Nicola Porpora (1686-1768)
Nicola Porpora was an Italian composer and singing teacher. He worked for the Prince of Hessen-Darmstadt and the Portuguese ambassador in Naples. Porpora composed serenatas, cantatas, oratorios, sacred operas, over 100 other sacred works, several instrumental works, and vocalization exercises, and 50 operas. Nicola Porpora had a great understanding of the art of singing and his melodic lines are often intricate and embellished.
Simone Kermes (1970-)
Simone Kermes is a German coloratura soprano. She is well known for her singing of the baroque and classical operatic repertoire.
Here is a recording of Simone Kermes singing an aria from Act ll scene 10 of the opera Quinto Fabio by Nicola Porpora with Claudio Osele’s Le Musiche Nove ensemble. Enjoy!
Here is some music for trumpet and pipe organ. It was written during the baroque period (1600-1750). Here is a recording of some English Masque dances. A masque was a form of entertainment developed in England in the 16th and 17th centuries. A masque involved poetry, music, and elaborate sets. Here are some tunes from a masque composed in 1600. The trumpet is played by the Swiss trumpet virtuoso Markus Wursch. Peter Solomon is the organist. The performance was recorded at the Catholic church in Stans, Switzerland. Enjoy.
Here is another recording of the first movement of a Sinfonia by Allessandro Scarlatti for trumpet and organ. The trumpet is played by Markus Wursch and the organ is played by Peter Solomon. The performance was recorded in the Catholic church in Stans, Switzerland. Enjoy.
G.F. Handel (1685-1759)
G.F. Handel was a German baroque composer, organist, harpsichordist, and violinist. He is most well known today for works such as his Messiah, Water Music, and Royal Fireworks Music.
Here is a soprano aria from called Fiamma bella from a Cantata by Handel entitled Aminta e Fillide. The aria is sung by Catalan soprano Nuria Rial. Enjoy!
G. F. Handel (1685-1759)
Georg Frideric Handel was a German baroque organist, violinist, conductor, and composer who spent most of his working life in London, England. He composed more than 40 operas, oratorios, sacred music, orchestral music, chamber music, and keyboard music. Today Handel is known for works such as the oratorio Messiah, Water Music, and the Royal Fireworks Music.
Handel’s nine German arias are not from any of his 40 operas. They are Da capo arias (an A section followed by a B section which is followed by the A section one last time). This form (ABA) was a popular form of opera aria in the baroque period.
Here are the German arias by G.F. Handel. Dame Emma Kirkby is the soprano. She is accompanied by the London Baroque.
Francesco Antonio Bonporti (1672-1749)
Bonporti was an Italian composer, violinist, and priest. Bonporti may have studied with the Italian violin virtuoso and composer Arcangelo Corelli. His music is full of imaginative harmonies, lively part writing, and an unusual concentration to melodic detail. J.S. Bach copied out some of Bonporti’s Inventions. For a long time, four of Bonporti’s Inventions were attributed to J.S. Bach. Recent scholarship has shown that the inventions Bach copied out are actually by Bonporti.
Here is a recording of a motet by Bonporti. It features a soprano, Ellen Hargis, and Ensemble Ouabache.
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Vivaldi is known today among music lovers and the general public for his four violin concertos, the ‘Four Seasons.’ He also composed sacred and secular vocal music, about 50 operas, several sonatas for various instruments, and 550 concertos (more than half of them are written for the violin).
The Concerto in C Major, RV 443 is often referred to as a concerto for piccolo because the first edition of the concerto referred to the piece as a piccolo concerto. The concerto has been performed on the piccolo but it is most often performed on a recorder. Vivaldi originally wrote the concerto for the flautino (a small flute that is a baroque cousin of the recorder).
Giovanni Antonini (recorder soloist)
Giovanni Antonini is an Italian conductor, recorder and transverse flute soloist. He is one of the leading period instrument performers. In 1985 he founded the early music ensemble Il Giardino Armonico with Luca Pianca, a Swiss lutenist.
Here is a recording of Giovanni Antonini on a sopranino recorder (the highest pitched instrument of the recorder family) performing Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Major, RV443 with the early music ensemble, Il Giardino Armonico. Enjoy!
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Antonio Vivaldi was an Italian composer and violin virtuoso. He is known by music lovers today for his four violin concertos, ‘The Four Seasons.’ Vivaldi composed 550 concertos. 230 of Vivaldi’s concertos are for the violin. Vivaldi also composed other works for instruments including 40 violin sonatas, 9 cello sonatas, 10 flute sonatas, 27 trio sonatas, and 22 chamber concertos. He also composed sacred vocal music and secular vocal music including around 50 operas (20 operas survive).
This recording is of an aria “Sovente il sole” from an opera by Vivaldi entitled Andromeda liberata. It is sung by Philippe Jaroussky (a French countertenor) and Ensemble Matheus under the direction of Jean-Christophe Spinosi.