A native of Buenos Aires but of Italian origin and living in Italy, Evangelina Mascardi regularly collaborates as a continuo-player with pre-eminent ensembles: Il Giardino Armonico dir. Giovanni Antonini, Zefiro, dir. Alfredo Bernardini, Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, dir. Sir John Eliot Gardiner… A former pupil of Hopkinson Smith at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, she has two solo albums to her credit (ORF Austria), the first of which, devoted to Johann Sebastian Bach and Sylvius Leopold Weiss, won the Diapason d’or. Now she inaugurates her collaboration with Arcana with a programme of refined and original theorbo solos, theorbo and tiorbino duos, and songs by the Modena-born Bellerofonte Castaldi, one of his era’s finest theorbo virtuosos.
Evangelina Mascardi is joined here by Mónica Pustilnik on the tiorbino (the rare miniature theorbo invented by Castaldi himself) and by Marco Beasley, fresh from the successes of his Frà Diavolo. The overarching theme of this collection of Castaldi’s music is Ferita d’amore (literally “the wound of love”), borrowed from the title of a Gagliarda included in the programme. The recording is organized into three sets, with sub-themes progressing from joyful exuberance, through the contemplation of the pain love can cause in the second set, to a final reawakening of transcendent devotion.
Bellerofonte Castaldi came into the limelight in 1998 with the pioneering recording of Vincent Dumestre and his Le Poème Harmonique, a groundbreaking recording both for the Alpha label (the first item of the catalogue) and the French ensemble (their first recording).