Press Room

naïve releases for February 2009

Antonio Vivaldi: La fida ninfa

Lorenzo Regazzo, Veronica Cangemi, Philippe Jaroussky,
Sandrine Piau, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Topi Lehtipuu, and Sara Mingardo

Ensemble Matheus / Jean-Christophe Spinosi

OP 30410 

CD and
downloads available February 24 from naïve

“The [Ensemble
Matheus] gives a crisp and exciting performance under the direction of
Jean-Christophe Spinosi … . Vivaldi’s delectable arias, with their unexpected
curves, jagged, irregular phrases, and gleaming string colors, reflect the
seductive light and rhythm of Venice, his water-ringed home town.”

New Yorker review of Spinosi’s
recording of Griselda

leads his Ensemble
with an all-star
cast in the world-premiere
recording of Antonio Vivaldi’sLa fida ninfa,
which was originally premiered during the Verona carnival of 1732 at the Teatro
Filarmonico.  The work was composed
to help celebrate the opening of the theater, which had been postponed for two
years because the city had been surrounded by foreign troops.  The production was spectacular, and
included elaborate dances by Andrea Cattani, a famous ballet master from
Poland, as well as sumptuous sets by Francesco Bibiena.  The story concerns the fate of two
long-lost brothers who had been kidnapped, one after the other, in their youth,
and brought to the island of Naxos, the stronghold of the pirate Oralto.

This new release
from naïve, recorded after a highly-successful European tour by the featured
artists, is the ninth opera to be issued in the label’s landmark Vivaldi
, a project launched
in 2000 with the aim of recording the massive collection of Vivaldi autograph
manuscripts preserved today in the Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria in
Turin.  The collection includes 15
operas and several hundred concertos, as well as sacred compositions and
secular cantatas, most of which have not been heard since the 18th
century.  La fida ninfa is the fourth opera in the series to be performed
by Ensemble Matheus under the direction of Jean-Christophe Spinosi.  The previous three, Griselda, Orlando furioso, and La verità in cimento, have received many international

Among the cast on
the new recording are three remarkable singers who sang on Spinosi’s recording
of Griselda, which won a
2007 BBC Music Magazine Award: Marie-Nicole Lemieux (contralto), Veronica Cangemi (soprano), and Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor). gave the album its highest rating, 10/10 for Artistic Quality
and Sound Quality, summarizing the performances of Spinosi and the three
singers as follows:

“This performance is
sublime.  Jean-Christophe Spinosi
leads a dramatically taut reading, with his period-instrument Ensemble Matheus
underpinning the vocal theatrics with snap and a huge range of dynamics all its
own … Marie-Nicole Lemieux has a simply beautiful voice, its darkish timbre
ideal for Griselda’s humility, sadness, and, when needed, vitriol … . Veronica
Cangemi’s lovely soprano is marvelously used throughout … . Philippe
Jaroussky’s countertenor Roberto … is well-formed and beautifully sung; he can
caress a vocal line with great tenderness.”

Other cast members
on La fida ninfa include
Sandrine Piau (soprano),
Lorenzo Regazzo (bass), Topi
(tenor), Sara
(contralto), and Christian

Antonio Vivaldi: new discoveries

Romina Basso, mezzo-soprano;Paolo
Pollastri, oboe;
Enrico Casazza, violin;Bettina
Hoffman, cello

Modo Antiquo / Federico
Maria Sardelli

OP 30480

CD and downloads available February 24 from naïve

Last year, Federico
Maria Sardelli
, who has
made several contributions to the Vivaldi Edition, was appointed to take charge
of the Vivaldi catalog, succeeding Peter Ryom.  It is now his job to authenticate any further manuscripts
that turn up in what may be Vivaldi’s hand.  If such a composition proves to be a hitherto-unknown work
by the composer, Sardelli gives it an RV number and adds it to the Vivaldi

Over the past ten
years, thanks in part to the stimulus of the Vivaldi Edition project, several
manuscripts by Vivaldi have surfaced in different countries.  Federico Maria Sardelli decided to
record the finest of them, a program that can now be heard on Antonio
Vivaldi: new discoveries
.  The “new” Vivaldi works heard here are
diverse, ranging from a motet, which is performed by the mezzo-soprano Romina
Basso, to an oboe concerto, a recorder sonata, arias, and other gems.

recording of Vivaldi’s Atenaide was
released in the fall and was widely acclaimed.  David Patrick Stearns gave the album a four-star review in
the Philadelphia Inquirer,
calling it “among the best yet” of the recordings in the Vivaldi Edition: “The
opera itself shows the composer at his most dramatically ambitious; the music,
particularly in the second half, shows his invention at its peak.  Each role is like an Olympic event, and
most of the singers in this knockout cast deserve a gold medal.  The recitatives crackle, the orchestra
playing is scintillating, and the recording was made in the Florence theater
where the opera was premiered in 1728.”

Program for Antonio
Vivaldi: new discoveries

Aria: “Se lento ancora il fulmine”

Concerto for two violins, cello, strings, and basso continuo, RV 578a

Sonata for recorder and basso continuo, RV 806

Motet: Vos invito

Sonata for violin and basso continuo, RV 798

Concerto for oboe, cello, strings, and basso continuo

Aria: “Se fide quanto belle”, RV 749.32

Sonata for violin and basso continuo, RV 810

La folie Vivaldi

Various artists

V 5138

Specially-priced two-CD set and downloads available February
24 from naïve

naïve’s La
folie Vivaldi
36 tracks – in a specially-priced two-CD set – of scintillating music-making
designed to incite “Vivaldi madness” in the listener.  The selected tracks are taken from naïve’s celebrated
Vivaldi catalog and include performances of both famous and virtually-unknown
works, including The Four Seasons, Orlando furioso, Gloria, In
, La verità in cimento, Juditha triumphans, L’Olimpiade, Stabat
, Nisi Dominus, La notte, Griselda, Atenaide, Magnificat, Dixit
, Laudate pueri,and more.

Featured performers include a “who’s who” of Vivaldi
all-stars, including Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Philippe
Jaroussky, Magadalena Kozena, and Sandrine Piau.

Schubert: Schwanengesang
, D.957 and various Lieder

Henschel, baritone

Fritz Schwinghammer, piano


CD and downloads
available February 24 from ambroisie / naïve 

“Henschel truly lives
the songs he is singing.”
– Daily Telegraph

The remarkable
German baritone Dietrich Henschel,
a protégé of the legendary Fischer-Dieskau, and pianist Fritz Schwinghammer perform Schubert’s darkly romantic song cycle Schwanengesang (Swan Songs) D.957 and other songs by
Schubert – including Prometheus,
Ganymed, Freiwilliges
, Gruppe aus
dem Tartarus
, and Elysium – on a new release from naïve’s sister
label, ambroisie.

Henschel sang Schwanengesang at London’s Wigmore Hall in January 2009 to
great acclaim.  The Daily
noted, “one of
the distinguishing qualities of Henschel’s manner of interpretation was his
ability to home in on details of the texts and to deploy subtle, illuminating
inflections,” while the Guardian
observed, “From his very first note in the opening Byron song, fractionally
anticipating the downbeat to give it an extra frisson of drama, he seized every
opportunity, whether by bleaching his tone or bringing it close to
expressionist sprechgesang,
to heighten the impact.”

About the recording
(excerpts from the notes by Sylvain Fort)

“Schubert died on
November 19, 1828, aged 31.  His
last months, when he was suffering from syphilis, then typhoid, saw the
composition of some of his greatest masterpieces: the Symphony No. 9 (‘The
Great C major’), the three Klavierstücke, D.946, the Mass in E-flat major, D.950, the String Quintet in
C, D.956, the Fantasy in F minor, the last Piano Sonatas, D.958-60, and the
song cycle Schwanengesang
(Swan Song),D.957,
which was published posthumously.

“This cycle
includes Schubert’s most tragic songs, in which he lucidly evokes the imminence
of death.  Through these poems
– seven by Ludwig Rellstab, six by Heinrich Heine, plus one by J. G. Seidl
– Schubert expresses dreams of love, anguish, sorrow, departure, death.

“This program
presents the very essence of the Romantic soul, from bitter dreams to
heart-rending grief.  It also shows
how Schubert used music to show what is terrible, in order to obtain

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February 24, 2009

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