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Mission Deluxe Edition, Limited Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Nov. 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Deluxe Edition, Limited Edition
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B008LSSI4S
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,228 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Digital Booklet: Mission
Digital Booklet: Mission
Album Only

Product Description

Product Description

The discovery of a forgotten Master, Cecilia Bartoli's new album showcases music by Agostino Steffani. This deluxe product includes a 174 page booklet which contains articles on Agostino Steffani alongside exclusive, full colour photos of the Mission project, a project with international politics, religious conflict, diplomatic secrecy, spying and sensational music at its heart.

The album showcases the music of a little-known Italian composer and includes solo arias of various moods and styles, several duets, solo numbers with chorus - all sung in Italian - and instrumental interludes that create an organic transition from one piece to the next and an arc that reaches from the beginning to the end of the album.

Among the distinguished names appearing on Mission is star French counter-tenor Philippe Jaroussky who features in a first-time collaboration with Cecilia on a selection of duets, alongside the Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, the period orchestra I Barocchisti from Lugano, Switzerland, and conductor Diego Fasolis.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 5 Dec. 2012
Format: Audio CD
This is a terrific disc of arias by Steffani, a little-known baroque composer whom Cecilia Bartoli wants to bring to public attention. In my experience, little-known composers are often little-known for a very good reason, but not Steffani. Bartoli is right - his music is excellent and well worth bringing to light as she does here with a disc made up very largely of first recordings.

And what recordings they are! Bartoli is, as always, excellent. She has a stunning technical mastery and a deep understanding of the music and text she is singing, with the control to avoid spilling into over-emotional self indulgence. Her voice is beautiful, rich and sensuous and she uses it here to create something very special from Steffani's music. The orchestra are also excellent, giving the pieces real drama, passion or a joyous zing as appropriate, and to cap it all Bartioli is joined by the great countertenor Philippe Jaroussky in four duets. It is a pleasure from start to finish.

I am sorry to sound gushing - this disc has a provocative cover and has been very heavily marketed and promoted, which to me often means a rather ordinary product. Not here - this is a terrific CD of fine music, beautifully performed and is warmly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Cecilia Bartoli brings to light the music of the enigmatic Agostino Steffani - castrati, priest, missionary, diplomat, spy and Baroque composer. Plenty of fireworks and plenty of delicate beauty. A stunning eighty minutes. Probably not a recommended first purchase for someone unfamiliar with Cecilia Bartoli or Baroque opera, but for a Cecilia fan or anyone looking to extend their Baroque collection it's a must have.

21 of the 25 tracks are first recordings. The text explains this as Steffani falling through the cracks. Being Italian born but mostly based in Germany, and sometimes composing in a French style, he doesn't fit well into any particular tradition and was consequently forgotten. As this album shows, that's a fate he didn't deserve. Full marks to Cecilia Bartoli and Decca for remembering him.

Besides Cecilia Bartoli and the I Barrocchisti ensemble, there are appearances by counter tenor Philippe Jaroussky on four tracks, and Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera on four tracks. Track 5 (Amami, e vederai) is a luscious piece with Cecilia accompanied only by Rosario Conte on lute. That they all have an enthusiasm for the music is evident. How much more satisfying it must be to display one's creative ability by bringing music to the world that hasn't previously been heard by anyone alive today than by coming out with yet another interpretation of established repertoire no matter how good it may be. It shows.

The presentation is also sumptuous - a hardcover book with about 160 pages. It includes English, French and German text and graphics, but that still leaves enough pages to delve into Steffani's intriguing life in each language. Note that I'm reviewing the limited edition which has ASIN: B008LSSI4S in Amazon's product details. It might be the only version available as I write this but, if you are reading this sometime after its release, there might also be a less sumptuous (but cheaper) standard edition available.
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Format: Audio CD
The "Mission" of this CD's title has two meanings. One is a reference to the fact that the composer, Agostino Steffani, was throughout his career a man of many missions; for not only was he a musician of genius, he was also a diplomat and priest whose royal and ecclesiastical employers entrusted him with many important tasks, demanding both travelling stamina and negotiating skills in equal measure. The second meaning refers to the mission Cecilia Bartoli has clearly set herself - to introduce, to those who don't already know it, the marvellous music of this long-neglected mid-baroque composer.

The programme consists of a dazzling variety of arias and other extracts from Steffani's operas - all of them originally produced in Hanover or in the other German states where this Italian composer spent his adult life. They are performed by the brilliant Ms Bartoli herself, joined for the duets by no less than Philippe Jaroussky, and supported with both grace and panache by the early-music ensemble I Barocchisti directed by Diego Fasolis. The first few items set the tone superbly, quickly impressing upon the listener the dramatic range of styles and moods of which Steffani was such a master. We start with the brassy, warlike brilliance of `Schiere invitte' from "Alarico il Baltha" (you can sample the tracks in the MP3 version, in case you don't know that already).
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By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 25 Aug. 2014
Format: MP3 Download
This is a terrific disc of arias by Steffani, a little-known baroque composer whom Cecilia Bartoli wants to bring to public attention. In my experience, little-known composers are often little-known for a very good reason, but not Steffani. Bartoli is right - his music is excellent and well worth bringing to light as she does here with a disc made up very largely of first recordings.

And what recordings they are! Bartoli is, as always, excellent. She has a stunning technical mastery and a deep understanding of the music and text she is singing, with the control to avoid spilling into over-emotional self indulgence. Her voice is beautiful, rich and sensuous and she uses it here to create something very special from Steffani's music. The orchestra are also excellent, giving the pieces real drama, passion or a joyous zing as appropriate, and to cap it all Bartoli is joined by the great countertenor Philippe Jaroussky in four duets. It is a pleasure from start to finish.

I am sorry to sound gushing - this disc has a provocative cover and has been very heavily marketed and promoted, which to me often means a rather ordinary product. Not here - this is a terrific CD of fine music, beautifully performed and is warmly recommended
Comment 3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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