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L'Ipermestra

La Sfera Armoniosa / Mike Fentross

L'Ipermestra

Price: € 24.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917277425
Catnr: CC 72774
Release date: 07 June 2019
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917277425
Catalogue number
CC 72774
Release date
07 June 2019

"... the first recording—and a very accomplished and communicative one—of an important opera by a pioneer and master."

American Record Guide, 19-2-2020
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Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

Working in 17th-century Venice soon after the world’s first public opera houses opened there, composer Francesco Cavalli had no tradition to follow. He gave his fertile imagination free rein, tinkering with the brand-new art form to create the lively Venetian style of opera, with its melodious arias, sprightly dance rhythms, free-wheeling mythological or historical plots and generous dollops of comedy. Like most of Cavalli’s operas, l'Ipermestra wasn’t performed between the late 17th century and recent years.

In 1658, on the occasion of the recent birth of King Philip IV of Spain’s first son (prince Felipe Próspero), the Grand Duchy of Tuscany celebrated the royal event with one of the most magnificent operas ever staged in Florence: l'Ipermestra by Giovanni Andrea Moniglia and Francesco Cavalli.

This opera originated from an unusual mix of court culture and the fashionable “opera alla veneziana”, one of the most in vogue entertainments in Europe at the time. However, the main patron of this sign of alliance with the Spanish crown was not the grand duke Ferdinand II de’ Medici, but his notorious brother, cardinal Giovan Carlo de’ Medici: relentless operagoer and patron of singers, musicians, and academies. l'Ipermestra was one of his most important projects, and its origin, hidden for centuries, has only recently come to light.

An account of the opera was printed in 1658 on the occasion of the performances. Yet although the publicity for the 1658 première was so convincing that everyone believed the opera had been written just for that occasion, we have proof of the existence of l'Ipermestra as early as 1654 – four years prior to the Spanish prince’s birth.
Dirigent en luitenist Mike Fentross en het barokorkest La Sfera Armoniosa presenteren een wel heel bijzonder album met een, tot voor kort verborgen gebleven, opera van de Italiaanse componist Francesco Cavalli. Het is wonderschone muziek, prachtig uitgevoerd door deze musici die in de pers alom geprezen worden om hun speelwijze. Mischa Spel omschreef de groep in NRC als "... een van de interessantste vertegenwoordigers van de jongere generatie Nederlandse musici die zich richten op oude muziek en authentieke uitvoeringspraktijk."

Geen operatraditie

De Italiaanse componist en organist Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676) werd na de dood van Monteverdi in 1643, de bekendste operacomponist in Venetië. Hij was enorm geliefd tijdens zijn leven, maar werd na zijn overlijden al snel vergeten. In het Venetië van de 17e eeuw, kort nadat daar het eerste openbare operahuis werd geopend, was er voor Francesco Cavalli geen operatraditie voorhanden die hij kon volgen. Hij liet zijn fantasie dan ook de vrije loop, knutselde hier en daar aan de spiksplinternieuwe kunstvorm en creëerde zo de levendige Venetiaanse operastijl, met zijn melodieuze aria's, opgewekte dansritmes, onbekommerde mythologische of historische verhaallijnen en genereuze komische fratsen.

L'Ipermestra

In 1658, ter gelegenheid van de geboorte van de eerste zoon van koning Philip IV van Spanje, prins Felipe Próspero, vierde het groothertogdom Toscane de koninklijke gebeurtenis met een van de meest prachtige opera's die ooit in Florence werden opgevoerd: L'Ipermestra van Giovanni Andrea Moniglia and Francesco Cavalli. Een opera die voortkwam uit een ongewone mengeling van hofcultuur en de modieuze opera alla veneziana, een in die tijd in Europa bijzonder geliefde vorm van vermaak. De beschermheer van deze opera was de beruchte kardinaal Giovan Carlo de' Medici, een onvermoeibare operaganger en patroon van zangers, musici en academies. L'Ipermestra was een van zijn belangrijkste projecten, het origineel dat eeuwen verborgen bleef kwam nog niet zo lang geleden boven water. De publiciteit voor de première was zo overtuigend dat iedereen lang geloofde dat de opera speciaal voor de gelegenheid was geschreven, maar bronnen vermelden dat L'Ipermestra al in 1654 was gecomponeerd, vier jaar voor de geboorte van de Spaanse prins. Zoals de meeste van Cavalli's opera's werd L'Ipermestra niet opgevoerd tussen de late 17e eeuw en eind 20ste eeuw.

Op een rood fluwelen kussen

Mike Fentros kreeg het meer dan 350 jaar oude manuscript van de opera L'Ipermestra overhandigd op een rood fluwelen kussen. Dat was in 2003, de tijd waarin er nauwelijks manuscripten op internet stonden en je nog naar de bibliotheek moest om er een te zien. Mike was in de kamer met manuscripten van de Venetiaanse Marciana Bibliotheek, een van de oudste en mooiste bibliotheken ter wereld. Hij was daar om zijn droom en die van Jan van den Bossche, de vroegere directeur van het Oude Muziek Festival, uit te laten komen. Zij wilden een complete operaproductie op poten zetten van een vergeten manuscript, begraven in de kelders van een oude Italiaanse bibliotheek

Mike Fentross. "Staren naar het handschrift van een van de belangrijkste 17e eeuwse Italiaanse operacomponisten, was net zo opwindend als drie jaar later de première dirigeren van L'Ipermestra. Ik ben erg trots op alle zangers en instrumentalisten die die avond zo fantastisch optraden, dat we deze cd konden produceren uit één enkele opname van de première, zonder correcties, en we het album kunnen toevoegen aan de wondermooie collectie van Cavalli's opera cd's die tot nu toe verschenen zijn.

Mike Fentross

Mike Fentross verdiende zijn sporen grotendeels als oude muziekspecialist. Hij is in heel Europa actief als dirigent, solist and basso continuo speler en is hoofdvakdocent luit en basso continuo aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag. In 1991 richtte Fentross, samen met gambiste Paulina van Laarhoven en zangeres Xenia Meijer, het barokensemble La Sfera Armoniosa op, dat zich toelegt op bekende en onbekende 17e en 18e eeuwse muziek. Later, in 2006, breidde het ensemble zich uit tot een barokorkest, het La Sfera Armoniosa Orchestra.
Ton Koopman schreef in het Duitse muziekblad Concerto over Fentross: "Ik heb in Mike Fentross een ongelooflijk begaafde continuospeler gevonden. Ik ken niemand die zo intelligent, zo muzikaal continuo speelt."


Im Venedig des 17. Jahrhunderts, kurz nachdem dort das welterste, öffentliche Opernhaus eröffnet worden war, gab es für Francesco Cavalli keine Tradition, der er folgen konnte. Er ließ seiner Phantasie freien Lauf, tüftelte an der brandneuen Kunstform herum und schuf den lebhaften, venezianischen Opernstil mit seinen melodiösen Arien, aufgeweckten Tanzrhythmen, unbekümmerten mythologischen oder historischen Handlungen und großzügigen Klecksen von Komik. Wie viele von Cavallis Opern wurde l'Ipermestra a zwischen dem späten 17. Jahrhundert und den letzten Jahren nicht aufgeführt.
1658, zur Geburt des ersten Sohnes König Phillips IV. von Spanien (Prinz Felipe Próspero), feierte das Großfürstentum Toscana den königlichen Anlass mit einer der prächtigsten Opern, die in Florenz je auf die Bühne kam: l'Ipermestra von Giovanni Andrea Moniglia und Francesco Cavalli.
Diese Oper entspringt einer ungewöhnlichen Mischung von Hofkultur und der modischen opera alla veneziana, die zum Modernsten und Beliebtesten zählte, was die Unterhaltungskultur dieser Zeit in Europa zu bieten hatte. Schirmherr dieses Allianzzeichens mit der spanischen Krone war jedoch nicht der Großherzog Ferdinand II de Medici, sondern dessen berüchtigter Bruder, Kardinal Giovan Carlo de Medici - unermüdlicher Opernbesucher und Schirmherr von Sängern, Musiker und Akademien. l'Ipermestra war eines seiner wichtigsten Projekte, dessen Ursprung, jahrhundertelang unklar, erst kürzlich ans Licht kam.
1658 wurde ein Bericht über die Oper anlässlich ihrer Aufführung gedruckt. Die Werbung für die Premiere 1658 war so überzeugend, dass man lange glaubte, die Oper sei nur für diesen Anlass verfasst worden, doch Quellen zeigen, dass l'Ipermestra bereits 1654 fertiggestellt worden war - vier Jahre vor der Geburt des spanischen Prinzen.

Artist(s)

La Sfera Armoniosa

La Sfera Armoniosa, founded in 1992, is a Dutch Baroque ensemble and orchestra specialized in the performance of music from the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Artistic director and conductor is Mike Fentross. In addition to the music of famous composers such as Monteverdi, Haendel and Vivaldi, the ensemble undertakes research into the manuscripts and printed works of the European libraries in order to provide a rich spectrum of music from lesser known composers. The English music magazine Gramophone wrote about their first cd: “How soon will we hear the enchanting La Sfera Armoniosa again, and what fresh buried treasure will they unearth?” La Sfera Armoniosa is known and praised for it’s lively and colourful sound and for its groundbreaking programmes. They...
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La Sfera Armoniosa, founded in 1992, is a Dutch Baroque ensemble and orchestra specialized in the performance of music from the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Artistic director and conductor is Mike Fentross. In addition to the music of famous composers such as Monteverdi, Haendel and Vivaldi, the ensemble undertakes research into the manuscripts and printed works of the European libraries in order to provide a rich spectrum of music from lesser known composers. The English music magazine Gramophone wrote about their first cd: “How soon will we hear the enchanting La Sfera Armoniosa again, and what fresh buried treasure will they unearth?” La Sfera Armoniosa is known and praised for it’s lively and colourful sound and for its groundbreaking programmes. They created in 2004 a Schoenberg/ Monteverdi programme that they performed with great success in the Utrecht Early Music Festival and they performed modern world premiers from three almost forgotten opera’s: La Rosinda, l’Ipermestra and Granida. In 2012 the Concertgebouw asked La Sfera to design and perform a special program, the Amsterdam musical life before the concerthall was build, for their 125th anniversary.
La Sfera Armoniosa performed in main festivals and concert halls such as: Festival van Vlaanderen, Festival d’Ambronay, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Music Center Vredenburg, Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, Monteverdi festival Cremona, Festival de Musica Portico de Zamora, Festival Musica Antiqua Bruges, and the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam.
About their performance of the opera La Rosinda by Francesco Cavalli in Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci the press wrote: "This evening, the orchestra has proven that it is amongst the leading baroque orchestras. I will not soon forget the nuances that came from the orchestra pit. That was great art. Nothing more and nothing less."
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Mike Fentross (conductor)

Conductor/lutenist Mike Fentross has largely earned his credits as an early music specialist. He is working all over Europe as a conductor, soloist and basso continuo player and he is professor of lute and basso continuo at the Royal Conservatory The Hague. In 2006 he founded the baroque orchestra La Sfera Armoniosa. Mike Fentross conducted in many festivals and concerthalls like the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. the Festival van Vlaanderen, Festival d’Ambronay, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, Paradiso Amsterdam, Monteverdi Festival Cremona, Festival de Musica Portico de Zamora, Festival Musica Antiqua Brugge, Vantaa Early Music Festival, Bayreuth Barock and Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht. For two times he had the honour to conduct in the presence of Queen Beatrix of Holland. In...
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Conductor/lutenist Mike Fentross has largely earned his credits as an early music specialist. He is working all over Europe as a conductor, soloist and basso continuo player and he is professor of lute and basso continuo at the Royal Conservatory The Hague. In 2006 he founded the baroque orchestra La Sfera Armoniosa.

Mike Fentross conducted in many festivals and concerthalls like the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. the Festival van Vlaanderen, Festival d’Ambronay, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, Paradiso Amsterdam, Monteverdi Festival Cremona, Festival de Musica Portico de Zamora, Festival Musica Antiqua Brugge, Vantaa Early Music Festival, Bayreuth Barock and Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht. For two times

he had the honour to conduct in the presence of Queen Beatrix of Holland. In 1988 Mike Fentross graduated at the Royal Conservatory The Hague where he studied with lute pionier Toyohiko Satoh. In 1994 he won the Van Wassenaer Competition in Amsterdam with violinist Helene Schmitt. He played chamber music with musicians as Yo Yo Ma, Ton Koopman, Janine Jansen, Marion Verbruggen, Sonia Prina, Maria Bajo, Wilbert Hazelzet, Bruce Dickey, Lucy van Dael, Andrew Lawrence King, Philippe Jarousski, Eduardo Lopez Banzo, Skip Sempe and Gerard Lesne. Mike has recorded more than 75 cd’s.

He studied conducting with Stefan Pas. As conductor he debuted in 1999 with La Dafne from Marco da Gagliano in a production of the New Opera Academie in Amsterdam. In 2006 he conducted in the presence of Queen Beatrix the modern world premiere from the opera l’Ipermestra from Cavalli in a prestigeous jubilee production from the Utrecht Early Music Festival and in 2008 he conducted a second unearthed Cavalli opera La Rosinda in a production from the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci Potsdam. In 2009 he conducted for the first time in the big hall from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and in the same year he was musical director in the production Granida performed in the presence of Queen Beatrix. About his debut as conductor from the Dutch Chamber Choir in 2010 in the Concertgebouw the press wrote: Conductor Mike Fentross rivalled Caravaggio with the score of the Maria Vespers. His first time conducting the Nederlands Kamerkoor was a resounding success.

Mike doesn’t only conduct Early Music, in 2004 he conducted Pierrot Lunaire from Arnold Schoenberg. The press wrote: There was great enthusiasm for Mike Fentross as conductor of a double bill consisting of Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire. Mike Fentross gave a performance of Pierrot lunaire that ‘appeared to come from another planet’.

In 2012 Mike made his Austrian debut in the Haydn Festival Eisenstadt with great success in a program with coloratura soprano Simone Kermes and in the same year he conducted the pre jubilee concert for the Concertgebouw in a program with solo violinist Lucy van Dael and singers Henk Neven and Andreas Scholl. In 2013 he conducted the Fairy Queen with his orchestra and the Netherlands Chamberchoir.

Since 2013 he is regularly conducting the baroque orchestra and choir of the Royal Conservatory. In 2014 he was invited by Paradiso Orchestra to conduct Beethovens Eroica. In 2016 he conducted the Netherlands Chamber Choir in a Bach, Faure program live broadcast on national radio.


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Reine-Marie Verhagen (recorder)

Reine-Marie Verhagen studied the recorder with Pieter van Veen and Walter van Hauwe and graduated in 1976. She is a regular member of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Ton Koopman. With the ensemble La Sfera Armoniosa conducted by Mike Fentross she performed several 17th century operas. For the past 10 years she has also regularly performed 17th-18th and 20th-century music in San Francisco, Amherst, Boston, and New York. Verhagen takes keen interest in the contemporary repertoire. For the Steve Reich festival at the Royal Conservatory at The Hague in December 2003, she made a very successful transcription of his Vermont Counterpoint for solo recorder and an 11-member recorder ensemble. This composition was also performed in October 2007 at the International...
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Reine-Marie Verhagen studied the recorder with Pieter van Veen and Walter van Hauwe and graduated in 1976. She is a regular member of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Ton Koopman. With the ensemble La Sfera Armoniosa conducted by Mike Fentross she performed several 17th century operas. For the past 10 years she has also regularly performed 17th-18th and 20th-century music in San Francisco, Amherst, Boston, and New York.
Verhagen takes keen interest in the contemporary repertoire. For the Steve Reich festival at the Royal Conservatory at The Hague in December 2003, she made a very successful transcription of his Vermont Counterpoint for solo recorder and an 11-member recorder ensemble. This composition was also performed in October 2007 at the International Minimal Music Festival in Kassel, Germany, in combination with the premiere of a new minimal composition, written for Reine-Marie Verhagen, by Ulli Goette: “Mural”.
Not confining herself exclusively to musical performance, Reine-Marie Verhagen was a co-founder and former member of the board of the Dutch branch of the ERTA
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Marcel Beekman (tenor)

Dutch tenor Marcel Beekman is much in demand as a soloist for baroque and classical repertoire as for contemporary concert and operatic works. He has appeared with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestra of the 18 th Century, Les Arts Florissants, Musica Antiqua Köln and the ASKO|Schönberg under such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, William Christie, Iván Fischer, Frans Brüggen, John Adams and Reinbert de Leeuw. Marcel Beekman has created new works by composers Micha Hamel, Elmer Schönberger, Roderik de Man and Calliope Tsoupaki. Marcel Beekman performs in the great international concert venues and in festivals such as the Holland Festival Amsterdam, Salzburg Easter Festival, Utrecht Ancient Music Festival, Nederlandse Muziekdagen, Bregenzer Festspiele, Festival de La Chaise-Dieu...
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Dutch tenor Marcel Beekman is much in demand as a soloist for baroque and classical repertoire as for contemporary concert and operatic works. He has appeared with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestra of the 18 th Century, Les Arts Florissants, Musica Antiqua Köln and the ASKO|Schönberg under such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, William Christie, Iván Fischer, Frans Brüggen, John Adams and Reinbert de Leeuw. Marcel Beekman has created new works by composers Micha Hamel, Elmer Schönberger, Roderik de Man and Calliope Tsoupaki. Marcel Beekman performs in the great international concert venues and in festivals such as the Holland Festival Amsterdam, Salzburg Easter Festival, Utrecht Ancient Music Festival, Nederlandse Muziekdagen, Bregenzer Festspiele, Festival de La Chaise-Dieu and Saito Kinen Festival Japan. A considerable list of CD recordings bears witness to his versatility.

Marcel Beekman’s operatic repertoire includes the roles of Berenice in L’Ipermestra [Cavalli], Valère in Les Indes Galantes [Rameau], Sénéchal and Pégase in L’Écume des jours [Denisov], Ricardo in Laika [Martijn Padding], the title role of Willem Breuker’s Jona, Laki Topalović in Maratonci [Žebeljan] and Arnalta in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea. His creation in the title role of Rameau’s Platée in the 2014 production with Les Arts Florissants and directed by Robert Carsen in Vienna, Paris and New York was highly acclaimed by the international press. Future appearances include the role of Maître de Musique in Campra’s Les Fêtes Vénitiennes at the Opéra Comique in Paris [with a revival in Toulouse and New York]; Damon in Les Sauvages [Rameau] in a special concert on the occasion of the opening of La Philharmonie de Paris; Le Cabaretier in Benvenuto Cellini [Berlioz] at the Netherlands National Opera and further new productions in Vienna, Los Angeles and Amsterdam.


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Frank Wakelkamp (violoncello)

Joshua Cheatham (violone)

Emanuela Galli (mezzo soprano)

Han Tol (recorder)

Sergio Foresti (bass)

Sergio Foresti (1968) is a virtuoso Italian baritone. He first graduated in both opera singing and piano at the conservatory of Modena (Italy) and a decade later also in vocal chamber music in Florence (Italy). From the start of his career, he explored several musical styles in depth. In polyphonic music, for about 15 years he took the bass part in many concerts and recordings of renaissance madrigals with Concerto Italiano. He even worked with the Italian medieval group LaReverdie. As a soloist he performed sacred music from the early nineties on. His debut in opera in 1998 was as Alcandro in Vivaldi’s L’Olimpiade. Since then he worked with important conductors like René Jacobs, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Fabio Biondi, and Jordi Savall....
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Sergio Foresti (1968) is a virtuoso Italian baritone. He first graduated in both opera singing and piano at the conservatory of Modena (Italy) and a decade later also in vocal chamber music in Florence (Italy). From the start of his career, he explored several musical styles in depth. In polyphonic music, for about 15 years he took the bass part in many concerts and recordings of renaissance madrigals with Concerto Italiano. He even worked with the Italian medieval group LaReverdie.
As a soloist he performed sacred music from the early nineties on. His debut in opera in 1998 was as Alcandro in Vivaldi’s L’Olimpiade. Since then he worked with important conductors like René Jacobs, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Fabio Biondi, and Jordi Savall. He performed on many stages all over Europe.
In 2012 Sergio Foresti moved from Rome to Berlin. He decided to study all over again the belcanto style of singing, which came to life with the invention of opera around 1600. He focused on technical qualities, such as the even placement of the voice, legato singing, flexibility of the voice, and ornamentations like trills. He looked for technical and stylistic insights in the old treatises. He realized that the early recordings of great singers of the past are a treasure trove of examples of how the belcanto principles can be put into practice. He came to the conclusion that music above all is created to move the soul, and that this is the approach he wants to follow.
From this deepened understanding of belcanto, he restudied his operatic and chamber music repertoire. Always working from the music score, he looks for meaningful ways to express the harmony between text and music. While maintaining a strong link to baroque music, he performed in operas of Mozart, Rossini, and Donizetti. In 2018 he released a collection of Italian cantatas of Antonio Caldara with Ensemble Stile Galante. This collection of arias for Giuseppe Maria Boschi is the realisation of and old dream, in collaboration with the fantastic Abchordis Ensemble under Andrea Buccarella.

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Mark Tucker (tenor)

Stefano Demicheli (harpsichord)

Elena Monti (soprano)

Mark Geelen (trumpet)

Makoto Akatsu (violin)

Frouke Mooij (violin)

Sophie Gent (violin)

Marcin Lasia (violin)

Yoshi Kamaza (harpsichord)

Joy Smith (harp)

Geerten Rooze (trumpet)

Johannes Terpstra (percussion)

Gaëlle Le Roi (soprano)

Composer(s)

Francesco Cavalli

Francesco Cavalli (born Pietro Francesco Caletti-Bruni 14 February 1602 – 14 January 1676) was an Italian composer of the early Baroque period. He took the name 'Cavalli' from his patron, Venetian nobleman Federico Cavalli. He was born at Crema, Lombardy and became a singer (soprano) at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice in 1616, where he had the opportunity to work under the tutorship of Claudio Monteverdi. He became second organist in 1639, first organist in 1665, and in 1668 maestro di cappella. He is chiefly remembered for his operas. Cavalli began to write for the stage in 1639 (Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo) soon after the first public opera house opened in Venice. He established so great a reputation...
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Francesco Cavalli (born Pietro Francesco Caletti-Bruni 14 February 1602 – 14 January 1676) was an Italian composer of the early Baroque period. He took the name "Cavalli" from his patron, Venetian nobleman Federico Cavalli.
He was born at Crema, Lombardy and became a singer (soprano) at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice in 1616, where he had the opportunity to work under the tutorship of Claudio Monteverdi. He became second organist in 1639, first organist in 1665, and in 1668 maestro di cappella. He is chiefly remembered for his operas. Cavalli began to write for the stage in 1639 (Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo) soon after the first public opera house opened in Venice. He established so great a reputation that he was summoned to Paris from 1660 (he revived his opera Xerse until 1662, producing his Ercole amante. Franceso Cavalli died in Venice at the age of 73.
Cavalli was the most influential composer in the rising genre of public opera in mid-17th-century Venice. Unlike Monteverdi's early operas, scored for the extravagant court orchestra of Mantu, , Cavalli's operas make use of a small orchestra of strings and basso continuo to meet the limitations of public opera houses.
Cavalli introduced melodious arias into his music and popular types into his libretti. His operas have a remarkably strong sense of dramatic effect as well as a great musical facility, and a grotesque humour which was characteristic of Italian grand opera down to the death of Alessandro Scarlatti. Cavalli's operas provide the only example of a continuous musical development of a single composer in a single genre from the early to the late 17th century in Venice — only a few operas by others (e.g., Monteverdi and Antonio Cest) survive. The development is particularly interesting to scholars because opera was still quite a new medium when Cavalli began working, and had matured into a popular public spectacle by the end of his career.
Cavalli wrote forty-one operas, twenty-seven of which are extant, being preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (Library of St Mark) in Venice. Copies of some of the operas also exist in other locations. In addition, two last operas (Coriolano and Masenzio), which are clearly attributed to him, are lost, as well as twelve other operas that have been attributed to him, though the music is lost and attribution impossible to prove.
In addition to operas, Cavalli wrote settings of the Magnificat in the grand Venetian polychoral style, settings of the Marian antiphons, other sacred music in a more conservative manner – notably a Requiem Mass in eight parts, probably intended for his own funeral – and some instrumental music.

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Press

... the first recording—and a very accomplished and communicative one—of an important opera by a pioneer and master.
American Record Guide, 19-2-2020

A new world of opera. Keep them coming, Maestro Fentross!
Fanfare, 03-12-2019

Fresher and more inventive than Vivaldi.
Alkmaarse Courant, 07-11-2019

...keep them coming, Maestro Fentross!
Fanfare, 14-9-2019

Fentross’s conducting is swift and urgent, allowing the big confrontations to register with great immediacy
Gramophone UK, 23-8-2019

“Elena Monti and Emanuela Galli are superb in their delivery” “Both the music and drama blossom in the mind’s eye”
The Sunday Times, 11-8-2019

The Cavalli revolution.
ARTAMAG', 03-8-2019

The voices are well highlighted thanks to the excellent support by La Sfera Armoniosa led by Mike Fentross. He knows how to elicit the finest hues and tempo changes from his musicians, so that the opera continues to fascinate three CDs.
De Gelderlander, 20-7-2019

The recording excels in clarity and depth. That is partly a technical story, but it is also a pleasant side effect of the live recording. The music is pleasant three-dimensional.
Luister, 19-7-2019

Mike Fentross leads La Sfera Armoniosa, a musical club of more than 20 musicians, with great sense of Cavalli's flow through the long score.
Trouw, 05-7-2019

Play album Play album
Disc #1
01.
Atto Primo: Sinfonia from opera “Doriclea” 1645 by Franceso Cavalli
01:22
(Francesco Cavalli) Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Gaëlle Le Roi, Elena Monti, La Sfera Armoniosa
02.
Atto Primo: Scena 1 Linceo, Ipermestra - Cortile regio
08:13
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
03.
Atto Primo: Scena 2 Arbante
01:11
(Francesco Cavalli) Gaëlle Le Roi, Elena Monti, Mark Tucker, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, La Sfera Armoniosa
04.
Atto Primo: Scena 3 Arbante, Elisa
03:58
(Francesco Cavalli) Mark Tucker, Emanuela Galli, Marcel Beekman, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, La Sfera Armoniosa
05.
Atto Primo: Scena 4 Elisa
01:17
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
06.
Atto Primo: Scena 5 Elisa, Berenice
02:53
(Francesco Cavalli) Gaëlle Le Roi, Elena Monti, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
07.
Atto Primo: Scena 6 Berenice
00:31
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Mark Tucker, Emanuela Galli, Marcel Beekman, La Sfera Armoniosa
08.
Atto Primo: Scena 7 Danao, Ipermestra
08:24
(Francesco Cavalli) Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, La Sfera Armoniosa
09.
Atto Primo: Scena 8 Ipermestra
05:18
(Francesco Cavalli) Gaëlle Le Roi, Elena Monti, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
10.
Atto Primo: Scena 9 Linceo
02:58
(Francesco Cavalli) Gaëlle Le Roi, Elena Monti, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Marcel Beekman, La Sfera Armoniosa
11.
Atto Primo: Scena 11 Linceo, Ipermestra
09:39
(Francesco Cavalli) Gaëlle Le Roi, Elena Monti, Mark Tucker, Emanuela Galli, Marcel Beekman, La Sfera Armoniosa
12.
Atto Primo: Scena 12 Ipermestra
03:24
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Mark Tucker, Emanuela Galli, Marcel Beekman, La Sfera Armoniosa
13.
Atto Primo: Scena 13 Ipermestra, Berenice
00:52
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Mark Tucker, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, La Sfera Armoniosa
14.
Atto Primo: Scena 14 Ipermestra, Danao, Berenice sotto una portiera
07:15
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
15.
Atto Primo: Scena 15 Berenice
03:52
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa

Disc #2
01.
Atto Secondo: Scena 1 Ipermestra, Elisa - Prigione
09:12
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Mark Tucker, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, La Sfera Armoniosa
02.
Atto Secondo: Scena 2 Ipermestra, Berenice
04:30
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Mark Tucker, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, La Sfera Armoniosa
03.
Atto Secondo: Scena 3 Ipermestra
01:29
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Marcel Beekman, La Sfera Armoniosa
04.
Atto Secondo: Scena 4 Ipermestra, Arbante ch’osserva
04:53
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
05.
Atto Secondo: Scena 5 Arbante, Elisa
01:23
(Francesco Cavalli) Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, La Sfera Armoniosa
06.
Atto Secondo: Scena 6 Arbante, Elisa, Danao
01:50
(Francesco Cavalli) Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, La Sfera Armoniosa
07.
Atto Secondo: Scena 7 Danao, Arbante
02:31
(Francesco Cavalli) Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, La Sfera Armoniosa
08.
Atto Secondo: Scena 8 Danao
02:28
(Francesco Cavalli) Gaëlle Le Roi, Elena Monti, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Marcel Beekman, La Sfera Armoniosa
09.
Atto Secondo: Scena 9 Danao, Ipermestra
02:20
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
10.
Atto Secondo: Scena 10 Ipermestra
02:36
(Francesco Cavalli) Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, La Sfera Armoniosa
11.
Atto Secondo: Scena 11 Ipermestra, Elisa, Berenice
05:11
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
12.
Atto Secondo: Scena 12 Ipermestra
01:38
(Francesco Cavalli) Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, La Sfera Armoniosa
13.
Atto Secondo: Scena 21 Linceo
02:40
(Francesco Cavalli) Gaëlle Le Roi, Elena Monti, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
14.
Atto Secondo: Scena 22 Linceo, Arbante
04:51
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
15.
Atto Secondo: Scena 23 Linceo
02:12
(Francesco Cavalli) Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, La Sfera Armoniosa
16.
Atto Secondo: Scena 24 Linceo, Elisa
00:41
(Francesco Cavalli) Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, La Sfera Armoniosa
17.
Atto Secondo: Scena 25 Linceo, Elisa, Berenice
01:10
(Francesco Cavalli) Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, La Sfera Armoniosa
18.
Atto Secondo: Scena 26 Danao
01:36
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Marcel Beekman, La Sfera Armoniosa
19.
Atto Secondo: “Battalla de Barabaso yerno de Satana” 1650 by Andrea Falconieri
03:56
(Francesco Cavalli) Gaëlle Le Roi, Elena Monti, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa

Disc #3
01.
Atto Terza: Scena 1 instrumental
01:40
(Francesco Cavalli) Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, La Sfera Armoniosa
02.
Atto Terza: Scena 2 Ipermestra, Campagna della Torre
00:15
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
03.
Atto Terza: Scena 3 Ipermestra
01:09
(Francesco Cavalli) Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, La Sfera Armoniosa
04.
Atto Terza: Scena 4 Ipermestra, Elisa
04:11
(Francesco Cavalli) Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, La Sfera Armoniosa
05.
Atto Terza: Scena 5 Arbante
03:09
(Francesco Cavalli) Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, La Sfera Armoniosa
06.
Atto Terza: Scena 7 Linceo
03:40
(Francesco Cavalli) Gaëlle Le Roi, Elena Monti, Mark Tucker, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, La Sfera Armoniosa
07.
Atto Terza: Scena 8 Linceo, Elisa, Berenice
07:19
(Francesco Cavalli) Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, La Sfera Armoniosa
08.
Atto Terza: Scena 9 Elisa, Berenice
00:45
(Francesco Cavalli) Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, La Sfera Armoniosa
09.
Atto Terza: Scena 10 Berenice
02:45
(Francesco Cavalli) Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, La Sfera Armoniosa
10.
Atto Terza: Scena 11 Ipermestra sopra la Torre
06:03
(Francesco Cavalli) Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, La Sfera Armoniosa
11.
Atto Terza: Scena 12 Ipermestra e Berenice sopra la Torre; Linceo in strada
01:00
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
12.
Atto Terza: Scena 13 Berenice, Elisa
02:21
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Marcel Beekman, La Sfera Armoniosa
13.
Atto Terza: Scena 15 Linceo, Ipermestra
00:46
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
14.
Atto Terza: Scena 16 Linceo, Ipermestra, Arbante
03:14
(Francesco Cavalli) Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, La Sfera Armoniosa
15.
Atto Terza: Scena 17 Linceo, Ipermestra, Arbante, Elisa, Berenice
08:56
(Francesco Cavalli) Elena Monti, Gaëlle Le Roi, Marcel Beekman, Emanuela Galli, Mark Tucker, La Sfera Armoniosa
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