Amongst several contemporaries of Scarlatti who devoted themselves to the solo cantata, one of the most prolific was influential globetrotter Giovanni Bononcini, who wrote up to 283. During the first quarter of the 18th century, Bononcini's cantatas represented the principal trend of this genre. In these works, a fluent and effective technique is combined with a real gift for the composition of melodies. These lamenti are the central element of Bononcini's dramatic works; his genius is perfectly adapted to tender and pathetic emotions. Another important aspect of his music is the magnificent use of the text. In 1789, Charles Burney called Bononcini "the most prolific cantatas composer" and claimed that Bononcini's recitatives were universally perceived as the best of their time. Now, Cyril Auvity and his ensemble L'Yriade offer an enthusiastic and totally committed interpretation of some of Bononcini's cantatas, revealing the extreme force of those magical works.
Richard Leech has sung his Raoul to enthusiastic audiences in Berlin and elsewhere, and it is good to hear a voice which has such a clean ring to it, evenly produced and tastefully directed (even if not invariably observing Meyerbeer's detailed instructions). The Valentine is Francoise Pollet, an exceptional singer (especially among the French) in the sympathetic roundness of her tone, exactly right for a good nine-tenths of the role (the remaining fraction calling for more rejoicing on the high Cs). As Nevers, the excellent Gilles Cachemaille gives a courtly, well-schooled performance. (Gramophone)