N.A. Porpora (Napoli 1686 – Napoli 1766)
Porpora was THE voice master in the XVIII century, a true genius. “Premier maitre de chant de l’univers” G. Sand.
The quality of his music is, to say the least, equal to Handel’s.
“Porpora’s compositional oeuvre is without doubt one of the most important nodes in the development of musical style between the Baroque and the pre-Classical periods. He is on of the unsung pioneers, without whose preparatory work over several decades the “Classical” age of Mozart and Haydn as we know it would never have dawned.” Olaf krone
“(…)Nicola Porpora was too popular in his own day for posterity not to exact a heavy price from him; whence the relative neglect, tinged with disdain, into wich he has fallen ever since.” A.P.
His Sacred works was often criticized for being “too beautiful”, more fit to an opera house than a church. There is clearly a “protestant bias” in that. You can’t expect to find the same kind of spirituality in Porpora or Pergolesi as you see in Bach. It’s another world. For catholics, what is divine MUST be beautiful and grand. Sacred music could be a glimpse of the afterlife, drawn by sensually ecstatic melodies. Laetatus Sum.