Saturday, January 26, 2013

BELOVED EMMA

From her humble beginnings as the daughter of a countryside blacksmith, Emy Lyon went on to claim the undying love of naval hero Admiral Nelson, England’s most famous native son. 
She served as model and muse to eighteenth-century Europe’s most renowned artists, and consorted with kings and queens at the royal court of Naples. Yet she would end her life in disgraced exile, penniless and alone. 
In this richly drawn portrait, Flora Fraser maps the spectacular rise and fall of legendary eighteenth-century beauty Emma, Lady Hamilton—as she came to be called—a woman of abundant affection and overwhelming charm, whose eye for opportunity was rivaled only by her propensity for overindulgence and scandal. Wonderfully intimate and lavishly detailed, Beloved Emma brings to life the incomparable Lady Hamilton and the politics, passions, and enchantments of her day.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

CANZONA PER SAN GENNARO

Following a series of disasters in the 16th and 17th centuries
the inhabitants of Naples chose St Gennaro as holy protector of the city.
They built a chapel, the Tesoro di San Gennaro, which became a local centre of musical excellence, from whose charts and songbooks are drawn the motets and sinfonia collected here. Accompanied by a small ensemble of strings, I Turchini weave wonderfully ornamented interplay of sopranos and countertenor over bass and tenors, the staccato repetition of syllables in pieces like Caresana's "Canzona per San Gennaro" and Nicola Fago's "Confitebor" akin to a formalised laughter, while on less flamboyant works like Fago's "Stabat Mater" the prominent bass brings a more sombre atmosphere.