Falvetti, Nabucco

About

Cappella Mediterranea
Chœur des Chaldéens : Chœur de chambre de Namur

Leonardo García Alarcón – direction
Ariel Rychter – organ & direction assistant

In the last five years, few works have created such emotion in the public as the rediscovery of Michelangelo Falvetti’s Diluvio Universale (1642-1692). The incredible beauty of the music of this unfairly forgotten composer has touched all those who heard it.

Encouraged by this success, the brilliant conductor Leonardo García Alarcón decided to create another previously unseen work composed in 1683 by Michelangelo Falvetti for the Messina cathedral: Nabucco. Heralding Giuseppe Verdi’s first masterpiece written 130 years later, Falvetti’s Nabucco is halfway between a historical oratorio and a drama per musica. One of its great figures is the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar who invades Babylon and deports its population. One could read this Nabucco as a political tool of the Sicilians’ resistance to Spanish oppression.

Falvetti’s rich and moving music in Diluvio Universale is constantly equaled and even surpassed in Nabucco. The introduction, which evokes the river Euphrates’ course, takes the listener into a musical experience, where rich baroque instruments (harp, theorbo) are heard alongside the oriental sounds of the ney and the kaval (oblique flutes), of the duduk (a double reed instrument like the oboe) and Iranian percussions. The magnificent seven voices chorales are one of the examples of this technical and harmonic complexity, which can submerge the listener. Leonardo García Alarcón’s engagement enables the voices to deploy fully, the people of Israel’s vengeful chorales thunder, while soloists’ complaints worthy of Monteverdi move to tears … As in Elena by Cavalli revealed last year and shown at the Aix-en-Provence Festival and then in Versailles with exceptional success, Leonardo García Alarcón’s talent and the complete engagement of his interpreters (intense choir and dazzling soloists), masterfully serve the rich and contrasted, subtle and sensuous score of Nabucco, which revives this drama as a true sacred opera!

Photos