Monday, May 30, 2011

Jommelli - Lamentazioni per il Mercoledi Santo - Lesne,Gens,Rousset, Il Seminario musicale







Jomelli, regarded by many of his contemporaries as the greatest opera composer of the century, sets the lamentations in a dramatic and religio-operatic style as a duet between two high voices. Gérard Lesne receives higher billing than Véronique Gens on the cover of the CD, but they both sing exquisitely well – too well, perhaps, for the music to be regarded in the light of a meditation on the Passion, but that’s the way that Jommelli writes it. Listen to tracks 27-30: at first you would hardly believe that what you hear is a setting of a lament that the heathen have entered the sanctuary of the temple (tr.27). The mood changes dramatically on track 28, in which the speaker concludes that his sufferingsNiccolò Jommelli have  made him vile. After a happily skipping setting of the letter Lamed (tr.29), the most famous words from this chapter receive an appropriately affective treatment: O vos omnes qui transitis per viam – O all you that pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like my sorrow (tr.30) – words repeated on Good Friday in the Improperia or Reproaches. One would hardly know that one was not listening to opera. It’s all very affective, in the same way that Jommelli’s music for Armida Abbandonata is.


flac, scans

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