Alessandro Stradella: Composer and Cad

Few composers had as colorful history as Alessandro Stradella. He took part in a scheme to embezzle money from the Catholic Church and had to flee Rome. He was an inveterate womanizer, causing not one but two families to take out a contract on him (as he hastily left town). The first group of assassins failed, the second group succeeded. It’s important to remember, though, that during his lifetime Stradella was as famous for his music as he was infamous for his deeds. And this recording helps the listener understand why.

Stradella was a professional opera singer, which informed his writing for the voice. This collection features three of his solo cantatas along with a concert aria and a duet. Stradella’s melodies are supple, fluid things that move gracefully with the text.

Il Complesso Barocco Di Milano performs with refreshing directness and clarity. While singers of Stradella’s time might have more heavily ornamented his melodies, this ensemble chooses to let the music come through with minimal interference. The sound is a little soft and details are somewhat muted (I suspect this is a vintage analog recording).

One major drawback — no librettos are included. Stradella’s music is so closely intertwined with the text that this is a real minus, as it prevents the listener from fully appreciating Stradella’s artistry. And why he was so eagerly sought after by more than just angry husbands.

Alessandro Stradella: Cantate Ed Avie
Complesso Barocco Di Milano
Newton

More Recent Posts

  • Mystery Band on Lambeth Live, May 6

    Coming up this Friday night, May 6, from 8-9 (edt) during Lambeth Live, WTJU brings you a special mystery concert from a local venue.  No fears, Lambeth Live will return to its usual location on May 13 with Bayou Faux Pas.  But tune in this Friday night, May 6, for a special concert from parts […]

  • The Buck Stops Here on Sunset Road, May 6

    The Buck Stops Here will stop by WTJU this Friday afternoon, May 6, around 4 (edt) for a visit.  Later that evening you can catch them over at C’Ville Coffee for a concert presented by The Prism Coffeehouse (details).

  • Mipso stop by Sunset Road on Road to Delfest, Apr 29

    Chapel Hill, NC quartet Mipso return to the WTJU studios this Friday afternoon, April 29, at 4 (edt) to kick off Sunset Road.  Later that evening you can catch them on The Road To Delfest with The Travelin’ McCourys at The Jefferson Theater in downtown Charlottesville (details).

  • Bayou Faux Pas on Lambeth Live, May 13

    Central Virginia’s premiere Cajun band, Bayou Faux Pas, will put on the May 13 edition of Lambeth Live (heard each Friday night from 8-9 on WTJU), and you are invited to be part of the studio audience for this FREE concert broadcast! 350 Emmet St N, Charlottesville on ye olde GPS will get you to […]

  • WTJU Presents Allison Miller and Boom Tic Boom May 3rd

    Picture taken by the Lincoln Center The star-studded jazz sextet Boom Tic Boom will perform in concert Tuesday May 3rd at The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church, sponsored by WTJU and The Charlottesville Jazz Society.  The group is on tour to promote their latest release, Otis Was a Polar Bear, which includes all original material composed […]

  • New Blues & Soul News – 4/25/2016

    New Blues & Soul News – 4/25/2016 New Blues Adds: Mike Eldred Trio – Baptist Town (Great Western): This is Eldred’s fourth release and it reaches for the roots that stoked the original fires at Sun Studio, where it was recorded. There are blues, gospel, country proto-rock influences all over it. The sound ranges from […]