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Classical - Released June 26, 2015 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles Classica - Qobuzissime
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Classical - Released November 1, 2010 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklets Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Hi-Res Audio
Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky continues to amaze with the facility of his technique in the most demanding coloratura repertoire, the intelligence and deep feeling of his musicianship, and, most especially, with the full, vibrant quality of his distinctive voice. It has lost none of its freshness since he burst onto the international scene in the last years of the 20th century, and has become a richer, stronger instrument without giving up any of its remarkable agility. A champion of neglected Baroque composers, he turns his attention to Antonio Caldara (ca. 1671-1736), a near-contemporary of Vivaldi's. Like Vivaldi, he began his career in Venice and ended it in Vienna, and Vivaldi is the composer whose music Caldara's most resembles. As renowned as Vivaldi in his lifetime and even more prolific, he fell into obscurity soon after his death and remained essentially a historical footnote until the late 20th century. Even so, there has never been a Caldara renaissance, and based on the selections recorded here, one is unlikely to be coming. The music is created with consummate skill, the text setting is idiomatic, and these opera arias demonstrate dramatic flair and have considerable charm; they could reasonably be mistaken for the work of Vivaldi on a fair-to-middling, or even good, but not a great day. These selections, presumably the most interesting that Jaroussky culled from his research, are all very fine in their own right but lack the dazzle that, in the best Vivaldi, makes the listener sit up and gasp at its unpredictable inventiveness or wit or profound emotional integrity or ravishingly limpid lyricism. It would be hard to imagine a more compelling case for this material than that made by Jaroussky and Emmanuelle Haïm, who plays harpsichord and conducts Concerto Köln. They invest this music with such life and devote such exquisite attention to its nuances that the album fully deserves the attention of fans of the Baroque or Vivaldi, or of anyone who simply cherishes hearing terrifically talented and spirited performers giving their all to music they clearly love. The album is beautifully produced and has clean, vibrant, and natural sound, with excellent balance. © TiVo
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Sacred Oratorios - Released March 31, 2015 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released December 29, 2009 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released May 22, 2020 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet
In his youth in Venice (in the 1680s/1690s), Caldara drew significant praise for his own cello playing, and his understanding of the instrument and its possibilities stayed with him throughout a career which saw him immersed also in the rich musical cultures of Mantua and Rome before he became a valued member of the Hofkapelle in Vienna; he worked there for the last twenty years of his life, contributing to the glories of the Austro-Italian Baroque at the Imperial Court of the highly musical Charles VI (whom Caldara had also served in Barcelona). Here, the cello, ranging from the lyrical to the virtuosic, is called upon as a soloist in concerto, sinfonia and sonata pieces, but this recording is enriched further by the presence of two singers, soprano Eugenia Boix and mezzo Luciana Mancini – a cantata, Porgete per pietà, from the former and three arias from the latter. Mancini sings Pompe inutili (from the oratorio Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo), whose ravishing vocal lines are matched by the obbligato cello part. Josetxu Obregón has made a number of previous Glossa recordings exploring the early history of the cello, and in the company of La Ritirata has also contributed to the burgeoning reassessment of this major composing figure with their Caldara "The Cervantes Operas programme". Now comes a vivid and varied release to commemorate 350 years since the birth of Antonio Caldara! © Glossa
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Sacred Oratorios - Released August 31, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
There is no shortage of parallels to be drawn between Caldara and Vivaldi: both Venetians, both boasting an impressive body of work running to several hundred pieces of all genres, both died in Vienna (in the same street and in the same penury!), although Caldara had written more operas and oratorios than the Red Priest. And here is one of these very 32 known oratorios, Maddalena ai piedi di Christo written in Venice around 1698; it is "oratorio volgare", that is, recited in Italian, rather than Latin. Originally written as an accompaniment to spiritual exercises, the oratorio came to replace profane operas when the theatres were closed, especially from November to Lent. It took on the guise of opera, and used many of its techniques: naves and altars were (re)decorated and mechanisms and costumes were employed. In reality, it was nothing but an opera with a religious theme... The words and the plot of Maddalena ai piedi di Christo are perfectly suited to these months of penitence. It is a drama of the moral breakdown that tortures the sinner who has to choose between worldly and heavenly love, between living a life of luxury and truly promising herself to Christ. The Le Banquet Céleste ensemble, led by Damien Guillon (who also sings the alto part of Divine Love), takes to this rare piece with fervour. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 1, 2004 | Studio SM

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Classical - Released July 26, 2000 | Naxos

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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Archiv Produktion

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 clés de sol d'Opéra
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Classical - Released June 18, 2009 | Arcana

Booklet
The historical-instrument ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria under violinist/conductor Gunar Letzbor has specialized in neglected repertory of the eighteenth century, and few composers fit their aims better than Antonio Caldara, a Venetian trained in the grand tradition at St. Mark's cathedral. He had a distinguished career that took him to Mantua, (perhaps) to the then-Austrian court at Barcelona, to Rome, and finally to Vienna itself, where he became vice-kapellmeister under emperor Charles VI. As with other composers in this milieu, most of his production was vocal. The 12 Sinfonie a quattro recorded here are very brief specimens of the kind of sinfonia that served as a curtain raiser for an opera or oratorio, the genre from which the independent symphony ultimately evolved. In this case the sinfonias are taken from oratorios, named in the subtitles of each work. They consist of three or four movements, many of them extremely short but not excluding counterpoint and even little fugal finales. The tone is restrained, in keeping with the religious subject matter, and the texture is pretty constant aside from a few violin solos. Combine that with the technically smooth but rather deadpan readings from Letzbor, a disciple of Reinhard Goebel and Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the result, at least for the general listener, is a very subdued hour of music in a program that would unlikely have been performed in its own time. The booklet notes by one Dagmar Glüxam (in German, French, Italian, and English) are aimed at specialists, containing such puzzlers as this: "Caldara's alleged stay in Barcelona, which must have occurred the same year as the invitation of Charles III, has been called into question by the latest research." They seem to raise the possibility that larger forces (more than one instrument per string part, plus an oboe and/or bassoon); such an interpretation might have done the music good, but the forces here make up a quartet of strings plus an organ-and-archlute continuo. For the average listener the disc may be a long slog, although it will certainly fill a gap on collection shelves. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 17, 2017 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released December 31, 1996 | Naxos

Booklet
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Classical - Released November 4, 2016 | Rondeau

Booklet
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Classical - Released October 19, 2018 | Pan Classics

Booklet
With his repertoire of more than 3400 works, and having been universally admired during his lifetime and even in the following decades, why is it that Caldara is so unrepresented in recordings, performances and concerts? He is known to have made extensive forays into religious music (masses, cantatas, motets, dozens of oratorios), instrumental music (symphonies, chamber music) and lyrical music (eighty-seven operas, many madrigals), as well as some three hundred and fifty sacred cantatas. But alas, Caldara spent his entire life working for various courts: Mantua, Rome and finally Vienna... His works were played and then archived - or lost - so they circulated only very rarely, being reserved for the elite. Therefore, there is much to discover in this rich repertoire, this album helps us do exactly that, packed full of cantatas for bass and continuo voices. Most of them were written during his time at the Viennese court for Charles VI of Habsburg, the Emperor of the Romans (in other words, the Holy Roman Emperor in Germany) who loved bass voices above all. It was on this occasion that Caldara wrote some twenty-four cantatas for bass, a rarity in Baroque song literature. The topics covered range from the vaguely historical Brutus (not Caesar's adopted son, but a distant ancestor, son-in-law of the legendary King Tarquin) in Bruto a'Romani to the pastoral work of A destar l'alba col canto, as well as the Hellenistic mythology Polifemo and Il Sansone. The composer seeks to describe the protagonists’ feelings, mistakes and impulses in an outpouring of exquisite melodic and harmonic imagination. Baritone Sergio Foresti is accompanied by Stile Galante’s musicians and led by Stefano Aresi. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 1, 2004 | Albany Records

Interesting, off-the-beaten-path items like Antonio Caldara's Il Giuoco del quadriglio (The Card Game) are great attention-getters. After all, who with even a passing interest in early music wouldn't be curious about a chamber opera from the 1730s consisting of nothing but contentious women playing cards? But if there's magic to be found in the piece -- a beauty, energy, or comedy to make it something of more than academic interest -- you are unlikely to find it in this recording, which is hampered by cautious vocalism and a lack of expressive imagination. All involved, from conductor Stephen Alltop, to the Queen's Chamber Band, to the quartet of singers headlined by soprano Julianne Baird, seem to have their white gloves on, treating this nearly 300-year-old work like a fragile artifact rather than a robust, living thing. So, while the recording is capable, it is also boring, leaving the ear free to notice unflattering things, like the singers' inexpert Italian, instead of the witty repartee. The Queen's Band recovers nicely for its performance of Caldara's Sonata da Camera, Op. 2, which it delivers with style and elegance, and welcome verve. The composer's stylistic ties to Vivaldi are clearly audible. The rest of the recording is filled out by two solo cantatas, one for soprano (sung by Baird) and one for contralto (Patrice Djerejian). Baird's Lungi dal' idol mio is finely nuanced and laced with affect in the way only someone well steeped in this music can accomplish. The too-distant-by-half miking is disappointing, though, allowing a lot of the soprano's softer singing to fall out of focus; you get the sense that she expected a more intimate representation. Djerejian doesn't come across well. Her wooly, uneven voice is distracting, and its limitations seem to dictate her expressive choices rather than the other way around. In the end, this is an interesting, but uneven program that leaves a lot of music on the table. © TiVo
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released February 4, 2014 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released December 1, 2012 | Verso

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Classical - Released September 1, 2005 | Ramée

Booklet
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released July 15, 2014 | Hungaroton