Girolamo Crescentini (1762-1846)
Cantatas and Ariettas for Voice and Fortepiano
The musician Girolamo Crescentini was a very well-known figure in the greatest theatres both in Italy and abroad, at the end of the 18th century. He had started out as a castrato singer, but at the beginning of the 19th century he had already become singing teacher to the imperial family and court composer in Paris. After returning to Italy, he was appointed principal of the Conservatories of Bologna, Rome and Naples. One of his pupils was the famous Isabella Colbran, Rossini's favourite singer. This recording contains a monographic collection of 6 cantatas and 18 arias for voice and fortepiano composed in Paris in 1810, and a collection of 6 arias composed for the Queen of Holland. These pieces, which have a classical form and are based on texts by Metastasio, show musical characteristics that range from late Classicism to early Romanticism, with a certain influence of Mittel-European lied music, particularly in the piano part. The vocal writing is a real summary of the art of Bel Canto, and its qualities reveal the composer's vocal and compositional mastery. With this collection, as well as with his many books of singing exercises, Crescentini was actually laying the foundations for the glories of two centuries of Italian opera singing.