Niccolo Jommelli, Berliner Barock Akademie, Alessandro De Marchi - La Passione di Gesł Cristo

Published Tuesday 21st March 2017
Niccolo Jommelli, Berliner Barock Akademie, Alessandro De Marchi - La Passione di Gesł Cristo
Niccolo Jommelli, Berliner Barock Akademie, Alessandro De Marchi - La Passione di Gesł Cristo

STYLE: Choral
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 164981-25603
LABEL: Pan Classics PC10376
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 2

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

I confess that Niccolo Jommelli (1714-1774) is a new name to me and my search for background material showed me why. While Jommelli wrote religious music he is better known for his work in opera where he became known as "the Italian Gluck" because of his development of accompanied recitative using the full orchestra. However,a brief look at his discography shows that very little of his has entered the operatic repertoire. Specialists need to know about him but most listeners head straight to Mozart or the other giants. Clearly there is sufficient interest to justify this mid-price re-issue of a 1749 oratorio recorded in 1996. The libretto is by Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782) which was used by other composers of the late Baroque and early classical periods and which is helpfully translated in the CD booklet and is indeed worth reading. The four central roles are San Pietro (tenor Jeffrey Francis), San Giovanni (mezzo Debora Beronesi), Maria Maddalena (soprano Anke Herrmann), and Giuseppe d'Arimatea (baritone Maurizio Picconi) with the soloists being well supported by Ensemble Vocale Sigismondo d'India, Ensemble Vocale Eufonia, and the Berliner Barock Akademie all directed by Alessandro De Marchi who also supplies some informative performance notes. While I enjoyed hearing the two hours of this oratorio I confess that it will not supplant 'The Messiah' or any of Bach's oratorios for my Easter listening.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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