Orkest de Volharding is one of the longest established European new music ensembles, created in 1972 by composers Louis Andriessen and Willem Breuker to perform one work, Andriessen's piece De Volharding. Its sister ensemble, Hoketus, has long fallen by the wayside, but Orkest de Volharding (literally the Perseverance Orchestra) presses on in a prodigious outpouring of concerts and recordings. They remain little known in the United States, despite having recorded works of Andriessen, Julia Wolfe, and Michael Torke for major labels distributed in America.
This doble CD contains the opera Ifigenia in Aulide by Vicente Martín y Soler (1754-1806), a Spanish opera composer whose European recognition rivalled that of Mozart —in 2004 the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birthday was celebrated. The libretto is based on a classical tragedy named after the Greek heroine Ifigenia. The action takes place in Troya in 1100 B.C. and among the characters are Ifigenia, Aquiles, Agamenón, Ulises, and Arcadia. The author of the libretto was Luigi Serio. This opera had not been represented since its premiere at San Carlo theatre in Naples in 1779. Its premier in Úbeda-Baeza was an important landmark in the first years of the Festival, due to the complexity of the production and the excellent artistic results.
This CD from the Real Compañía Ópera de Cámara presents two cantatas by the Spanish composer Vicente Martín y Soler - Il Sogno and La Dora festeggiante. Il Sogno, written in 1787, is the only example of collaboration of between Martín y Soler and the great librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte. These works are like a small fresco of this period of transformation. La Dora represents the end of a period, in which the Olympic gods serve as a model to human behavior, while Il Sogno, is, deep down, a pre-romantic spiritual work, in which the nymphs are no longer unattainable beings, beings that do not suffer or have human passions but on the contrary, they embody them, they live them in their own skin in spite of being in an idyllic place.