ADAMO & EVA | Josef Mysliveček | il gardellino
Josef Mysliveček (1737-1781) Adamo ed Eva Oratorio for four voices (1771) WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING Valerio Contaldo, tenor (Adamo) Luciana Mancini, mezzo-soprano (Eva) Roberta Mameli, soprano (Angelo di Giustizia) Alice Rossi, soprano (Angelo di Misericordia) Il Gardellino & Peter Van Heyghen, direction
Full of fire, spirit, and life”: this description of the Bohemian composer Josef Mysliveček’s character was made by none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his younger contemporary. Mysliveček (1737-1781) spent his entire career in Italy and committed himself to the life of a freelance composer: he obstinately refused to accept any type of employment in permanent service. Not only did he develop into one of the most talented, successful and productive opera and oratorio composers of his time, but he also achieved distinction as a composer of instrumental music.
Mysliveček’s style depicts an Italian version of musical classicism that has not yet received full recognition, a style that was gracious, melodious, diatonic, and less experimental in character: a style that remained connected to the transparent and ‘natural’ homophonic idiom that had been developed in Italy during the 1730s and 1740s. An essential characteristic of this style was the rich opportunity it offered for vocal display and virtuosity.
We should not seek Mysliveček’s merits in an individual or an innovative musical language; his great artistry lay rather in his mastery of all the forms and techniques current at that time, in the inventiveness revealed in his musical ideas and techniques, and in the ease with which he connected and alternated these ideas in new and often unexpected ways.
All of the above are amply illustrated by this world premiere recording of Adamo ed Eva (1771), his third oratorio.