Max Emanuel Cencic – Venezia – Opera Arias of the Serenissima (2013) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Max Emanuel Cencic – Venezia – Opera Arias of the Serenissima (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:03:21 minutes | 1,11 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Erato – Warner Classics

“With these arias by Vivaldi and his lesser-known contemporaries I am hoping both to capture the musical tastes of Venice in the early 18th century and to recreate the moods and colours of a city that was open to the world. Venice was one of Europe’s most important musical centres, both exporting its operatic glories and importing new ideas from Rome and Naples.”

For today’s audiences, Vivaldi’s name exemplifies Venetian opera in the early 18th century – but he was not the only composer to shape the distinctive musical aesthetic of the great trading city known as La Serenissima. In this programme of arias by Vivaldi and his contemporaries, countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic further explores Venice’s contribution to world’s rich store of Baroque opera. His intention, in this first collaboration with Italian violinist/conductor Riccardo Minasi and his ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro, is to recreate Venetian taste and to trace the influences of the time, particularly as the city faced operatic innovations originating from Rome and Naples.

Cencic has been lauded for his assumption of the title role in Virgin Classics’ complete recording of Vivaldi’s Farnace, which Opera magazine felt “will set the standard for the foreseeable future … Max Emanuel Cencic has all the necessary fire and fury for Farnace, with excellent coloratura singing and shows control in the more introspective numbers.” Gramophone meanwhile wrote that: “[Cencic’s] brilliant coloratura is never merely showy, his poetic lament singing is superb…and his knack for portraying explosive vengefulness does not preclude intelligent musicality…this marvellous recording reveals that Vivaldi’s theatrical fantasy is a journey worth taking.”

All the arias on Venezia are new to Cencic and, assembling a richly varied programme, he has sought out some exquisite rarities. Vivaldi is represented by several numbers, while other composers include the Venetians Albinoni, Caldara and Porta and two composers born elsewhere in Italy, but who became closely associated with Venice: Gasparini (born in Lucca), who employed Vivaldi at the Ospedale della Pietà and who became something of a mentor to him, and Giacomelli (born in Piacenza), whose style was very close to Vivaldi’s; his touching aria ‘Sposa, non mi conosci’ was ‘borrowed’ and transformed by Vivaldi into the celebrated ‘Sposa, son disprezzata’ from Bajazet.

Along with a fascinating exploration of the cross-currents of Venetian Baroque style, Cencic promises both virtuoso fireworks and gentle lyricism – and a collaboration with Minasi and Il Pomo d’Oro that will be ignited by the spark of spontaneity.


01. Adriano in Siria-Act III: Barbaro non comprendo
02. La costanza combattuta in amore-Act III: Mormorando quelle fronde
03. A’ piedi miei svenato
04. Flavio Anicio Olibrio-Act I: Dolce mio ben, mia vita
05. Anche in mezzo a perigliosa
06. Merope-Act III: Sposa… non mi conosci
07. Argippo, RV 697-Act II: Io son rea dell’onor mio
08. Il nascimento de l’Aurora: Pianta bella, pianta amata
09. La verità in cimento, RV 739-Act I: Mi vuoi tradir lo so
10. Motezuma, RV 723-Act II: Quel rossor che in volto miri
11. Nitocri-Act I: Anche un misero arboscello

Max Emanuel Cencic (countertenor)
Il Pomo d’Oro
Riccardo Minasi