A. Scarlatti, Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, R. Invernizzi, V. Gens, V. Genaux, Europa Galante, F. Biondi
(re-released on October 25, 2010)
Virgin 628647 2 | 67'27"
Biondi's ensemble, just refined strings and varied continuo, provides lean and elegant lines in support of the singers. The three treble voices are all excellent: Véronique Gens as a maternal Amor Divino (Divine Love) and Vivica Genaux as a particularly earthy Teologia (Theology), but especially the heavenly Fede (Faith) of Roberta Invernizzi. Unfortunately, the two men are a disappointment, although not a disaster. Tenor Paul Agnew sounds just slightly rusty and nasal as Infedeltà (Faithlessness, or Atheism), while bass Roberto Abbondanza makes a resonant but kooky Tempo (Time), with some melismas on 'o' and 'a' vowels sounding as if he articulated the notes by slightly closing his lips to make semi-vowels, as in the aria Pretende invano. So, this is more a curiosity for Baroque music lovers than a must-have, although the only competition is a recording by the Alessandro Stradella Consort, now expensive. For the collector, it may be better to seek out a copy of the original release of this disc, from 2004, even if it costs a little more, to get the text and translation of the libretto, which was omitted from the booklet for the re-release.