A few years after the assassination of Stradella, Pierre Bourdelot and Pierre Bonnet-Bourdelot included a story of the episode in their Histoire de la Musique in 1715, and consequently the ‘legend of Stradella’ was born. According to the legend, Stradella had disappeared with the lover of a Venetian noble, who in response hired a band of assassins to pursue the lovers from city to city. In the booklet of this CD – with its recording from Enrico Gatti, his Ensemble Aurora and Emanuela Galli in the title role – are contained the latest results of Carolyn Gianturco’s investigation into the life and works of Stradella, including some completely new information. La Susanna, an erotic oratorio, was written by Stradella in 1681 on commission from Francesco II, Duke of Modena, who was very fond of the genre. A fine summary of the oratorio’s noteworthy qualities was put forth in a letter by a gentleman who had been present at rehearsals of its first performance. He wrote that he was ‘estatic about the sinfonias, about the variety of the arias, about the exquisiteness of the recitative and about the diversity and unexpectedness of the subjects and about the rarity of the basso continuo’.
Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (Königsberg , January 24, 1776 – Berlin, June 25, 1822), who changed his third name to Amadeus in honour to Mozart, is one of the best-known representatives of German Romanticism, and a pioneer of the fantasy genre, with a taste for the macabre. He was also a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist.
As a musician, he composed about 80 works, including several operas, among them Aurora (1811-12), after Franz von Holbein, and Undine (1814), after Baron Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué's tale, one symphony, sacred and chamber music, as well as instrumental pieces.