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Rossini: Mosè Egitto / Fogliani, Et Al


Release Date: 12/11/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8660220   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Wojciech Adalbert GierlachRossella BevacquaFilippo AdamiGiuseppe Fedeli,   ... 
Conductor:  Antonino Fogliani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sa Pietro a Majella ChorusWürttemberg Philharmonic OrchestraWildbad Wind Band
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



ROSSINI Mosè in Egitto Antonino Fogliani, cond; Lorenzo Regazzo ( Mosè ); Akie Amou ( Elcìa ); Wojtek Gierlach ( Faraone ); Filippo Adami ( Osiride ); Rossella Bevacqua ( Amaltea ); Giogio Trucco ( Aronne ); Karen Bandelow ( Read more class="ARIAL12i">Amenofi ); Giuseppe Fedeli ( Mambre ); San Pietro a Majella Ch; Wildbad Wind Band; Württemberg PO NAXOS 8.660220 (2 CDs: 136:38) Live: Bad Wildbad 7/2006


Naxos provides a bit of operatic history on the back liner of this latest addition in their Rossini in Wildbad festival recordings. Mosè in Egitto (1819 Naples version) was “reworked in 1822 for Paris with new arias, but is given here in the slightly revised Italian version of 1819 which includes the famous act III Preghiera of Moses.” If I may elaborate: first there was Mosè in Egitto , an “Azione tragico-sacra in tre atti” that premiered in 1818 (Naples). It was not a success. Rossini dropped Amaltea’s second-act aria and rewrote the third act, expanding it and inserting the Preghiera “Dal tuo stellato soglio.” The Preghiera became a hit, and the opera became a modest success. The original third act is lost, so a reconstruction of the 1818 original is not possible.


Since Naxos mentions the Paris version, so will I. When Rossini moved his compositional base to Paris, he reworked some of his earlier operas. He turned the three-act Mosè in Egitto into the four-act Moïse et Pharaon, ou Le Passage de la Mer Rouge , complete with a new first act, some new characters (and good-bye to a few old ones), some new arias, and (reluctantly) a ballet. Presto, the “Azione tragico-sacra in tre atti” was now a four-act Grand Opera. When the text of this new version was translated into Italian, it was titled Mosè e Faraone (Sacred melodrama in four acts). So it wouldn’t be confused with the original three-act version, it was sometimes called Mosè Nuovo , and then shortened to Mosè. As you may surmise from its various titles, it is loosely, very loosely, based on the Biblical account of Moses parting the Red Sea. Characters and story lines appear in Mosè that have no Biblical basis.


Aside from the famous Preghiera, the most striking musical feature of Mosè in Egitto is the atmospheric lament that opens the first act (no overture precedes it). It is unlike the opening of any of Rossini’s other works, and makes an immediate impact. In the Paris version, this becomes the opening of the second act, and loses much of its novelty. Recordings of either Italian version or the French grand opera have unfortunately been rare events. Philips recorded Mosè in Egitto in 1981 with a luminous cast: Ruggero Raimondi, Siegmund Nimsgern, June Anderson, and Ernesto Palacio. Hungaroton gave us the four-act Mosè (with a few cuts and minus the ballet) under Lamberto Gardelli, also in 1981. Both are studio recordings. Philips briefly released on CD a 1956 monophonic Mosè under Serafin with Rossi-Lemeni, which is subject to a number of cuts and a cast not totally at home in the bel canto idiom. The only French Moïse I am familiar with is a two-CD set on Myto with Samuel Ramey, Cecilia Gasdia, and Shirley Verrett. Recorded live in 1975, it is also somewhat abbreviated and minus the ballet. The French version in all its glory is available on DVD. Another recording of this interesting Rossini score is always welcome, and although the Rossini in Wildbad cast does not boast a collection of well-known notables, such as the 1981 Philips recording, it is a worthy entry into the Rossini discography all the same.


Naxos has recorded a number of performances from the Rossini in Wildbad festivals, many of them Rossini’s lesser-known and recorded operas. Casts vary from acceptable to quite good. One of the goals of the festival is to engage singers early in their careers (they’re probably more affordable, too!) helping them to gain both experience and exposure in a notable venue. This Mosè in Egitto is one of the better recordings in the series; it offers serious competition to the 1981 on Philips and is better than the mono Philips under Serafin. Many of the Wildbad soloists are prize-winning, bel canto specialists, gaining experience and earning enthusiastic reviews, mostly in European venues. Many of the singers appear in other Rossini in Wildbad recordings. Conductor Antonino Fogliani is in his early thirties. He studied under Rossini specialists Gianluigi Gelmetti and Alberto Zedda and has garnered much praise for his work in the bel canto repertoire.


I found this to be an exciting and energetic performance. Stage noises are kept to a minimum, enthusiastic applause rewards the cast throughout the performance but is not intrusive to the listener, and balances are generally good. The Wildbad performance has more spontaneity than the studio-based Philips, but not as much sonic immediacy. A new Rossini recording is always a welcome event, especially when it is a good one of his lesser-known operas. Naxos does not provide a libretto, although the text in Italian can be accessed at www.naxos.com/libretti/660220.htm. The booklet includes a fairly detailed synopsis—tied to track numbers—that offers the plot but spares the reader some rather hokey lyrics. It can be argued that Rossini’s comedies have fared better than the dramas because the librettos are better. Don’t let a fatuous love story grafted onto the Biblical tale of Moses deter you from enjoying this opera. The music saves the day.


FANFARE: David L. Kirk
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Works on This Recording

1.
Mosè in Egitto by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Wojciech Adalbert Gierlach (Bass), Rossella Bevacqua (Soprano), Filippo Adami (Tenor),
Giuseppe Fedeli (Tenor), Giorgio Trucco (Tenor), Karen Bandelow (Mezzo Soprano),
Lorenzo Regazzo (Bass), Akie Amou (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonino Fogliani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sa Pietro a Majella Chorus,  Württemberg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Wildbad Wind Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1818; Italy 
Venue:  Kursaal, Wiesbaden, Germany 
Length: 136 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Notes: Kursaal, Wiesbaden, Germany (07/2006); 12/2006 

Sound Samples

Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: Introduction - Ah! chi ne aita? oh Ciel! (Chorus, Osiride, Amaltea, Faraone)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: Recitative: Mano ultrice di un Dio! (Faraone, Osiride, Amaltea, Mose, Aronne, Chorus)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: Eterno! Immenso! Incomprensibil Dio! (Mose, Tutti)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: Quintet: Celeste man placata! (Mose, Aronne, Amaltea, Faraone, Osiride)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: Egizi! - Faraone! (Aronne, Mose, Faraone, Osiride, Amaltea, Chorus)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: Recitative: E avete, avverse stelle (Osiride, Mambre, Elcia)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: Duet: Ah se puoi cosi lasciarmi (Osiride, Elcia)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: Recitative: Ah! Dov' e Faraon? (Amaltea, Mambre, Faraone, Osiride)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: Aria: A rispettarmi apprenda (Faraone)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: All'etra, al Ciel, lieto Israel (Chorus, Aronne, Amenofi)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: Tutto mi ride intorno! (Elcia, Amenofi)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: Che narri? - Il ver (Mose, Osiride, Mambre, Aronne, Chorus, Amaltea, Elcia, Amenofi, Faraone)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act I: Padre... Signor... (Osiride, Mose, Faraone, Amaltea, Elcia, Mambre, Aronne, Chorus)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: Recitative: Ecco in tua mano (Faraone, Aronne, Osiride)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: Duet: Parlar, spiegar non posso (Osiride, Faraone)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: Recitative: Gentil Regina, oh quanto (Mose, Amaltea)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: La pace mia smarrita (Amaltea, Chorus)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: Recitative: Nuove sciagure, o mio german! (Aronne, Mose)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: Dove mi guidi? Il mio timor dilegua... (Elcia, Osiride)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: Ah mira!... Oh Ciel! (Elcia, Osiride, Amaltea, Aronne)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: Mi manca la voce! (Elcia, Amaltea, Osiride, Aronne, Chorus)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: Recitative: Che potrai dir? (Faraone, Mose)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: Dal Re de' Regi (Mose)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: Recitative: Oh Nume Osiri! (Faraone, Mambre, Amaltea, Osiride)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: Se a mitigar tue cure (Chorus, Faraone, Osiride, Mambre, Mose, Aronne, Elcia)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: Porgi la destra amata (Elcia, Osiride, Mose, Aronne, Faraone, Amenofi)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act II: E spento il caro bene! (Elcia, tutti)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act III: Recitative: Eccone in salvo, o figli (Mose, Elcia, Amenofi, Aronne)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act III: Prayer: Dal tuo stellato soglio (Mose, Amenofi, Chorus, Aronne, Elcia)
Mose in Egitto (1819 Naples version): Act III: Son fuggiti... oh Ciel! (Faraone, Mambre, Amenofi)

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