Arianna in Nasso
Speaking in general about Porpora, and in particular his Ariadne, in 1910 the French musicographer Romain Rolland wrote "Histor didn't do him justice. He was fit to compete with Handel, and the comparison between Handel's Ariadne and Porpora's, staged a few weeks apart, is not at all in favor of the former. Handel's music is elegant; but doesn't have the strength of certain arias in Porpora's Ariadne in Naxos. These arias' form has an excessively classical regularity; but powerful inspiration circulates through these Roman temples." The common place of Porpora, a singing teacher ready to subordinate everything to his pupils' voices, must be reflected upon in the light of the vocal writing in these pages: in which belcanto flourishes are generally administered abundantly and in each case almost always justified by musical and expressive reasons and immersed in the character's specific dimension.