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The Story of Jephthah (Historia di Jephte)
The Story of Jonas (Historia di Jonas)
Dai pin riposti abissi (From the most hidden abysses) (Serenade)

Consortium Carissimi/Vittorio Zanon

Naxos 8.557390

Two concentrated oratorios by Giacomo CARISSIMI (1605-1674) are released to mark the 400th anniversary of the birth of this early master of the genre.

The texts are expanded from the original biblical versions of the well known stories of sacrifice, Jonah's with a happy ending. For Jephtha's daughter, who submits dutifully to the consequence of her father's rash vow, there is no reprieve, but she is allowed a short delay to roam the hills with her friends to lament her fate and that she must die a virgin. She contrasts her plight with the celebrations of her father's military victory, and the hills and mountains echo her plaint in a moving conclusion.

The other story is told with a graphic depiction of the dreadful storm at sea and Jonah's assumption of responsibility for it. But he didn't waver in his faith and, after three days praying inside the whale's belly, the Lord had him delivered onto dry land, where he preached and converted the evil Ninevites.

Both are given in period style by a specialist period instrument group, recorded in Marino, 2003. The soloists (all named) emerge to take their parts from the 13 singers, and the texts are given in Latin and English. Recommended for listening, and for encouragement towards the recovery of these fine pieces into an active repertory.

See also review of Handel's Jephtha at Maulbrun

© Peter Grahame Woolf