From Robert's early Geometry and Rainforest period, with hours of previously unreleased music. Melodic sequencers with swift patterned keyboard improvisation, melting down into slow looping textures and flutes.
Francesco Feo was one of the greatest Neapolitan composers of the first half of the 18th century. During a career extending from 1713 through 1760, the year before his death, he remained in Naples, where he composed operas, oratorios, cantatas, masses, passions, psalms, and canticles, among other works. His setting of Metastasio’s first opera libretto, Siface, led to commissions from Rome and Turin. His growing fame resulted in commissions from Madrid and Prague; Hasse, resident in Dresden, where Feo’s works were also performed, wanted to entrust Feo with leading the premiere of a serenata he wrote for Naples. The music historian Charles Burney praised his works for their “fire, invention, and force in the melody and expression in the words.”
There are so many excellent recordings of Messiah that the addition of another only further complicates the decision for the listener, but having such an abundance of riches should be no cause for complaint. Hyperion's recording with Stephen Layton leading the choir Polyphony and the Britten Sinfonia is not among the flashiest or most star-studded, but it is immensely musically satisfying.
Johann Mattheson gained lasting renown as a music writer with his two main works Die musikalische Ehrenpforte and Der vollkommene Kapellmeister, with the latter representing a foundational writing on cultural politics, musical aesthetics, and compositional practice in the first half of the eighteenth century. Mattheson was also himself a composer and experienced his most productive phase in this capacity during his years as cathedral music director at the Hamburg Cathedral (1715-28). He wrote twenty-four oratorios and other works for the cathedral music until increasing deafness forced him to resign from his post. That Mattheson is not at all known as a composer certainly has to do with the fact that a considerable portion of his compositional oeuvre was regarded as lost until 1998, when some works were rediscovered in a war evacuation depot in Erivan (Yerevan), Armenia. These works include Der liebreiche und geduldige David (The Loving and Patient David) of 1723, one of Mattheson’s last oratorios. It reveals him to us as a dramatically well-versed, highly imaginative musician who more than deserves his personal renaissance. cpo vows to take up his cause!