- Harpsichord Concerto in D major
- Siface, opera: No, non vedete mai
- Scipione nelle Spagne, opera: Non fidi al mar che freme
- Eraclea, opera: In questa mia tempesta
- Il Demetrio, opera: Dal suo gentil sembiante
Countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic has emerged as a new star of the specialty partly through fearless programming, and this collection of Arie Napoletane, Neapolitan arias or arias from Naples, is no exception. There really isn't a "Neapolitan school." Rather, Naples was on the musical cutting edge in the second quarter of the 18th century, and the arias here represent both a classic opera seria style, in the pieces by the massively prolific Alessandro Scarlatti, and music by the composers who pointed the way toward the melodically simpler future of Gluck and eventually Mozart, like Leonardo Leo and Leonardo Vinci. These latter are hardly household names, and Cencic, offering several recorded premieres, renders a valuable service simply by finding and choosing the deliberate and sensuous arias heard here. Moreover, the album's stylistic contrasts play to Cencic's strengths. Countertenors have their specialties, but Cencic does it all well, from big heroic pieces like Nicola Porpora's "Quel vasto, quel fiero" (track one) from the opera "Polifemo," to Leo's "No, non vedete mai" (track eight), from "Siface." The next step, as with Handel and Vivaldi, is to mount a modern production of one of these pieces -- Cencic has laid all the groundwork in introducing the repertory. A curious feature of the album is the inclusion at the end of a "Harpsichord Concerto in D major," credited to Domenico Auletta. The birth and death dates given for this composer actually correspond to those of that composer's father, Pietro Auletta. Nothing about this work appears in the album notes, and it seems to have been tacked on at the end, performed by the album's conductor, Maxim Emelyanychev, whose ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro is beautifully matched to Cencic's range of skills. The concerto form seems more likely for the younger Auletta, but whoever composed the thematically expansive work, it's another unique discovery on an album with a lot of them.