Antonio Caldara was an avid vocal composer who wrote some 200 cantatas, some 100 odd madrigals and vocal canons. Most cantatas were written in Rome during the Papal ban on operas between 1709 and 1716. Some were written later at the Hapsburg court in Vienna in the early 1720's.
Here, Max Emanuel Cencic sings five cantatas - Amante recidivo, Non v'e pena, Vedro senz'onde il mare, Da tuoi lumi and Sempre mi torna mente.
Cencic was a boy soprano soloist in the Vienna Boys Choir before his voice changed. He re-emerged in the early 2000's on the operatic stage as a mezzo-soprano counter-tenor. This Caldara album is recorded in around 2004.
Here, we could hear why Cencic is being considered as one of the foremost mezzo countertenors today - he owns a rich mezzo-soprano voice imbued with perfect intonation and stylistic interpretation. For Cencic, spitfire coloratura technique accompanies verbal incisivenss. This level of enunciation is lacking in another top countertenor in the same league of proficiency - French star Philippe Jaroussky.
Cencic not only sings beautifully - he also interprets wonderfully.
In this earlier recording, his timbre is lighter in shade than his more recent outputs. We hear more of that boyish tinge that was in his voice in the 1990's.
For fans of Cencic, this is one of the 'must own' albums.
For general baroque fans, this is an album that places right at the top of the CD listening list.