Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739)
Lo specchio della nostalgia - Duetti e Cantate per voci e stromenti
The decision to perform these cantatas with a string quartet (without double bass) was suggested by the composer himself. Indeed, in his works (and particularly in "Arianna", a scenic composition from 1727 from which all the arias for soprano on this CD are taken), Marcello alternates quite often between orchestral writing and that for a solo instrument per part, specifically indicated by him: violin I, violin II, viola and violoncello. Taken as a whole, these cantatas trace a line of stylistic development which tends toward the expressive characteristics of Classicism and the galant period. Particularly striking is the composer’s ability to focus upon an emotion and redesign it through the music; we are directly met with pure emotional states without any sort of intellectual filter "separation, distance, nostalgia". The instruments often imply a musical symbolism which highlights the significance of the text. A case in point, as the listener will hear, is the amazing lament of Ariadne (in the cantata "Arianna abbandonata").