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Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston - Hasse: Marc' Antonio e Cleopatra (2010)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston - Hasse: Marc' Antonio e Cleopatra (2010)

Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston - Hasse: Marc' Antonio e Cleopatra (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 480 Mb | Total time: 46:22+43:28 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Dorian | # DSL-92115 | Recorded: 2010

Later in life Hasse’s operas would be spoken of in the same breath as the poet Metastasio, whose librettos he frequently set, as though the two were one: a high-minded, classicizing Marc Antonio e Cleopatra . It brought Hasse a degree of renown in wealthy Neapolitan circles, and a commission from the San Bartolomeo opera house for Il Sesostrate . That in turn blossomed into a lucrative match-up, with seven opera seria composed and produced in six years, as well as a number of comic intermezzo operas and a full-length opera buffa for other venues. Hasse was suddenly on the fast track to fame and contracts.
In structure the work is not unlike a number of other, similar serenatas and dramatic cantatas financed by the secular and sacred elite of the Italian States at the time. The plot was well known in learned circles, so that much exposition could be dispensed with. A small cast, and lack of multiple sets, meant that relatively little was required in the way of stage preparation. This was in Naples, of course, where a mix of privately supported and profit-based urban venues could be counted upon to support opera houses for full-scale works, using more extensive casts (and, pre-Metastasio, main singers could amount to as many as 10 per opera); complex, multilevel stage sets; and elaborate stage machinery. (In more rural European areas, the onus was on princely estates to fund big operas if their owners wanted to see them, as well as serenatas, so both Gödöll??s Royal Palace and Fert?d’s Esterházy Palace had their own extensive theaters and employment communities numbering in the hundreds.) Hasse, like Scarlatti, Handel, and many others before him, had a ready market for these smaller works.
Hasse was still writing in a vein we think of as predominantly Baroque in this opera, although around the same time he copied several arias from Scarlatti’s final opera, La Griselda , with the object of “modernizing it” through simplified harmonies. Marc Antonio e Cleopatra begins with a sinfonia consisting of a French overture, complete with over-dotted opening and fugal central section, and a minuet. The Baroque cast of the individual arias (and there are only two duets, one at the end of each act) is evident, with busy bass lines and elaborate vocal figuration, though counterpoint is less predominant than harmonic and thematic progression in determining the course of an aria. Dramatic suspensions that occur on a few occasions, as in Cleopatra’s “Un sol tuo sospiro,” point perhaps to Scarlatti’s influence. If the theatrical expression is conventional, and the act II final duet welcoming suicide almost a parody in its musically conventional expression of bliss, the individual arias often demonstrate energy and melodic distinction. We’re still a long way from Cleofide (1731), but it’s easy to understand why the Neapolitan artistic elite thought Hasse was someone to take a chance on.
The performances are good. Ava Pine has a finely focused lyric soprano with strong coloratura, though she fudges enunciation in some cases to procure evenness of tone. I’d prefer more lift in the simple line of “Quel candido armellino,” but “A Dio trono, impero a Dio” and “Morte col fiero aspetto” display a good emotional sense, and a voice well up to the extensive demands placed upon its agility. Jamie Barton has a contralto-flavored mezzo, with a good sense of phrasing (“Fra le pompe peregrine”). There appear to be some problems just around the register break, at least at the time of this recording, with occasional pitch issues that don’t appear anywhere else in the voice. The top seems pinched at times, as in “Pur chi’io possa a te,” but the overall sound is an attractive one. Matthew Dirst leads a disciplined, well-balanced performance whose pacing just occasionally seems overly tense: “A lone sigh from you, a loving glance with sweet pain came to my heart to heal my wounds,” Cleopatra sings in one aria, but the tempo of 156 bpm, a fast allegro , is too fast to project a joyful glow. The Ars Lyrica Houston is as fluent and poised here as it was in Scarlatti’s Euridice dall’Inferno.
–Barry Brenesal

Performer:
Cleopatra - Ava Pine
Marc Antonio - Jamie Barton
Ars Lyrica Houston
Conductor - Matthew Dirst

Track List:
CD1:
01. Sinfonia: Spiritoso e staccato - Allegro
02. Sinfonia: Spiritoso e staccato - Grazioso
03. Recitativo: Da quel salso elemento
04. Aria: Pur ch'io possa a te (Marc' Antonio)
05. Recitativo: Signor, la tua sciagura
06. Aria: Morte col fiero aspetto (Cleopatra)
07. Recitativo: Or che la mia fortuna
08. Aria: Fra le pompe peregrine (Marc' Antonio)
09. Recitativo: Si, mel rammento, o caro
10. Aria: Un sol tuo sospiro (Cleoparta)
11. Recitativo: Cosi rapido fugge e vola il tempo
12. Duetto: Attendi ad amarmi (Marc' Antonio, Cleoparta)
CD2:
01. Recitativo: Signor, la tuna speranza
02. Aria: A Dio trono, impero a Dio (Cleopatra)
03. Recitativo: Ah, tolga il ciel mia cara
04. Aria: Come veder potrei (Marc' Antonio)
05. Recitativo: Lascia, Antonio, deh lascia
06. Aria: Quel candido armellino (Cleopatra)
07. Recitativo: L'eroico tuo coraggio
08. Aria: La tra i mirti degl'Elisi (Marc' Antonio)
09. Recitativo: Poiche la morte sola
10. Duetto: Bella etade avventurosa (Marc' Antonio, Cleopatra)


Exact Audio Copy V1.3 from 2. September 2016

EAC extraction logfile from 20. January 2018, 13:11

Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston, Ava Pine, Jamie Barton / Hasse - Marc' Antonio e Cleopatra CD1

Used drive : HL-DT-STDVDRAM GH24NS95 Adapter: 1 ID: 0

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Read offset correction : 6
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Additional command line options : -V -8 -T "Date=%year%" -T "Genre=%genre%" %source%


TOC of the extracted CD

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1 | 0:00.00 | 3:04.42 | 0 | 13841
2 | 3:04.42 | 2:27.06 | 13842 | 24872
3 | 5:31.48 | 2:32.34 | 24873 | 36306
4 | 8:04.07 | 6:10.56 | 36307 | 64112
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9 | 30:50.61 | 1:37.52 | 138811 | 146137
10 | 32:28.38 | 6:03.70 | 146138 | 173432
11 | 38:32.33 | 2:51.17 | 173433 | 186274
12 | 41:23.50 | 4:57.66 | 186275 | 208615


Range status and errors

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Filename C:\Program Files\Exact Audio Copy\Flac\Hasse - Marc' Antonio e Cleopatra CD1.wav

Peak level 96.6 %
Extraction speed 6.8 X
Range quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 70947E7E
Copy CRC 70947E7E
Copy OK

No errors occurred

End of status report

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Exact Audio Copy V1.3 from 2. September 2016

EAC extraction logfile from 20. January 2018, 13:30

Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston, Ava Pine, Jamie Barton / Hasse - Marc' Antonio e Cleopatra CD2

Used drive : HL-DT-STDVDRAM GH24NS95 Adapter: 1 ID: 0

Read mode : Secure
Utilize accurate stream : Yes
Defeat audio cache : Yes
Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 6
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000

Used output format : User Defined Encoder
Selected bitrate : 128 kBit/s
Quality : High
Add ID3 tag : No
Command line compressor : C:\Program Files\Exact Audio Copy\Flac\flac.exe
Additional command line options : -V -8 -T "Date=%year%" -T "Genre=%genre%" %source%


TOC of the extracted CD

Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-
1 | 0:00.00 | 2:16.59 | 0 | 10258
2 | 2:16.59 | 5:01.55 | 10259 | 32888
3 | 7:18.39 | 0:40.20 | 32889 | 35908
4 | 7:58.59 | 6:06.73 | 35909 | 63431
5 | 14:05.57 | 1:31.31 | 63432 | 70287
6 | 15:37.13 | 8:37.57 | 70288 | 109119
7 | 24:14.70 | 1:00.07 | 109120 | 113626
8 | 25:15.02 | 8:01.40 | 113627 | 149741
9 | 33:16.42 | 4:02.27 | 149742 | 167918
10 | 37:18.69 | 6:09.12 | 167919 | 195605


Range status and errors

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Filename C:\Program Files\Exact Audio Copy\Flac\Hasse - Marc' Antonio e Cleopatra CD2.wav

Peak level 96.5 %
Extraction speed 6.7 X
Range quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 91F0A065
Copy CRC 91F0A065
Copy OK

No errors occurred

End of status report

==== Log checksum 98C5B4DDE8B6F473D02495A2331D627D06712CAD757A49BECE10FAF36334BE41 ====

Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston - Hasse: Marc' Antonio e Cleopatra (2010)