The oratorio as a musical form emerged toward the end of the seventeenth century as a kind of “spiritual exercise” encouraged by the Congregazione. Maddalena ai Piedi di Cristo (Magdalene at the feet of Christ), however, was one of the earliest, having been given in Venice probably in Find album credit information for Caldara: Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo – René Jacobs on AllMusic.
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The two characters are engaged throughout the oratorio in a battle for the soul of Mary Magdalene, who as a repentant sinner is torn by puedi. The tight and cohesive libretto by Lodovici Forni also used by Bononcini in is based on Luke 7: While the new recording cannot and does not displace the Jacobs, it is worthy to stand alongside it.
I was aware that Caldara was the most prolific and famous oratorio composer of his day, with some 40 such works to his credit, but I had no inkling that this one written around would prove to be so wonderfully rich in fresh and attractive invention. Le Banquet Celeste, Damien Guillon, alto, director Riccardo Novaro brings a powerful bass to the Pharisee, while the experienced tenor Reinoud Van Mechelen is a positive Christ.
This is unfamiliar music that is too beautiful to be neglected, and these discs are very welcome. All arias are in da capo form, some small-scale and intimate and scored for continuo only, others crosto and using larger orchestral forces, more flamboyant and operatic in nature. We receive no advertising income or any other sort of financial support. A word of praise, too, for the clear diction and insightful approach to the text brought by all the singers, not always gainsaid with allegorical librettos that today can seem arcane or even irrelevant.
The majority of the latter were sumptuous, large-scale works composed during the period Caldara was employed as vice-Kapellmeister to the Emperor Charles VI in Madcalena The instrumental writing is consistently imaginative and expressive, and many of the arias, especially those of Maddalena in the course of her renunciation of worldly pleasures in favor of Jesus, are full of feeling and exceptionally beautiful.
CD Review Antonio Caldara. crisgo
That in itself is high praise; we are lucky to have two such outstanding recordings of this lovely work. The music is conventional for its time. Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo. Handel probably met Caldara in Rome, and may well have learned something from him; at any rate, the comparison is not at all in Caldara’s disfavor.
If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information. In keeping with the remainder of the cast, her ornamentation in da capo repeats is invariably appropriate, though as usual the trill is largely a notable absentee from the proceedings.
This is an issue to be recommended with all possible enthusiasm: In addition to these protagonists, three further characters have a subsidiary role: Then as later, oratorios generally reflected the popular forms and styles of secular music — and in late Renaissance and Baroque Italy, this meant opera, though based on religious rather than mythological and heroic themes.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Composition Artist Credits Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo. Both are excellent, but so are all the participants in this performance — not forgetting the admirable instrumentalists. The all-time greats Read about the artists who changed the world of classical music.
The most prolific composer in this genre was Antonio Caldara c ; New Grove lists 43 oratorios in addition to many operas and there are probably more that have been lost, written for patrons in his native Venice, Rome, Florence, Mantua, and Vienna. It is one of the treasures of pieri early music catalogue. Less praiseworthy was the unnecessary decision to omit the da capo repeats of two arias.
Home News Contacts Copyright. For dramatic purposes, Forni introduced the figures of Celestial and Earthly Love representing good and evil in combat for the soul of Maddalena, whose irresolution and anguish — not reflected in the spare Biblical narrative — are movingly depicted. This site can only survive if users click through the links and buy the products reviewed.
The oratorio as a musical dj emerged toward the end of the seventeenth century as a kind of “spiritual exercise” encouraged by the Congregazione dell’Oratorio in Rome. Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo Magdalene at the Feet of Christ was probably written around in Rome. Though practically devoid of external action, it is dramatically tense, concentrating mwddalena a continuous struggle between the forces of good and evil counselling the sinner Magdalen, who in addition is urged towards penitence by her sister Martha: But there is no lack of variety: Gramophone products and those of specially selected partners from the world of music.
The sound is excellent. Marta the righteous sister of Mary, a cynical Pharisee and Christ himself. Rene Jacobs furthers the dramatic impact by his pacing of the recitatives, in particular; and his casting is flawless.
Skip to main content. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon. There are only three concerted arias, all a for Earthly and Celestial Love, and relationships among the characters are explored only in the recitatives, with the arias reflecting a variety of moods and emotions.
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Cast in two parts, the text of Maddalena is an allegory that follows the favourite Baroque conceit of presenting the central character with a moral dilemma, in this case, the choice between earthly pleasures Amor Terrenoand heavenly redemption Amor Celeste. Maria Cristina Kiehr has a lovely, clear voice and conveys Maddalena’s emotions with much color and feeling.
Her soprano is a lovely instrument, its fast vibrato only helping to create for its character an appropriate impression of vulnerability. He has had the highly effective idea of differentiating the parts of Earthly and Celestial Love by allocating the former to a mezzo and the latter to aai countertenor. Bernarda Fink opens and closes the piece with force and beauty, and her final aria is a brilliant and hell-raising act of defiance; Rosa Dominguez is equally effective as Martha.