Stradella La Susanna
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Stradella La Susanna

Astronio Claudio Harmonices Mundi

Catalogue # 94345

The revival of that most original and fascinating Baroque composer Alessandro Stradella on Brilliant Classics continues with the issue of his substantial Oratorio La Susanna. The story is based on an apocryph bible book, and tells about the virtuous and beautiful Susanna who is wrongly accused of adultery, but is ultimately saved from her execution by the prophet Daniel. This juicy story inspired Stradella to composing dramatic and effectful arias and (instrumental) ensembles, full of burning emotions.

A powerful and passionate HIP (historically informed performance) recording by Italian forces, among whom the great Gemma Bertagnolli and Martin Oro. Harmonices Mundi conducted by Claudio Astronio offers the same high quality and commitment as in their earlier recording of Stradella Italian Duets (94258). New recording, excellent liner notes. The oratorio was a genre that flourished in Modena during the late 17th century – a fact largely due to the many commissions that came from the local ruler, Francesco II of Este.

Stradella: La Susanna

Martin Oro (narrator), Gemma Bertagnolli (Susanna), Sergio Foresti (first judge), Mirko Guadagnini (second judge) & Isabel Alvarez

Harmonices Mundi, Claudio Astronio

Review

Oratorio is a genre of composition sometimes left by the wayside beside the larger spectacle of opera. Alessandro Stradella was composing during the height of its popularity and La Susanna is considered something of a swan song for this flamboyant composer (as well as part of the sub-genre of ‘erotic oratorios’). Although based on the Bible, it’s the story of the woman who is constantly seduced and accused of adultery. There’s some stunning singing in this recording and it is a fantastic rendition of a great oratorio.

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