- Franco Fagioli’s latest Deutsche Grammophon solo album presents rediscovered treasures by Neapolitan opera composer Leonardo Vinci
- Veni, Vidi, Vinci showcases a dozen da capo arias, including seven world premiere recordings
- Fagioli, the first countertenor to sign an exclusive recording deal with the Yellow Label, continues acclaimed artistic partnership with Il Pomo d’Oro
‘Sembro quell’usignolo’ from ‘Il trionfo di Camilla’ and ‘Sull’ali del suo amor’ from ‘L’Ernelinda’ are availble for streaming & download now
Late Baroque masterworks return to life in Franco Fagioli’s latest solo album for Deutsche Grammophon: Leonardo Vinci – Veni, Vidi, Vinci. Set for global release on 08 May 2020, it sees the celebrated Argentinian countertenor turn his vocal gifts to a programme of arias by one of the great pioneers of Neapolitan opera. Made with specialist period-instrument ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro, directed by its concertmaster Zefira Valova, the album includes seven world premiere recordings of works unearthed specially for this landmark project. It reveals the artistry of a composer whose music captivated eighteenth-century audiences and continues to rouse profound emotions with its virtuosity and expressive power.
Veni, Vidi, Vinci opens with two showpiece arias from Il trionfo di Camilla, originally written for prima donna Faustina Bordoni in 1725. It continues with the accompanied recitative “Ove corri? Ove vai?” and beguiling aria “Sorge talora fosca l’aurora” from L’Ernelinda, first staged at Naples in 1726. The recording also contains two arias from Medo (1728), first performed by the legendary castrato Carlo Broschi, known as Farinelli, and the sublime “Gelido in ogni vena” from Siroe re di Persia (1726). Other highlights include “Nave altera”, from Gismondo re di Polonia (1727), in which the rebellious prince Primislao wrestles to reconcile his desire for peace with his political pride; “Vil trofeo”, a dialogue for high voice and solo trumpet from Alessandro nell’Indie (1730); and the pastoral aria “Quell’usignolo ch’è innamorato” from Gismondo, complete with an evocation of nightingales from two obbligato recorders.
Described in 1739 as “the capital of the world’s music”, Naples set new trends in opera that spread like wildfire across Europe. Leonardo Vinci (1690–1730) revelled in the latest musical fashions, writing his first opera for Naples in his twenties and earning his reputation there with a series of comic works. His first serious opera, staged at the city’s Teatro San Bartolomeo in 1722, was so successful that he switched focus and went on to help define the emerging genre of opera seria, not least with fine settings of texts by the poet and librettist Pietro Metastasio (1698–1782), Siroe and Alessandro nell’Indie among them. During his lifetime the elegant simplicity of his melodies, his love for ornamentation and his leisurely rate of harmonic change influenced many other composers, including his pupil Pergolesi and older contemporaries such as Vivaldi and Handel, his style marking the beginnings of Classicism in music.
Franco Fagioli’s new Deutsche Grammophon recording follows in the wake of Handel Arias, hailed by Gramophone for its “coloratura thrills’, “range of vocal brushstrokes” and “dramatic conviction” and by ClassicsToday for Il Pomo d’Oro’s “stunning playing – stylish and superbly tuned”.