One has to wish that this world premiere recording will stir interest for Galuppi and all his musical gems just as the "The Four Seasons" did for Vivaldi about 60 years ago. My hope is that more works like this are brought up to life again.
Like his other contemporaries, Galuppi is distinctly refreshing in style. Setting him apart, his music is playful , unexpectedly teasing, and seriously vibrant without being over the top... not that this bad at all. The instrumental pieces move sweetly in brevity. They are born, grow, flourish, and swiftly leave you longing for more. In indulgence, the arias trek a wantom journey through vocal landscapes that metamorphe at every turn, twist and repeat of the ABA sections. Perhaps this demonstrates Galuppi's love and abandonment in writing for voice. His arias tend to be twice as long too. Galuppi's signature bravuras have distinctive grand openings evocative of a queen making a regal entrance, or a warrior catapulting a vocal leap in crescendo. Such is the case of "Ah di lette da l'onda profonda" found in this album, and "Fiero leon che audace", and "Gira volando la sacra esfera" part of other collections. These arias have the common trademark of perfectly placed pauses, pathos, and presto underlays of cello and lute that unlike the harpsichord convey rapid shifts in mood and urgency . "Ah di lette da l'onda" is Galuppi's complement to Vivaldi's "Agitata da due venti", and Handel's "Combattuta da due venti". This aria zooms out the musical lens to the bigger picture. All are arie de tempesta with a twist. In "Agitata", Vivaldi gives us a peek at the emotional upheaval of La Griselda when her ship is about to sink in the midst of a storm. In "Combattuta", Handel portrays the atrocious storm slapping the ship back and forth without mercy. And in "Ah di lette da l'onda", Galuppi looks at the ominous swells in the water that portends disaster, and ebb with every wave a riptide of inevitable doom and ruin.
Casting Catherine King, who is neither identified as Handelian, Motzartian or Vivaldian to sing the voice compositions gives the right canvas to showcase Galuppi's art. Her intensity and cadence brings to his palette the colors and fioratura originally there. Her voice blends the sultriness and lyric intent of a jazz singer with the fortitude for opera.The same can be said for Marinella Pennicchi, and Sylvia Pozzer for their pioneering talent in trail-blazing the Galuppian style.