Heart beats – Martín Oro in Concert

ArgentinaArgentina Mi palpita il cor: Vivaldi, Monteverdi, Walther, Bononcini, Piccinini, Handel: Martín Oro (countertenor), Manfredo Kraemer (violin), Dolores Costoyas (theorbo), Nina Diehl (cello), Federico Ciancio (harpsichord), Pilar Golf, Buenos Aires. 14.7.2012. (JSJ)


Martín Oro in concert at Pilar Golf. (Photo Gentileza Conciertos Pilar Golf)

Pilar Golf, a golf estate on the outskirts of the city of Pilar, some 65 km northwest of Buenos Aires, is a relatively new venue on the local concert circuit. Now in its 8th season, the program is varied ranging from singers in recital such as Verónica Cangemi and Virginia Tola to chamber music and for the first time this year, ballet.

To this list we can now add counter-tenor Martín Oro – another Argentine who is making a successful international career, particularly in Europe, and who performs all too infrequently locally. And with a wide ranging and varied baroque program that is similarly infrequently performed, presented by a group of highly accomplished musicians – and during the otherwise quiet winter holiday, the stage was set for a special performance.

The program, named “Mi palpita il cor” after Handel’s cantata, with which Oro closed the concert, was selected to reflect music that is very close to his heart, he explained, with vocal fragments interspersed with instrumental works.

The concert kicked off with the beautifully sung aria “Piango, gemo, sospiro e peno” and cantata “Alla caccia dell’alme” from Vivaldi. This was followed with Arnalta’s gentle “Oblivion soave” from Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, before an instrumental interlude with Walther’s Variations on a theme of Corelli. Other vocal offerings were Bononcini’s cantata “Siedi Amarlli mia” and Andronico’s aria “A dispetto d’un volto ingrato” from Tamerlano, while in the second part Piccinini’s Toccata was paired with Monteverdi’s “Si dolce è il tormento” and the title cantata from Handel.

The intimate nature of the concert and the program was such that it gave each of the performers the opportunity to fully display their skills, which they did amply, and Oro also gave some insights into the works, while theorbist Costoyas talked briefly about her instrument – all making for a outstanding and memorable occasion.

Jonathan Spencer Jones