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Saverio Mercadante: Sinfonia On Themes From Rossini's Stabat Mater; Homage To Bellini; Clarinet Concerto No. 2

Mercadante / Casani / Orchestra Sinfonica Di Roma
Release Date: 11/19/2013 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8573035   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Giammarco Casani
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

MERCADANTE Omaggio a Bellini. Seconda Sinfonia caratteristica napoletana. Gran Sinfonia sopra motivi dello Stabat Mater del celebre Rossini. Clarinet Concerto No. 2, op. 101. Garibaldi Francesco La Vecchia, cond; Giammarco Casani (cl); O S di Roma NAXOS 8.573035 (60:08)

Like his contemporaries Bellini, Donizetti, and Rossini, Saverio Mercadante wrote many Read more operas—some 60-odd, all told. Unlike these contemporaries, he also wrote a good amount of instrumental music, as heard in this program, although many of his instrumental works use vocal models as their taking-off points. Thus we have here the Omaggio a Bellini , a fantasia on themes from that composer’s Norma , and the Gran Sinfonia sopra motivi dello Stabat Mater del celebre Rossini , works that treat their model in the same general manner in which Liszt wrote his opera paraphrases.

The Seconda Sinfonia caratteristica napoletana is an apotheosis of the tarantella; the orchestral fantasia Garibaldi (full title: Garibaldi—Sinfonia a grand’orchestra sopra l’inno dei cacciatori delle Alpi (dedicata all’Italia) ) is a late work (1861) inspired by the unification of Italy and based on two patriotic tunes; it is brilliant and flashy. The Second Clarinet Concerto is a different kettle of fish, the only piece of absolute music in the program. It is a Classical work in two movements, the second a theme and variations reminiscent of Rossini’s self-standing work in that form.

The Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma and its principal clarinetist, Giammarco Casani, play this music well. All items except for the Concerto seem to be only recordings; the latter has been recorded by a number of heavyweights: Thomas Friedli, Eduard Brunner, and Karl Leister. Casani has a brightish sound and plenty of technique, but I prefer the version by the Swiss-Italian clarinetist Antonio Tinelli ( Fanfare 34:2), whose tone is a bit richer. The sound of this CD is decent but a bit bright, but this won’t likely be a factor in the absence of competition. Recommended to those interested in obscure 19th-century Italian repertoire.

FANFARE: Richard A. Kaplan
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Omaggio a Bellini, fantasia for orchestra by Saverio Mercadante
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Period: Romantic 
Venue:  Auditorium Conciliazione, Rome 
Length: 11 Minutes 16 Secs. 
2. Seconda Sinfonia caratteristica napoletana, for orchestra by Saverio Mercadante
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Period: Romantic 
Venue:  Auditorium Conciliazione, Rome 
Length: 9 Minutes 29 Secs. 
3. Sinfonia on themes from Rossini’s Stabat Mater by Saverio Mercadante
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Italy 
Venue:  Auditorium Conciliazione, Rome 
Length: 13 Minutes 10 Secs. 
4. Concerto for Clarinet in B flat major, Op. 101 by Saverio Mercadante
Performer:  Giammarco Casani (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
Venue:  Auditorium Conciliazione, Rome 
Length: 16 Minutes 4 Secs. 
5. Garibaldi, sinfonia sopra l'inno dei cacciatori delle Alpi by Saverio Mercadante
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 06/03/2012 
Venue:  OSR Studios, Rome 
Length: 9 Minutes 24 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Omaggio a Bellini
Sinfonia sulla 2a caratteristica napoletana
Sinfonia su motivi dello Stabat Mater di Rossini
Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 101: I. Allegro maestoso
Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 101: II. Andante con variazoni

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Excellent Italian Orchestral Works June 22, 2014 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "There may be some who have the mistaken impression that Italian composers excel only in the Opera (Verdi, Bellini, Rossini, et al) and Baroque (Vivaldi) genres. If for some reason you happen to fall into this trap, then you need to hear this quite magnificent recording of orchestral works by the Italian opera composer (!) Saverio Mercadante. One listen should be sufficient to change your mind once and for all. Under Francesco LaVecchia's direction, the Rome Symphony Orchestra gives a lush, bravura performance of some extraordinarily attractive Italian orchestral music from the 19th century. In two of the works, Mercadante weaves together well known tunes from Bellini (Norma) and Rossini (Stabat Mater) in a thoroughly attractive way. His Second Sinfonia caratteristica napoletana sparkles with the exuberant ambience of Naples, and his wonderful, 2 movement Clarinet Concerto # 2 seems right out of the Haydn/Mozart era with its classically endowed melodies and musical architecture. Rounding out the program is another short sinfonia, this one a 9 minute musical blast of raucous Italian nationalism and titled in honor of Giuseppe Garibaldi, one of the primary agents of Italian unification. To say that this entire recording is a delight to hear would be something of an understatement. So the question thus becomes: is this serious, existential music? No. On the other hand: it is a good example of the joy and the artistic merit which Italy brings to the aesthetic arts? Absolutely! This is a recording for which Naxos deserves great credit- it's really good. Strongly recommended." Report Abuse
 Italianate classicism January 22, 2014 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews ""Omaggion a Bellini" and the "Gran Sinfonia sopra motivi dello Stabat Mater del celeb re Rossini" owe a lot to their source material. Mercadante is an imaginative arranger, but its the quality of the tunes that carry these works. The "Seconda Sinfonia caratteristica napoletana" reminds me somewhat of Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony. The Neapolitan melodies and rhythms are orchestrated in a similar fashion -- with two major differences. First, Mercadante's Sinfonia is shorter and lighter. Second, Mercadante's speaking the musical language of his own country, instead of interpreting it second-hand as Mendelssohn did. "Garibaldi - Sinfonia a grand'orchstra sopra l'inno dei cacciatori delle Alpi," also interprets Italian folk music for the concert stage, but in a much more serious fashion. Mercadante's work celebrates Italian unification, giving the work greater emotional weight than the lighthearted Second Sinfonia. All in all a pleasing program of Italian orchestral music from the early 19th century." Report Abuse
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