Neapolitan sirens and nymphs

Naomi Rivieccio, soprano
Talenti Vulcanici
Stefano Demicheli, harpsichord and conduction

Conception Paologiovanni Maione

Francesco Mancini
 (1672 – 1737) La dove il bel Sebeto nel mar de le Sirene. Cantata for solo voice and continuo
Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti
 (1685 – 1757) Sonata in A major, K 209  for harpsichord

Alessandro Scarlatti
 (1660 – 1726) La nel bel sen della regal Sirena. Cantata for solo voice and continuo * * *
Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti
 (1685 – 1757) Sonata in A major, K 208  for harpsichord

(Adagio and cantabile)
Alessandro Scarlatti
 (1660 – 1726) Or che su legno curato. Cantata for solo voice and continuo
Alessandro Scarlatti
 (1660 – 1726) La dove a Mergellina bacia la riva il mare. Cantata for solo voice and continuo

GIOVANNI BATTISTA PERGOLESI (17010 -1736) Dalla città vicino” Cantata for soprano, strings and continuo

In the modern age, the peninsula spurs a music industry in which the professionals of the art of “sound” are associated with writers and intellectuals in a fruitful dialogue that inaugurates an interesting season in the name of chamber cantata. The shape, of variable size and articulation, presents a wide range of organizational possibilities, ranging from the performance intended for a solo voice with continuo to that for three voices with a small ensemble. Suave voices are required to perform private delightful shows in which it is not the power that is requested, but the all-round performative knowledge in which the performance techniques  are called into question with equal force so that the entertainment inspires the “idle” spectators. The Italian cities are among the most populous of virtuosos of “voice” and represent an inexhaustible forge of singing masters destined to satisfy the demanding market; many singers, for profession or for pleasure, train their talent between strenuous internships and performances in private assemblies. Musical literature in the modern age is dotted with a plethora of pages dedicated to the myth of Parthenope and most of the composers pay their tribute to the legendary and multifaceted creature. Siren, queen, divinity: these are the identities of Partenope that between history, legend and myth, crosses the sacred and profane scenes between the 17th and 18th centuries. Guest of prologues, serenades and cantatas, in theaters, palaces, marinas and squares, singing echoes her ancient nature as a charmer ready to offer her services, in a highly edifying and devoted demeanor, even on those scenes where she has no another task than to submit confidently and imploringly to the supreme divine will. On several occasions she is the privileged interlocutor of the city patrons and especially of San Gennaro to whom she entrusts her worries and her hopes, sure of a very high and generous tutelage. The literature on Naples had found considerable vigor, between the 16th and 17th centuries, with very erudite dissertations on the town’s foundation: the use of disparate ancient sources to establish the primacy of the foundation had triggered a process of timely reconnaissance aimed at dismantling the archaic myth of siren for the benefit of the most “credible” royal figure, setting aside, albeit documenting them, all other possible variants. During their careers Alessandro Scarlatti, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi and Francesco Mancini do not give up singing compositions dedicated to the siren / queen Parthenope, projecting the image of the capital in a mythical and very musical aura destined to remain adamantine and unscratchable for a century.

Paologiovanni Maione

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