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ALLA BREVE

March 08, 1987|ALLAN ULRICH

ALBINONI: "IL NASCIMENTO DELL'AURORA." June Anderson, Margarita Zimmermann, Susanne Klare, Sandra Browne, Yoshihisa Yamaj, singers; I Solisti Veneti conducted by Claudio Scimone. Erato NUM 751522 (two records) (digital). Posterity has recorded neither date of composition nor dedicatee of this "pastoral revel," although modern scholars theorize the work was composed for the birth of Maria-Theresa in 1717. With its strict sequence of recitative, aria and occasional chorus, and gracious allegorical aura, Albinoni seems more inclined to conform to oratorio tradition than to advance the cause of the still-young operatic form. This live 1983 Venice performance (complete with unruly bursts of applause at appropriate moments) suggests the charms of the piece without convincing that it is a milestone. Anderson's silvery soprano soars in florid passages, while Browne's incisive mezzo brings unusual depth to Apollo. Scimone leads a superior performance, born of stylistic discrimination and theatrical fire.

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