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CHAN 0710
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CHAN 0710

Gaffi: La Forza Del Divino Amore

The Classical Shop
release date: August 2004

Originally recorded in 2003


Antonio Frige

Sergio Foresti

bass - Rodrigo

Leona Peleskova

soprano - Divine Love

Marivì Blasco

soprano - St Teresa

Ensemble Pian & Forte


Sala Tiepolesca, Chiesa S. Francesco di Paola, Milan


Fabio Framba


Roberto Chinellato

Record Label



Early Music

Total Time - 62:38
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La Forza Del Divino Amore

  Oratorio for three voices, with trumpet and violin  
  Part One 31:29      
  Sinfonia to Part One of Il barcheggio by Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682)  
1 I Spiritosa e staccata 0:59
2 II [Andante] 1:31
3 III Canzone 1:20
4 IV [Presto] 1:28
5 Recitative. Divine Love: 'Al suon guerrier' 0:17
6 Aria. Divine Love: 'Già suona la tromba' 3:47
7 Recitative. St Teresa: 'O voi che bramate' 1:07
8 Aria. St Teresa: 'Debil seno che il ciel non armò' 2:37
9 Recitative. Divine Love: 'Alme del cielo amiche' 0:30
10 Recitative. St Teresa: 'Ecco già, già m'accingo' 0:22
11 Aria. Divine Love: 'Su schiere guerriere' 1:37
12 Recitative. St Teresa: 'Rodrigo, oh Dio Rodrigo' 0:34
13 Aria. Rodrigo: 'Senza indugio ecco il mio piede' 1:26
14 Recitative. Rodrigo: 'Andiam, che troppo tardi' 0:37
15 Recitative. St Teresa: 'Quanto gioisco, o quanto' - 0:27
  Rodrigo: 'Sarà sempre mio vanto'  
16 Aria. Divine Love: 'Su schiere guerriere' 1:04
17 Recitative. Divine Love: 'L'acciaro Amor vi da' - 0:38
  Duet. St Teresa and Rodrigo: 'Si mora per Giesù'  
18 Aria. St Teresa: 'Piaceri terreni' 5:42
19 Recitative. St Teresa: 'Spine produca pur, sia di tormenti' - 1:22
  Rodrigo: 'Se per cammin spinoso'  
20 Duet. St Teresa and Rodrigo: 'Su dunque assalite' 1:55
21 Recitative. St Teresa: 'Scatenatevi pure a cento, cento' - 0:58
  Rodrigo: 'Assalitemi o pene a mille a mille'  
22 Duet. St Teresa and Rodrigo: 'Andiamo, andiamo, sì, sì' 0:56
  Part Two 31:36      
  Sinfonia (first movement) to Part Two of Il barcheggio by Alessandro Stradella  
23 I [Allegro] 0:29
24 Recitative. Divine Love: 'Per solitaria via' 0:42
25 Duet. St Teresa and Rodrigo: 'O quanto soavi' 3:38
26 Recitative: St Teresa: 'Rodrigo econe giunti' 0:29
27 Aria. Rodrigo: 'Per farne sperare' 2:48
28 Recitative. St Teresa: 'Oh quanto lieta hor fuori' - 0:42
  Rodrigo: 'Ricchezze, vanità, vi fugge il piede'  
29 Duet. St Teresa and Rodrigo: 'Van piacer/Gioie terrene' 3:06
30 Recitative. Divine Love: 'Già dier prove bastanti' 0:35
31 Aria. Divine Love: 'Alme fide il piè volgete' 1:24
32 Recitative. St Teresa: 'Per te su queste arene' - 1:30
  Rodrigo: 'Io di martiri, e pene' -  
  St Teresa: 'Dunque consenti che di tormenti' -  
  Rodrigo: 'Dunque nè strazij più crudi e fieri' -  
  Divine Love: 'Pensier sì generosi'  
33 Aria. Rodrigo: 'Colà nell'Africa' 1:24
34 Recitative. Divine Love: 'Basta, basta non più' 0:35
35 Aria. St Teresa: 'Che posso dir io' 5:15
36 Recitative. Divine Love: 'Frena il pianto Teresa, il grato odore' 0:56
37 Aria. Divine Love: 'Ei non vuol che ti tolgan la vita' 2:11
38 Recitative. Divine Love: 'Ecco, ecco l'arco aurato' 0:37
39 Aria. St Teresa: 'Deh pietà, Signor mercé' 1:36
40 Recitative. Divine Love: 'Su, su, Celeste Choro' 0:16
41 Finale. All: 'A intrecciar le corone odorose' 3:11
 Leona Peleskova soprano - Divine Love
 Marivì Blasco soprano - St Teresa
 Sergio Foresti bass - Rodrigo
 Antonio Frige
  27 October and 2 November 2003  
Bernardo Gaffi’s La forza del divino amore (The Power of Divine Love) is an intriguing rarity, and receives its premiere recording on the Chaconne label. It is an oratorio (for chamber forces with solo trumpet), one of eight by the composer which were popular in their day, and it is based on an episode in the life of St Teresa of Ávila. It is a beautiful score, performed by Ensemble ‘Pian & Forte’, a group formed in 1989 and dedicated to rediscovering and performing works of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Ensemble is joined by three vocal soloists, renowned exponents of the music of this period.

Premiere recording of this rare and beautiful score.

Full text and translation included.

The oratorio La forza del divino amore tells the story of Saint Teresa of Ávila (1515–1582), the Carmelite mystic who founded more than thirty Carmelite convents and monasteries in Spain. The work opens with the allegorical figure of Divine Love summoning ‘men and women of faith’ to suffer and die for Jesus. Teresa wishes to follow the example of the many ‘peace-loving virgins’ who have fallen in the glory of martyrdom, but fears for her brother Rodrigo, who would be left alone. He, however, despite his youth, declares that he is resolved to join his sister in her endeavour. In Part Two the ‘gallant pair’, now far from home, renounce all earthly joys and prepare to suffer. But Divine Love tells them to return to their homeland: they have already given sufficient proof of their faith. It is the will of Heaven that Teresa should bring glory to the Carmelite Order by becoming a messenger of Divine Love.

The musical structure of the oratorio is modelled upon that of the chamber cantata. It presents the typical sequence of recitatives and arias accompanied not only by the obligatory continuo but also by a small group of instruments comprising two violins and a trumpet. While strings and continuo were traditionally used in music for small ensembles, the presence of a trumpet excites interest, as histories of the period would not seem to acknowledge that trumpets were ever used in chamber music. Written in Rome, where the composer was employed as an organist, La forza del divino amore received its first performance in 1690 in the Carmelite church of S. Maria della Scala. The original manuscript of the work is preserved in the Biblioteca Estense in Modena. The first modern performance of the oratorio was given in May 2003.

No Internal Reviews Found.

Bernardo Gaffi? Hardly a name on everybody's lips; but on the basis of this oratorio-cum-cantata - the first work of his I've ever heard (or heard of) - he deserves to be much better known. In the standard recitative/aria/recitative/aria formula of the late VIIth Century - enlivened by an occasional duet and Stradella's sinfoniae - the singing of the two sopranos and bass is lively and attractive, while the splendidly baroque contributions of the solo trumpet give the whole ensemble the gilding of a Venetian church of the period.
M Lloyd-Williams