- La verità in cimento, opera in 3 acts, RV 739
Naïve's Vivaldi Edition: La verità in cimento is a highlights disc drawn from Opus 111's 2002 complete recording of Antonio Vivaldi's 1720 opera, made in conjunction with the revival of this work at the Bologna Festival, albeit with a different group of singers. This recording has an excellent frontline cast, including veteran singers such as Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Gemma Bertagnolli, Guillemette Laurens, Nathalie Stutzmann, and Sara Mingardo and one 2002 up-and-comer, Philippe Jaroussky, who has a secondary part, but whose subsequent status appears to have bumped him up to first-named in the credits. Jaroussky is the only vocalist here to have survived from the original Bologna Festival production. The band is Ensemble Matheus under the direction of Jean-Christophe Spinosi, and the instrumental complement is especially aggressive in executing extreme dynamics in Vivaldi. Some may find it a bit much; Spinosi's group almost makes Fabio Biondi's sound romantic in approach, though conversely in Europe their work has overall been very well received. This is an extraordinary opera by anyone's standards, an outstanding selection being the ethereal trio "Aure placide, e serene," featuring the combined talents of Bertagnolli, Mingardo, and Jaroussky. Those looking for the aria "La pena amara" -- stated in a popular published edition of Vivaldi's arias as belonging to "La verità in cimento," but perhaps not so -- will be disappointed. However, another aria from this work, "Amato ben tu sei la mia speranza," has developed a life of its own and is splendidly performed here by Gemma Bertagnolli. The complete Naïve set of "La verità in cimento" can be something of a concern from a financial standpoint. This highlights disc is a good representation of some -- though cannily, not all -- of the best bits and can answer the question as to whether to spring for the whole meal or simply remain satiated with this snack.