Tune in to Classical MPR to hear Ensemble Matheus live on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. CT. The evening's concert features music by three composers who were rivals at the opera houses of the early-18th century: George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, and Nicola Antonio Porpora. If Porpora's name is not as famous today — except among vocal students — as the other two, the performance of his remarkable Concerto for Cello may help to ameliorate this. Here, he brilliantly transferred his gift for showing off a highly trained voice to the cello, making it a virtuoso singer as well.
We also hear examples of both the vocal and the instrumental music of Handel and Vivaldi. The latter's greatness as an operatic composer remained unknown outside specialist circles until very recently when the revival of Baroque opera, ably aided by Cecilia Bartoli, moved beyond Handel to unearth jewels from Vivaldi's more than 20 surviving stage scores. His vocal music is as vivacious and varied as his well-known concertos.
Co-hosted by Performance Today's Fred Child.