ROSSINI Songs—Il Salotto, Vol. 13 • Mireille Delunsch (sop); Jennifer Larmore, Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mez); Lawrence Brownlee, Mark Wilde (ten); Brindley Sherratt (bs); Geoffrey Mitchell Ch; Malcolm Martineau (pn); Nicholas Bosworth (harmonium) • OPERA RARA ORR 247 (78:17 Text and Translation)
Rossini as composer of both vocal and piano “trifles” has long been a favorite, from the time I acquired a Nonesuch LP in the late 1950s with a fascinating collection of songs, duets, andRead more choruses. Opera Rara’s latest addition to its Salotto series is a welcome reminder of Rossini’s talent even in smaller-scale works. He himself labeled them “Sins of My Old Age,” denigrating them in mock fashion. Lawrence Brownlee is no stranger to this repertoire; his 2004 recital on the EMI Début series already included Rossini songs, including “L’Esule,” and we can now hear how he has refined his interpretation. “Le Sylvain” captures the rustic element of a Pan-like figure, while the wonderful duet “Les Amants de Séville” teams him with Jennifer Larmore, who is far from the shy maiden that she portrayed in her early ’90s recording on the Arabesque label with John Aler. One might question the childlike tone adopted by Larmore for “La Chanson du bébé,” but she does not overdo it so that the result does not cloy. Mireille Delunsch makes her début on the label and her Frenchness is most welcome, in solo or duet, the yodeling duet (“Le Départ des promis”) with the otherwise dour Catherine Wyn-Rogers but one of many highlights. Wyn-Rogers takes the “Chanson de Zora” at a leaden pace, making it a lament rather than a commentary. The Geoffrey Mitchell Choir does itself proud in the “Toast pour le nouvel an” as well as the “Chant des Titans,” while Brindley Sherratt enlivens the quartet “Ridiamo, cantiamo che tutto sen va” alongside Larmore, Brownlee, and Marc Wilde. Malcolm Martineau opens the proceedings with the “Danse Sibérienne” and continues to provide lively accompaniments. Excellent notes by Richard Osborne can be supplemented by the sheet music available on the Opera Rara Web site.
Compositions nouvelles (2): no 1, A Grenadeby Gioachino Rossini Performer:
Jennifer Larmore (Voice)
Period: Romantic Written: circa 1860; Italy Date of Recording: 07/2008 Venue: Henry Wood Hall, London Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs.
Ridiamo, cantiamo, che tutto sen vaby Gioachino Rossini Performer:
Brindley Sherratt (Voice),
Lawrence Brownlee (Voice),
Mark Wilde (Voice),
Jennifer Larmore (Voice)
Period: Romantic Written: 1824; Italy Date of Recording: 07/2008 Venue: Henry Wood Hall, London Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs.
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