Monday, April 11, 2016

Countertenor Darryl Taylor Gives Marvelous Performance of Complete Solo Cantatas of Composer Rosanna Scalfi Marcello on a 2-CD Naxos Recording

Rosanna Scalfi Marcello (c.1704-c.1742):
Complete Solo Cantatas
 Darryl Taylor, Countertenor
Jory Vinikour, Harpsichord
Ann Marie Morgan, Baroque cello
Deborah Fox, Theorbo
Naxos 9.70246-47 (2016) 

Darryl Taylor

Darryl Taylor is an American Countertenor and actor whose latest recording is a 2-CD set, Rosanna Scalfi Marcello (c.1704-c.1742): Complete Solo Cantatas, Naxos 9.70246-47 (2016).  He has frequently been featured in AfriClassical since 2010.  One of our first introductions to Darryl Taylor was the African American Arts Song Alliance, whose website gave this introductory explanation:  
Founded in 1997, this is the home of interchange between performers and scholars interested in art song by African-American composers. Here you will find information and links to assist with your discovery of our contribution to song.

The Alliance website now adds this information:

The Alliance now has presence on YouTube! Please visit the ArtSongAlliance channel at Additional videos are forthcoming and submissions are encouraged!

The liner notes of the new recording Rosanna Scalfi Marcello (c.1704-c.1742): Complete Solo Cantatas  are by John Glenn Paton.  They begin: "Rosanna Scalfi Marcello left her only surviving works in a single, unbound manuscript that was long miscatalogued as music composed by her husband, Benedetto Marcello. Studying in the library of the Saint Cecilia Academy in Rome in 1975, I mentioned the error to the head librarian (a woman), who replied, 'Of course, her husband wrote the music.'  In the intervening years, all of Benedetto's music has been catalogued, and further scholarship has validated Rosanna as a composer in her own right." 

Subsequently, the CD notes disclose: "In 1724 a Dutch guest heard ‘la signora Rosanna’ sing in Benedetto’s house on several occasions and noted her extraordinary range, from D3 (in the bass clef) to A5 (above the treble clef). In 1728 Benedetto married Rosanna in a religious ceremony that was kept secret from his brothers. Rosanna had a separate residence, and husband and wife lived together only when they travelled or when Benedetto occupied diplomatic posts away from Venice. Rosanna sang privately for connoisseurs, but not in public theatres."

The CD booklet gives a brief overview of the career of each performer, beginning with Darryl Taylor: "Darryl Taylor's performances have been noted for their compelling artistry and authority.  His is an international career highlighted by performances of art song, opera and oratorio.  His repertoire extends from Bach to Britten, and beyond.  Recent performance highlights include singing the title role in Phillip Glass's Akhnaten for Long Beach Opera; L.A. Opera's groundbreaking production of Dido and Aeneas; Pergolesi and Vivaldi's Stabat Mater with Lyra Baroque Orchestra of St. Paul, Minnesota; performances with the Carmel Bach Festival; the Bach Collegium San Diego under Richard Egarr, and performances at New York's Carnegie Hall."

The booklet observes of harpsichordist Jory Vinikour: "Jory Vinikour is recognised as one of the outstanding harpsichordists of his generation."  Ann Marie Morgan performs on Baroque cello.  She is described in the booklet notes as "...a leading performer of the viola da gamba in the United States..."  Deborah Fox, who plays Theorbo, is said by the booklet to be "...a lutenist with a span of repertoire ranging from medieval to baroque music..."

Darryl Taylor has a forthcoming event in which he will perform with the Southeast Symphony, under Anthony Parnther, conductor,  in Carl Orff's Carmina Burana on May 22, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.

The countertenor has brought to life a neglected masterwork of an 18th century composer who overcame profound gender discrimination to practice her craft as a composer and preserve her compelling compositions for the benefit of future generations.  We happen to have a particular interest in beautiful classical music which has been composed by women, and we always appreciate learning of another accomplished woman composer.

Darryl Taylor is to be congratulated on his choice of this repertoire, and on the exquisite care with which he performs it.  The recording is everything one could ask.  The perfection of his vocal delivery is a marvel which is not diminished by repeated hearings.

Comment by email:
Thanks, Bill!!  [Darryl Taylor]

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