Il Sedecia

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Product Code: CDS711
Category: Sacred Music
Composer: Giovanni Legrenzi
Title: Il Sedecia
Price: 14.03
Performer: Riccardo Favero, conductor
Oficina Musicum:
Raffaele Giordani
Lia Serafini
Francesca Lombardi
Walter Testolin
Andrea Arrivabene
Media: 1 CD
Giovanni Legrenzi’s oratory Il Sedecìa, which was performed on Sunday 29th March 1676 in Ferrara’s ”Chiesa della Confraternita della Morte”, was dedicated to Cardinal Sigismondo Chigi, legate of Ferrara and patron of the same confraternity. We learn as much from the oratory’s libretto, published in Ferrara by Alfonso Maresti, who signed the dedication. When he moved to Venice, where he was chorus master at the ”Ospedale dei Mendicanti”, around 1669, Legrenzi did not sever his links with the Ferrara circles. In Ferrara he had been chapel master at the ”Accademia dello Spirito Santo” from October 1656 to the beginning of 1665.
That institution had been founded in 1597 by the Bentivoglio family, who directed it for almost all of the 17th century, supporting the musician and staging his operas and oratorios, some of which on librettos by Ippolito Bentivoglio.
The libretto, by an anonymous author, tells the story of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, who reigned from 598 to 587 B.C. The son of Josiah, he was installed as king in place of Jehoiachin at the age of twenty-one by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who changed his name from Mattaniah to Zedekiah. Zedekiah fell under the ill-fated influence of those who opposed Nebuchadnezzar, ignored the advice of the prophet Jeremiah, and revolted against Babylon. After a long siege, Jerusalem fell, Zedekiah and his sons fled to the Jordan valley but were captured near Jericho.
Nebuchadnezzar had the sons killed under their father’s eyes, and then Zedekiah blinded and sent to Babylon, where he died in prison (Old Testament, Chronicles: 36:11-21; Jeremiah: 39:1-11).
The oratory begins with the fall of Jerusalem and the escape of Zedekiah and his sons; these events are recounted in the first part, while the second one picks up again with the fugitives’ apprehension and ends with the tragic epilogue.
The score, for voices and continuo, assigns the various registers according to the characters’ ”political” and dramaturgical roles, following an established practice in Baroque theatre music: soprano for the two sons, alto for the Narrator, tenor for Zedekiah, and bass for Nebuchadnezzar. The two kings are given the lower registers, with Nebuchadnezzar’s authority embodied by the lowest of all. In addition, there are a Chorus of Jews (SSATB) and a Chorus of Chaldeans (ATB).
Riccardo Favero’s instrumentation has Zedekiah supported by the viola da gamba, Nebuchadnezzar by the organ, each son by a violin, and the Narrator by the theorbo, while the Choruses are accompanied by three trombones and two cornets; keyboards and the bass bowed instruments are employed for the recitatives (the records of Venice’s ”Fava” Church mention a performance with theorbo, violone and spinet). Since, as it is often the case, the score has no instrumental introductions or an epilogue, to open the two parts of the oratory and close the second the present recording resorts to chamber sonatas taken from Legrenzi’s first instrumental collection, Sonate a due, e tre Op. 2, published in Venice in 1655 by Francesco Magni.
Track List:
Oratorio in 2 parts
Sonata Op. 2, No. 15 ”La Torriana”
Allegro 01:21
Adagio 00:57
Adagio 01:40
Allegro 00:27
”Il Sedecia” (Zedekiah)
First Part
Chorus. Chorus of Jews: Alla fuga, alla fuga 02:15
Recitative. Narrator: Cosi mentre dall’armi oppressa, e cinta 01:54
Recitative. Zedekiah: Addio mia reggia, addio 00:54
Aria. Zedekiah: Io vi perdo, e v’abbandono 02:15
Recitative. Zedekiah: Ma poiché avverso inesorabil Fato 00:27
Aria. Zedekiah: Armatevi il petto 00:57
Recitative. Narrator: Con tai voci premendo 00:50
Recitative. First Son: Al luminoso lampo 00:37
Aria. First Son: Son volubili più d’aura 01:23
Recitative. Second Son: A tanti illustri esempi 00:55
Aria. Second Son: Bella guancia, ch’al candore 01:14
Recitative. Narrator: Incoraggiti, e rincorati insieme 00:16
Trio. First Son, Second Son, Zedekiah: Duri scogli degl’affanni 01:40
Recitative. Zedekiah: Ma perché pigra, e lenta 01:00
Recitative. Narrator: Così dolente, e mesto 01:34
Coro. Chorus of Chaldean Soldiers: Vivi, vivi, tra la gloria 01:50
Recitative. Narrator: Lusingava in tal guisa 00:49
Aria. Nebuchadnezzar: Dal mio braccio fulminante 00:57
Recitative. Nebuchadnezzar: Ove può mai 00:30
Recitative. Narrator: Appena udissi il suon di questi accenti 00:23
Madrigal. Chorus of Jews: Quanto deliri, o quanto 01:37
Sonata Op. 2, No. 4 ”La strasolda”
Presto 01:30
Adagio 00:42
[Allegro] 00:44
Presto 00:29
Second Part
Recitative. Narrator: Dopo longo viaggio 00:52
Aria. First Son: Quest’onda fugace 01:34
Aria. Second Son: Quest’aura, che grata 01:01
Duet. First Son, Second Son: Tutt’il tempo dissolve 00:57
Recitative. Zedekiah: Coraggiosi miei figli 00:46
Recitative. Narrator: Di già l’alba vicina 00:42
Coro. Chorus of Chaldean Soldiers: Siete vinti, e prigionieri 00:47
Recitative. Narrator: Cinti d’aspre ritorte 00:32
Recitative. Nebuchadnezzar: Pur al fine ti giunse 03:04
Aria. Nebuchadnezzar: Su su svenategli 00:38
Recitative. Zedekiah: Ferma, trattieni il ferro 01:41
Recitative. First Son: Saziati pur spietato 00:41
Arioso. First Son: E sarammi la morte 00:42
Recitative. Second Son: No, no la tua fierezza 00:23
Arioso. Second Son: Sarò contento a pieno 00:26
Recitative. Second Son: Sarà lieta mia sorte 00:20
Recitative. Narrator: Ma inferocito, indocile il tiranno 00:22
Recitative. Nebuchadnezzar: Troncherà il cenno mio 00:27
Recitative. Narrator: Così cader trafitti 00:17
Duet. First Son, Second Son: Padre, padre io manco 02:53
Recitative. Narrator: Al miserando oggetto 00:30
Recitative. Nebuchadnezzar: Che ti par re superbo 00:44
Arioso. Nebuchadnezzar: E che puote mirar la gloria mia 00:17
Recitative. Narrator: Così trasser le luci all’infelice 00:21
Aria. Zedekiah: Nabucco hai vinto, hai vinto 01:06
Aria. Zedekiah: Io mortal Sisifo insano 00:46
Recitative. Zedekiah: Offesi i tuoi decreti 00:17
Arioso. Zedekiah: O figli, o luci, o ciel, o patria, o regno 00:25
Recitative. Zedekiah: Iddio coglie, e non erra 00:14
Madrigal. Chorus of Jews: Mortali apprendete 01:38
Sonata Op. 2, No. 3 ”La Frangipana” Allegro 01:28
[Allegro] 00:53
Adagio 00:25
Presto 00:39