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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Though practically devoid of external action, it is dramatically tense, concentrating on 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: CD Review Antonio Caldara. 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. Gramophone’s expert reviews easier than ever before.

It is one of the treasures of the early music catalogue. 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 a countertenor.

The performances took place in oratories prayer halls constructed above church naves and were intended to be attractive but edifying entertainments. Maddalena ai Piedi di Cristo Magdalene at the feet of Christhowever, was one of the earliest, having been given in Venice probably in or Le Banquet Celeste, Damien Guillon, alto, director 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.

Marta the righteous sister of Mary, a cynical Pharisee and Christ himself.


The tight and cohesive libretto by Lodovici Forni also used by Bononcini in is based on Luke 7: 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.

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 caldqra Amor Celeste.

A word piedl praise, too, for the clear diction and insightful approach to the text brought maddxlena all the singers, not always gainsaid with allegorical librettos that today can seem arcane or even irrelevant.

That in itself is high praise; we are lucky to have two such outstanding recordings of this lovely work. Rene Jacobs furthers the dramatic impact by his pacing of the recitatives, in particular; and his casting is flawless.

Caldara: Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo – early music review

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The all-time greats Read about the artists who changed the world of classical music. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon. We receive no advertising income or any other sort of financial support. 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.


Caldara Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo |

Composition Artist Credits Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo. The oratorio as a musical form emerged toward the end of the seventeenth century as a kind of “spiritual exercise” encouraged caldzra the Congregazione dell’Oratorio in Rome. 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.

Less praiseworthy was the unnecessary decision to omit the da capo repeats of two arias.

Riccardo Novaro brings a powerful bass to the Pharisee, while the experienced tenor Reinoud Van Mechelen is a positive Christ. This is an issue to be recommended with all possible enthusiasm: 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 conflict.

Antonio CALDARA – Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo

This is unfamiliar music that is too beautiful to be neglected, and these discs are very welcome. Caldara Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo. Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo Magdalene at the Feet of Christ was probably written around in Rome. Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo. Maria Cristina Kiehr has a lovely, clear voice and conveys Maddalena’s emotions with much vristo and feeling. The instrumental writing is consistently imaginative and expressive, and many pied 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.