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

  • New Blues News – 1/17/2017

    New Blues News – 1/17/2017 Ronnie Baker Brooks – Times Have Changed (Provogue): This new disc is Ronnie Baker Brooks’ first for Provogue and it seems that it is the realization of his recording goal of the past twenty years: “My whole intention, when I started with “Golddigger” (1998) and up through this one, was […]

  • Romancing the Viola – Haken performs his works

    This is a great time for classical music. It’s not only post-tonal, but it’s post-atonal as well. Composers don’t have to worry about sounding new-fangled or old-fashioned. They just have to create music that’s worth listening to. That thought came to me as I listened to this recording. Rudolf Haken’s musical language is just a […]

  • “Soup! There It Is” cook off to benefit WTJU

    Join WTJU for our first-ever soup cook-off fundraiser! Sunday, February 26 at 12:30 PM – 3:30 PM Fry’s Spring Beach Club 2512 Jefferson Park Ave in Charlottesville It’s kinda like the chili cook-offs you know about, but with a twist. Your ticket supports excellent community radio and gets you: 1) Tastings of all the soups […]

  • Taarka stop by WTJU, Jan 20

    Described by San Francisco Weekly as a “collision of Django Reinhardt and David Grisman,” Colorado quartet Taarka will stop by the WTJU studios this Friday afternoon, at 4 (est) for a live performance in our lounge.  Later that evening, they will put on a concert at C’Ville Coffee presented by The Prism Coffeehouse in partnership […]

  • Charlottesville Jazz Society and WTJU Present Hungarian Pianist Daniel Szabo

    On Saturday, January 21, 2017, WTJU is pleased to join the Charlottesville Jazz Society in presenting Hungarian pianist Daniel Szabo in concert, with Robert Jospe on drums and Pete Spaar on bass. This event, to be held at The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian Universalist, is also made possible in part with support from the […]