History has not been beneficent to Giovanni Paisiello, Charles Horn, Peter von Winter, Marco Antonio da Fonseca Portugallo, Pietro Generali, Johann Simon Mayr and Francesco Bianchi, a mere smidgin of whose vast output receives long-overdue recognition on this recording.
In total, they composed almost 400 operas, probably none of which has been performed on any stage for at least 100 years.
The Richard Bonynge Archive is a vast treasury containing original manuscripts and music-oriented art works – doubtless the principal reason for the disc’s existence.
His knowledge of 18th and 19th century music and partnership with soprano Deborah Riedel, accompanied by the chamber-size Arcadia Lane Orchestra, has realised a program of virtually unknown arias that were cherry ripe for resurrection.
Unalloyed pleasure from first to final note and Bonynge’s erudite essay is a must-read