Agostino Steffani

Niobe, regina di Tebe

Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs

(Erato)

The recent resuscitation of Steffani’s Niobe, regina di Tebe has spurred this first studio recording. Given its premiere in 1688, the opera stands between Monteverdi and Handel.

The only thing comparable with the German master’s operas, though, is its length — three hours plus of short, mostly inconsequential arias, stylishly sung here by a decent cast headed by counter-tenor Philippe Jaroussky, accompanied by the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra conducted by Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs.

Nice enough if nothing more pressing calls.

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