- La concordia de' pianetti, opera
Music of the Baroque, especially, is rife with works that are rarely performed not because of any intrinsic lack of quality, but rather because they are hard to perform or record in the modern day. Prime among these are large ceremonial works that were performed outdoors and called for the kind of resources that have been hard to marshal since the end of noble patronage. This is a sort of giant cantata composed by Antonio Caldara to mark the pregnancy of the wife of the Austrian emperor Charles VI. Lasting nearly two hours, it barely has a plot and is really a vehicle for the top soloists of the day to belt out arias about how the Greek gods celebrate this event. There are seven soloists, and the ones here are up to the job even if you may feel that even a fine countertenor like Franco Fagioli can't get the kind of power that a castrato would have brought to the music in combination with the trumpets and drums that dominate the orchestra. This recording is taken from a live performance of the modern world premiere of the work at an auditorium in Dortmund, Germany, with the Swiss historical-instrument group La Cetra under director Andrea Marcon. It is indeed hard to duplicate in that setting how the work would have seemed in its original setting, outdoors, with pomp and circumstance galore, but the sound is adequately clear, and Baroque lovers will want to hear this music of the early 18th century that sounds nothing like Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, or Rameau.