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Mercadante: I Normanni A Parigi (Highlights) / Stratford, Howarth, Banks, Novaro, Karneus

Mercadante / Howarth / Karneus / Pao / Stratford
Release Date: 07/12/2011 
Label:  Opera Rara   Catalog #: 249   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Riccardo NovaroKatarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals]Barry BanksGraeme Broadbent,   ... 
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MERCADANTE I Normanni a Parigi (excerpts) Stuart Stratford, cond; Judith Howarth ( Berta ); Katarina Karnéus ( Osvino ); Barry Banks ( Odone ); Riccardo Novaro ( Ordamante ); Graeme Broadbent ( Tebaldo ); Aled Hall ( Ebbone Read more class="ARIAL12">); Geoffrey Mitchell Ch; Philharmonia O OPERA RARA ORR 249 (78:11 Text and Translation)


Opera Rara continues its Essential series with a seventh issue, allowing us to deepen our appreciation of Saverio Mercadante, whose lengthy career began in 1819 and continued up to his last work in 1857, thus spanning Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi. I Normanni comes in the middle, just after Zaira and before the mold-breaking Giuramento and Bravo , but nonetheless demonstrating the composer’s ample talents. The libretto by Felice Romani is based on a French source, complicated beyond measure as the action starts somewhere in the middle of the story. Berta was once secretly married to one Roberto (now Ordamante), whom she thinks is dead; had a son, Osvino, who thinks he is an orphan, and lives in Paris under the protection of Odone, with the Normans besieging the city, etc.


In fact, the drama is relatively easy to follow with Mercadante once again demonstrating that he deserves more than just a footnote in music history. The opening chorus, divided in two, with its antiphonic aspect, is just the start. The duet between Berta and Osvino reminds us that we are not far removed from Semiramide or even Norma . The third-act finale is wonderfully constructed, first a duet for Osvino and Odone, becoming a trio with the arrival of Berta and then the conclusion with chorus. The canonic trio for the principals, first heard on an earlier CD, Paventa Insano , devoted to Mercadante and Pacini, gains immeasurably from being heard in context, however inappropriate the words for anyone but Berta. Even better is act IV, heard almost in its entirety, beginning with a storm, lengthy recitative for Ordamante, offstage prayer for Berta, and full-scale duet, and ending with the traditional cabaletta finale for the soprano. The duet captures the anguish of both characters, while its unusual structure will surprise many a listener.


Judith Howarth, previously heard in a highlights album of Mercadante’s Maria Stuarda , has a part written to measure where she can show off her fluency and her high notes while remaining in character. And this is no simple sing. Katarina Karneus’s Osvino is a surprise, for I had not previously thought of her as a singer for this repertory, but she too takes all the hurdles in stride. Barry Banks’s Odone easily encompasses the many demands of his role, while Riccardo Novaro’s tight vibrato, which I described recently as a flutter in his performance of Morales, may not be to everyone’s taste, while he is occasionally a bit hard-pressed by the vocal demands of Ordamante. Stuart Stratford, an erstwhile pupil of Opera Rara stalwart David Parry, shows that he has absorbed the lessons of his mentor in this challenging repertory. As usual, Jeremy Commons provides an introduction that is a model for all annotators.


FANFARE: Joel Kasow
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Works on This Recording

1.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 1. Introduzione. Una Regente debole by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice),
Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 24 Secs. 
2.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 1. Duetto. Tu lo volesti by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice),
Aled Hall (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 20 Secs. 
3.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 1. Duetto. Cielo, non v'ha fra gli uomini by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Barry Banks (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice),
Judith Howarth (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 24 Secs. 
4.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 1. Duetto. Regina!... ancor ti supplico by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice),
Aled Hall (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 1 Minutes 23 Secs. 
5.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 1. Duetto. Tergi le amare lagrime by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Aled Hall (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice),
Barry Banks (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 4 Secs. 
6.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 3. Scena. Ah! mai non fia by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice),
Aled Hall (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
7.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act . Aria. Prendi tu la spada mia by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Barry Banks (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice),
Judith Howarth (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
8.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act . Aria. Custodito in carcer sia by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice),
Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 1 Minutes 27 Secs. 
9.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 3. Cabaletta. Se dar fede a' miei nemici by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice),
Aled Hall (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
10.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 3. Duetto. Una preghiera ascolta by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Barry Banks (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice),
Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 1 Secs. 
11.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 3. Duetto. Conte, l'onor ti è reso by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice),
Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 1 Minutes 25 Secs. 
12.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 3. Terzetto. Che tento? che spero? by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice),
Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
13.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 3. Terzetto. Francesi... asciktate,,, by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Barry Banks (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice),
Aled Hall (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
14.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 3. Terzetto. Vieni, Osvino by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice),
Aled Hall (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
15.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 4. Buresca by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice),
Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 0 Minutes 48 Secs. 
16.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 4. Scena e Preghiera. Ove fuggo? by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Judith Howarth (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice),
Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 55 Secs. 
17.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 4. Duetto. Rigetta il cielo by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice),
Barry Banks (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
18.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 4. Duetto. Io t'amai by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice),
Aled Hall (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 24 Secs. 
19.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 4. Duetto. Io ti lascio by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice),
Judith Howarth (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 
20.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 4. Duetto. Giunge alcun by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice),
Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
21.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 4. Scena. Il tuo sangue a me recasti! by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice),
Aled Hall (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
22.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 4. Aria. Ah! non mai... by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Judith Howarth (Voice), Aled Hall (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice),
Barry Banks (Voice), Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
23.
I Normanni a Parigi: Act 4. Aria. Chi serbar può asciutto il ciglio! by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Graeme Broadbent (Voice), Riccardo Novaro (Voice), Judith Howarth (Voice),
Aled Hall (Voice), Katarina Karnéus [Mezzo Soprano Vocals] (Voice), Barry Banks (Voice)
Conductor:  Stuart Stratford
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2009 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 

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