Paer: Il Santo Sepolcro (Cornelia Horak/ Vanessa Barkowski/ Franz Hauk) (Naxos: 8.572492)
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Together with Johann Simon Mayr, Ferdinando Paër counts as one of the most important opera composers of his day, and he was unable to resist filling his oratorio on Christ's Passion, Il Santo Sepolcro
with expressive extremes. Pain and grief contrast with joy and hope, and scenes including the terrible hours of the crucifixion, frenzy of the crowd, resurrection and Last Judgment are given potently descriptive music. Originally a prelude to Haydn's Seven Last Words, Mayr's Invito
is a call to hear Paër's incomparable narrative.