Mstation Classical Reviews

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Mon, 31 Oct 2005

Bartoli, Opera Proibita

Opera Proibita
Handel, Scarlatti, Caldara
Cecilia Bartoli
Les Musiciens du Louvre - Grenoble
Marc Minkowski
LP in little Book, Decca

This CD comes packaged in a little book that, wonder of wonders, fits into a CD rack. Congratulations are due I think.

The concept of Opera Proibita comes from the time when there were fundementalist Popes who decreed that opera was a nasty, ungodlike thing and that we should be directed to more uplifting entertainments. The results were, I imagine, lots of unemployed stage hands and a downturn in demand for over-the-top costumes. Musically, there was no downturn in beauty. Thematically, of course, there was a turn towards religion and some very nice oratorios were written. Here we have pieces from Handel, Scarlatti, and Caldara and they are blissfully performed by Cecilia Bartoli and Les Musiciens du Louvre.

Also we get it all in a little hardcover booklet that explains the background of the pieces and provides us with libretti and a series of interesting photos of Cecilia. On the cover is a photo reminiscent of Ingred Bergmann in the fountain from the Fellini film "La Dolce Vita". Ah yes, she does have a sweet voice, but there is little decadence in the music she sings.

The booklet makes this quite a nice present, I think, as it adds a little more to a bare CD. Although I don't like collections, which I see as dumbing-down, this is rather nice, and quite useful for the automobile CD changer. (Count K)

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