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Stefano Demicheli - Porpora: Notturni per i Defunti

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Porpora: Notturni per i Defunti

Nicola Antonio Porpora - Nicola Fiorenza

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Nicola Porpora, if he is known at all, is recognized as Franz Josef Haydn's only music teacher of consequence and as the benevolent figure who rescued Haydn from a life of destitution and homelessness on the streets of Vienna. Still others may know of Porpora as a composer who went up against Handel's popularity in London in the 1730s, only to fail like so many others who tried. Porpora was clearly more significant than just these events would indicate, and though by this writing in October 2007 Porpora's scant instrumental output has been recorded in great deal, little exposure has been given to the area where he truly excelled; vocal music, mainly sacred music, cantatas, and opera. Italian label Fuga Libera has made an important contribution to Porpora's cause in recording Nicola Antonio Porpora: Notturni per I Defunti, featuring singers Monica Piccinini and Romina Basso fronting the chorale La Stagione Armonica and the period chamber orchestra Dolce & Tempesta under Stefano Demichelli. In this context, the term "Notturni" does not refer to the term in the sense applied by Haydn (i.e., just another word to describe a divertimento), but to the service of Nocturns (or Matins); night prayers, in this case specifically the office for the dead. These only would have been said at the death of a prominent person within the church or community or in observance of All Souls' Day, marked in the liturgical calendar on November 2. As these services were written in Naples for the Conservatorio di S. Maria de Loreto between 1739 and 1742 and no one of such prominence died during this period, the latter purpose is most likely. The surviving manuscript material for Porpora's three-part office is a mess and shows signs of a hasty revision made for a revival of the work made in 1760. The lessons are all intact, but little survives of the vocal parts belonging to the responses and the final response, "Libera me Domine," is missing. Although he opted to decline on recomposing the "Libera me" as would have been necessary, Demichelli has scrupulously rebuilt the rest of the responses based on the music that is left. The high quality of this work is borne out by the fact that one cannot tell where Porpora's full score leaves off and the reconstructed material begins; it is seamless and reads as all of a piece. Porpora's vocal writing retains some measure of Vivaldi's influence, but it is more toned down in terms of ornamentation. Piccinini and Basso handle it all artfully and very well, though Basso seems a little tripped up at the torturously difficult figure that concludes the "Quis mihi hoc tribuat" in the second Nocturne. The playing of Dolce & Tempesta and the singing of La Stagione Armonica is marvelously relaxed and restrained; after all, you're not looking to wake the dead so much as simply offer prayer on behalf of the dearly departed. The most marvelous aspect, however, of Fuga Libera's Nicola Antonio Porpora: Notturni per I Defunti is the music itself; its hushed, humble mysterious quality, emotionally moving sobriety of expression, and intoxicating harmonic colors make the listener want to hear more of Porpora. In addition to the main part of the program, three intriguing symphonies of completely unknown Neapolitan composer Nicolo Fiorenza are likewise included, an inspired choice of filler.
© TiVo

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Porpora: Notturni per i Defunti

Stefano Demicheli

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Notturno Primo (Nicola Antonio Porpora)

1
Lezione I, Parce mihi Domine (Soprano)
La Stagione Armonica
00:05:18

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

2
Responsorio, Credo quod Redemptor meus vivit
La Stagione Armonica
00:02:18

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

3
Lezione II, Taedet animam meam (Alto)
La Stagione Armonica
00:03:56

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

4
Responsorio, Qui Lazarum resuscitasti
La Stagione Armonica
00:01:15

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

5
Lezione III, Manus tuae fecerunt me (Soprano)
La Stagione Armonica
00:02:35

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

6
Responsorio, Domine quando veneris
La Stagione Armonica
00:01:33

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

Sinfonia a due violini e basso in Fa Minore (Nicola Fiorenza)

7
I. Largo
La Stagione Armonica
00:02:06

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Fiorenza, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

8
II. Allegro
La Stagione Armonica
00:02:05

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Fiorenza, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

9
III. Largo
La Stagione Armonica
00:01:11

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Fiorenza, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

10
IV. Allegro
La Stagione Armonica
00:01:29

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Fiorenza, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

Notturno Secondo (Nicola Antonio Porpora)

11
Lezione I, Responde mihi (Soprano)
La Stagione Armonica
00:03:05

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

12
Responsorio, Memento mei Deus
La Stagione Armonica
00:00:59

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

13
Lezione II, Homo natus de muliere (Soprano)
La Stagione Armonica
00:04:17

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

14
Responsorio, Hei mihi Domine
La Stagione Armonica
00:01:01

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

15
Lezione III, Quis mihi hoc tribuat (Alto)
La Stagione Armonica
00:02:11

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

16
Responsorio, Ne recorderis
La Stagione Armonica
00:02:10

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

Sinfonia a violoncello solo con violini e basso in Fa Maggiore (Nicola Fiorenza)

17
I. Largo
La Stagione Armonica
00:04:09

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Fiorenza, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

18
II. Allegro
La Stagione Armonica
00:03:19

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Fiorenza, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

19
III. Largo
La Stagione Armonica
00:03:20

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Fiorenza, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

20
IV. Non presto
La Stagione Armonica
00:03:00

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Fiorenza, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

Notturno Terzo (Nicola Antonio Porpora)

21
Lezione I, Spiritus meus (Soprano)
La Stagione Armonica
00:05:03

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

22
Responsorio, Peccantem me quotidie
La Stagione Armonica
00:01:22

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

23
Lezione II, Pelli meae consumptis carnibus (Alto)
La Stagione Armonica
00:04:18

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

24
Responsorio, Domine secumdum actum meum
La Stagione Armonica
00:01:23

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

25
Lezione III, Quare de vulva (Alto)
La Stagione Armonica
00:05:46

Monica Piccinini, Performer - Romina Basso, Performer - La Stagione Armonica, Performer - Dolce & Tempesta, Performer - Stefano Demicheli, Performer - Nicola Antonio Porpora, Composer

2007 Outhere 2006 Outhere

Album Description

Nicola Porpora, if he is known at all, is recognized as Franz Josef Haydn's only music teacher of consequence and as the benevolent figure who rescued Haydn from a life of destitution and homelessness on the streets of Vienna. Still others may know of Porpora as a composer who went up against Handel's popularity in London in the 1730s, only to fail like so many others who tried. Porpora was clearly more significant than just these events would indicate, and though by this writing in October 2007 Porpora's scant instrumental output has been recorded in great deal, little exposure has been given to the area where he truly excelled; vocal music, mainly sacred music, cantatas, and opera. Italian label Fuga Libera has made an important contribution to Porpora's cause in recording Nicola Antonio Porpora: Notturni per I Defunti, featuring singers Monica Piccinini and Romina Basso fronting the chorale La Stagione Armonica and the period chamber orchestra Dolce & Tempesta under Stefano Demichelli. In this context, the term "Notturni" does not refer to the term in the sense applied by Haydn (i.e., just another word to describe a divertimento), but to the service of Nocturns (or Matins); night prayers, in this case specifically the office for the dead. These only would have been said at the death of a prominent person within the church or community or in observance of All Souls' Day, marked in the liturgical calendar on November 2. As these services were written in Naples for the Conservatorio di S. Maria de Loreto between 1739 and 1742 and no one of such prominence died during this period, the latter purpose is most likely. The surviving manuscript material for Porpora's three-part office is a mess and shows signs of a hasty revision made for a revival of the work made in 1760. The lessons are all intact, but little survives of the vocal parts belonging to the responses and the final response, "Libera me Domine," is missing. Although he opted to decline on recomposing the "Libera me" as would have been necessary, Demichelli has scrupulously rebuilt the rest of the responses based on the music that is left. The high quality of this work is borne out by the fact that one cannot tell where Porpora's full score leaves off and the reconstructed material begins; it is seamless and reads as all of a piece. Porpora's vocal writing retains some measure of Vivaldi's influence, but it is more toned down in terms of ornamentation. Piccinini and Basso handle it all artfully and very well, though Basso seems a little tripped up at the torturously difficult figure that concludes the "Quis mihi hoc tribuat" in the second Nocturne. The playing of Dolce & Tempesta and the singing of La Stagione Armonica is marvelously relaxed and restrained; after all, you're not looking to wake the dead so much as simply offer prayer on behalf of the dearly departed. The most marvelous aspect, however, of Fuga Libera's Nicola Antonio Porpora: Notturni per I Defunti is the music itself; its hushed, humble mysterious quality, emotionally moving sobriety of expression, and intoxicating harmonic colors make the listener want to hear more of Porpora. In addition to the main part of the program, three intriguing symphonies of completely unknown Neapolitan composer Nicolo Fiorenza are likewise included, an inspired choice of filler.
© TiVo

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