiarize yourself briefly with what it's about, and then be blown away. Perhaps part of Bartoli's "mission" was to elevate the music of the little-known Steffani; if so, she succeeds brilliantly, and one hopes that the release will be followed by full productions of some of Steffani's operas. Stylistically he's all over the map, with some barn-burning virtuoso arias mixed in with splendid trumpet-dominated pieces (Bartoli's interaction here with conductor Diego Fasolis and his orchestra I Barocchisti is a thing of wonder), and shorter tunes that sound a bit like Purcell. Bartoli is on top of every note, and she combines absolute technical mastery with emotional involvement to the hilt in the music's mostly flamboyantly romantic texts. This is a bravura performance that lives up to its considerable hype, and it marks a new milestone for the historical-performance movement, which finally gets a vocalist who can match the efforts of its more imaginative conductors.

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Mission

Cecilia Bartoli

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Alarico il Baltha, cioè L'audace re de' Gothi (Agostino Steffani)

1
"Schiere invitte, non tardate"
00:02:14

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Luigi Orlandi, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Servio Tullio (Agostino Steffani)

2
"Ogni core può sperar"
00:04:22

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Ventura Giacomo Terzago, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Niobe, regina di Tebe (Agostino Steffani)

3
"Ove son? Chi m'aita? In mezzo all'ombre...Dal mio petto"
00:05:17

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Luigi Orlandi, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Tassilone (Agostino Steffani)

4
"Più non v'ascondo"
00:02:19

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Stefano Benedetto Pallavicino, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Niobe, regina di Tebe (Agostino Steffani)

5
"Amami, e vederai"
00:06:41

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Luigi Orlandi, Author - Rosario Conte, Lute, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

6
"T'abbraccio, mia Diva...Ti stringo, mio Nume"
00:02:42

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Luigi Orlandi, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

I Trionfi del fato" (Agostino Steffani)

7
"Mie fide schiere, all'armi!...Suoni, tuoni, il suolo scuota"
00:03:26

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Stefano Benedetto Pallavicino, Author - Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Chorus, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ortensio Mauro, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Tassilone (Agostino Steffani)

8
"Sposa, mancar mi sento...Deh non far colle tue lagrime"
00:05:42

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Stefano Benedetto Pallavicino, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

La superbia d'Alessandro (Agostino Steffani)

9
"Non prendo consiglio"
00:01:17

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Ortensio Mauro, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Alarico il Baltha, cioè L'audace re de' Gothi (Agostino Steffani)

10
"Si, si, riposa, o caro...Palpitanti sfere belle"
00:03:12

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Luigi Orlandi, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

La libertà contenta (Agostino Steffani)

11
"Notte amica al cieco Dio"
00:03:48

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Ortensio Mauro, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

I Trionfi del fato" (Agostino Steffani)

12
"Combatton quest'alma"
00:02:08

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Philippe Jaroussky, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Ortensio Mauro, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Tassilone (Agostino Steffani)

13
"A facile vittoria"
00:02:57

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Stefano Benedetto Pallavicino, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

La superbia d'Alessandro (Agostino Steffani)

14
"Tra le guerre e le vittorie"
00:01:27

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Chorus, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ortensio Mauro, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

La libertà contenta (Agostino Steffani)

15
"Foschi crepuscoli"
00:02:05

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Ortensio Mauro, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Niobe, regina di Tebe (Agostino Steffani)

16
"Dell'alma stanca a raddolcir le tempre...Sfere amiche, or date al labbro"
00:06:16

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Luigi Orlandi, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

La lotta d'Hercole con Acheloo (Agostino Steffani)

17
"La cerasta più terribile"
00:02:38

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Ortensio Mauro, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Niobe, regina di Tebe (Agostino Steffani)

18
"Serena, o mio bel sole...Mia fiamma...Mio adore"
00:02:21

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Philippe Jaroussky, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Luigi Orlandi, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Tassilone (Agostino Steffani)

19
"Dal tuo labbro amor m'invita"
00:02:39

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Stefano Benedetto Pallavicino, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

La libertà contenta (Agostino Steffani)

20
"Deh stancati, o sorte"
00:03:03

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Ortensio Mauro, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

21
"Svenati, struggiti, combatti, suda"
00:03:11

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Ortensio Mauro, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Tassilone (Agostino Steffani)

22
"Padre, s'e colpa in lui"
00:05:08

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Stefano Benedetto Pallavicino, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Le rivali concordi (Agostino Steffani)

23
"Timori, ruine"
00:01:35

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Philippe Jaroussky, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Chorus, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ortensio Mauro, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Henrico Leone (Agostino Steffani)

24
"Morirò fra strazi e scempi"
00:02:40

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Ortensio Mauro, Author - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Marco Aurelio (Agostino Steffani)

25
"Non si parli che di fede"
00:01:18

Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ulrich Ruscher, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diego Fasolis, Conductor, MainArtist - I Barocchisti, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arend Prohmann, Producer, Recording Producer - Agostino Steffani, Composer - Ventura Giacomo Terzago, Author - Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Chorus, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Philip Siney, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Decca Music Group Limited

Album Description

Don't hate this album because it has been beautifully marketed, for if you do you'll miss out on something extraordinary. Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli reportedly worked on it for three years, even suggesting a mystery-novel tie-in, and her label, Decca, kept the contents under wraps until the album's release, dropping hints via Internet videos. When the album appeared, it was issued in a limited-edition hardbound package including numerous essays covering aspects of the life of the composer involved, Agostino Steffani. These range from the cogent and helpful (one details Steffani's influence on Handel) to the probably woolly, shading off into the fictional treatment that's also associated with the project. The album's title reflects the fact that Steffani was a composer-diplomat, born in Italy but active for much of his life in Germany, and surrounded by various kinds of intrigue that seem to figure tangentially into some of the arias on the album. This is all intriguing, and if it spawns a feature film somewhere along the way that's all to the good, but the best news is that none of it is necessary; you can buy the album online or in its plain jewel-box version, familiarize yourself briefly with what it's about, and then be blown away. Perhaps part of Bartoli's "mission" was to elevate the music of the little-known Steffani; if so, she succeeds brilliantly, and one hopes that the release will be followed by full productions of some of Steffani's operas. Stylistically he's all over the map, with some barn-burning virtuoso arias mixed in with splendid trumpet-dominated pieces (Bartoli's interaction here with conductor Diego Fasolis and his orchestra I Barocchisti is a thing of wonder), and shorter tunes that sound a bit like Purcell. Bartoli is on top of every note, and she combines absolute technical mastery with emotional involvement to the hilt in the music's mostly flamboyantly romantic texts. This is a bravura performance that lives up to its considerable hype, and it marks a new milestone for the historical-performance movement, which finally gets a vocalist who can match the efforts of its more imaginative conductors.

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