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Opera Classics - Meyerbeer: Semiramide / Bonynge, Riedel


Release Date: 06/20/2006 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8660205   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Olga PeretyatkoFilippo AdamiWojciech Adalbert GierlachLeonardo Silva,   ... 
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Altensteig Rossini ChoirWürttemberg Philharmonie Reutlingen
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Recordings of Meyerbeer’s operas are regrettably few, which makes this Naxos release all the more valuable. Although better known for his French grand operas, especially Les Huguenots (1836), Le prophéte (1849), and L’Africaine (1865), early in his career Meyerbeer composed two operas in German and later between 1815 and 1824 six Italian operas in a style imitative of Rossini. It was during this Italian period that Yaakor Liebmann Beer began calling himself Giacomo Meyerbeer.

Semiramide, composed in 1819, was the second of his Italian operatic compositions. Four additional Italian operas followed before his move to Paris and the successful Robert le diable. It is surprising that Meyerbeer’s Italian operas haven’t been
Read more better represented in the bel canto revival of the last half century. Opera Rara recorded two of them complete (Il crociato in Egitto and Margherita d’Anjou) and highlights from L’esule di Granata (all studio recorded). A few of Meyerbeer’s Italian operas recorded in performance and an aria here and there occasionally find their way onto disc.

Semiramide, as evidenced by this Naxos, is definitely closer in style to Rossini than to Meyerbeer’s French grand operas. There is lots of ornamentation, recitative secchi, and even the rhythmic crescendo. The arias are tuneful and the ensembles are frequently exciting. Rossini’s Semiramide owes some creative debt to Meyerbeer’s earlier creation in structure, acknowledged by correspondence between Rossini’s librettist Gaetano Rossi and Meyerbeer.

Meyerbeer’s Semiramide was fairly successful, although it garnered more favorable press from German critics than Italians. Meyerbeer, with Rossi, made some changes to the score for performances a year later, expanding the title to Semiramide riconosciuto; however, the altered score has been lost, as has Meyerbeer’s autographed score of the original, a victim of WW II bombing. The score used for the performances captured on this recording is from a “contemporary manuscript copy” and “incorporates a number of cuts and revisions made to suit the vocal talents of the cast involved.” Quotes are from the booklet.

The plot has little to do with the events in Rossini’s opera. The libretto Meyerbeer used is a convoluted hodge-podge of disguises, amorous intrigues and betrayals, plots and counterplots, vengeance, a duel, and general rejoicing. The booklet contains a synopsis tied to tracking numbers, but a note on the back tray liner tells us that a libretto can be obtained from www.naxos.com/libretti/semiramide.htm. However, it is only in Italian. Good luck!

Enjoy this album for the two hours of bel canto singing it provides. The performance is a good one, the audience is not intrusive, and the recorded sound and balances are excellent. I’m glad Bonynge is still bringing us these interesting rarities.

FANFARE: David L. Kirk
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Works on This Recording

1.
Semiramide riconosciuta by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Olga Peretyatko (Soprano), Filippo Adami (Tenor), Wojciech Adalbert Gierlach (Bass),
Leonardo Silva (Tenor), Marco Bellei (Harpsichord), Fiona Janes (Mezzo Soprano),
Deborah Riedel (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Altensteig Rossini Choir,  Württemberg Philharmonie Reutlingen
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819; Italy 
Venue:  Live  Kursaal, Bad Wildbad, Germany 
Length: 125 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Kursaal, Bad Wildbad, Germany (07/09/2005 - 07/15/2005) 

Sound Samples

Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Sinfonia
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Introduction and Recitative: Dall'Olimpo a noi scendete (Chorus, Sibari, Semiramide, Tamiri)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: March
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Scene: Dalla Sarmazia sede discendo al grande invito (Ircano, Mirteo, Semiramide, Scitalce, Tamiri, Chorus)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Recitative: Sogno o son desto? (Scitalce, Ircano, Tamiri, Semiramide, Sibari)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Cavatina: Sperai su questa sponda trovare il mio riposo (Scitalce)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Recitative: Signor, perdona se con nome d'amico (Sibari, Scitalce, Tamiri, Semiramide)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Recitative: Siam soli, or parlera (Semiramide, Scitalce)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Duet: Ella e la fiamma mia. Adoro il suo sembiante (Scitalce, Semiramide)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Recitative: La scaltrezza che val (Sibari, Tamiri, Semiramide, Mirteo, Ircano)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Recitative and Aria: Mi vedrai con quest'acciaro (Ircano, Sibari)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Recitative: Egli morra, fidati a me (Sibari, Ircano, Semiramide, Scitalce)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Recitative and Canzonetta con variazioni: Piu non si tardi (Semiramide, Chorus)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Finale: In lucido cristallo aureo liquore (Tutti, Chorus)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Finale: Di gioia, di pace, la bella speranza (Tutti, Chorus)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act I: Finale: Ah balena, minaccia sdegnato (Tutti, Chorus)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Recitative: Mirteo non lusingarti: io ben conosco (Tamiri, Mirteo)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Aria: D'un genio che m'accende tu vuoi ragion da me? (Tamiri)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Recitative: Vieni Sibari... E dove? (Ircano, Sibari, Tamiri, Semiramide, Scitalce)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Recitative and Duet: Barbaro, non dolerti, hai tempo ancora (Semiramide, Scitalce)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Recitative: Cedi il ferro, o t'uccido (Mirteo, Ircano)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Recitative and Aria: Io prigioniero?... Si, fremi traditor (Ircano, Mirteo, Chorus)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Recitative: Quanto ti deggio amico (Mirteo, Sibari)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Aria: Ah piu soffrir non voglio quel temerario orgoglio (Mirteo)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Recitative: Nol voglio udir. Da questa reggia (Semiramide)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Recitative and Duet: Io partir? Chi l'impone? (Ircano, Semiramide)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Recitative: Ove s'asconde? Che fa Scitalce? (Mirteo, Semiramide, Scitalce)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Scene and Rondo: Mirteo, per quanto io tardi (Scitalce, Mirteo, Chorus)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Recitative: A forza io passero, vo' del cimento (Ircano, Semiramide, Sibari, Tamiri, Mirteo, Scitalce)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Scene: Taci. E tempo d'ardir. Popoli, e vero (Semiramide)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Rondo: Se non nacqui al miglior sesso (Semiramide, Chorus, Mirteo, Scitalce, Ircano, Tamiri)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Recitative: Oh Dio! Tamiri (Scitalce, Tamiri, Mirteo)
Semiramide riconosciuta: Act II: Finale: Soavi accenti, novi contenti (Tutti, Chorus)

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