Tuesday 23 October 2018
Opera News' Critic's Choice: Prologue
"Early Italian prologues often mention, like trigger warnings, the powerful emotions that may be elicited in the listener. If delight counts, Aspromonte, Onofi and Il Pomo d’Oro have hit the mark. "
The Italian ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro and soprano Francesca Aspromonte have stitched together eleven such prologues into a marvelous, richly dramatic sequence that introduces operas both private and public, one-offs for special occasions as well as long-running hits, and even one sacred drama. Lest anyone think the music is all G-major chords and goat-trills, the selections—arranged roughly in chronological order, from Monteverdi to Alessandro Scarlatti—reveal a growing sophistication and harmonic complexity, along with increasing vocal demands, all developing from a style of lyrical improvisation that did in fact use standard chord formulas.
[Check out the album here:]
Photo by Nicola Dal Maso