I had never heard about Marianna Von Martines, but, surely, after this CD I am not going to forget her.
She should have been a really remarkable woman, whose life was spent among some of the most famous intellects of her time: Metastasio, Haydn, Porpora (all taught her) and, last but not least, Mozart (who wrote music and played with and for her). Listenend and admired by one of the most great woman of all time (emperess Maria Theresa), she never made of her music a profession, being not suitable for a woman of her standing.
This about her life, but her music? Well, my humble opinion is: the most similar to a Mozart's composition I ever heard. That kind of music where every single note is at its place, rich of melody, graceful and incredibly weightless. Not as crystal-clear as Mozart's music, not showing the same deepness and psychological richness, but nonetheless elegant, funny, sweet. To make it short: something worth to be known and listened.
In this CD we have a good choice of her far than huge production, presenting also some of the vocal music that - allegedly - Marianna composed to be sung by herself. Nuria Rial sings beautifully, even though sometimes I find her voice a little too light and thin: I have the impression that these arie and cantata would improve if sung by a richer voice; but it is only my opinion and, certainly, Rial is never wrong or disagreable here.
Very interesting also the concerto and sonata per cembalo, instrument that Marianna learned to play from Haydn. Joyful, agile music, here beautifully played by Nicoleta Paraschivescu. I rarely appreciate harpsichord, maybe because I am too used to listen harpsichord music played on piano, but in this case it has been delightful and I could truly appreciate the original sonority conceived for these pieces.
So, if you feel a bit adventurous, and you want to try something new, but also very familiar, you can try this disc. I am pretty sure you could find something really pleasant!