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Rossini: Cantatas Vol 2 / Bartoli, Florez, Chailly

Release Date: 03/23/2001 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 466328   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Cecilia BartoliJuan Diego FlórezElisabetta ScanoDaniela Barcellona,   ... 
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala PhilharmonicLa Scala Philharmonic Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Some might refer to these works as "minor" Rossini. On the contrary, if Orfeo (arguably) is juvenilia, it is fascinating and lovely juvenilia, and Le nozze di Teti, composed (in 1815) between Il barbiere di Siviglia and Otello and La Cenerentola, hardly can be seen as "minor" anything. Rossini may have been fleet and easy-to-take, but he was never shallow, and there are gems here that are easy to locate. Orfeo is a 20-minute cantata composed of an overture, a chorus, an aria, and a busy aria with chorus. The writing, for the character Harmony, is as graceful and charming as his name might conjure, and tenor Paul Austin Kelly sings the music handsomely.

Read more nozze di Teti, the larger work, is more complicated. It's in 18 short sections, including a prelude, recitatives, chorus with solos, choruses, a duet, and an aria or two. Isabella Colbran and Giovanni David were among the original soloists. Here, Colbran's part is taken by Cecilia Bartoli, who sings a big aria, much of which is a reworking of Almaviva's (often cut) last-act aria from Barber (the same aria that was reworked again after this cantata's premiere for Cenerentola's finale!). As usual, Bartoli is amazing, singing with fluency, energy, and few of the mannerisms that occasionally creep into her work. Juan Diego Florez is another of the new Rossini tenors, and he exhibits agility, intelligence, and a real sense of the bel canto line. Elisabetta Scano's voice may not be in the same class as Bartoli and Florez, but she's a delight as well. The others in the cast, along with the attendant chorus and orchestra, are splendid under Chailly's loving, understanding direction. Sound is superb. Run to this "minor" (as compared with what?) Rossini. [12/25/2001]
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com

Written for a wedding intended to unite the Neapolitan and French royal families in 1816, Le nozze di Teti, e di Peleo is a static little drama in which various gods descend to bless the union of two mortals. Musically, it is a gem, rich in quotations from at least six of Rossini’s operas. And this performance could not make a more convincing case for it. Chailly produces playing of tremendous warmth, wit and urgency from the orchestra of La Scala, much of it at dazzling tempi. And the soloists are exceptional. The sensational young Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez is a heroic Peleo, his tone flexible and honeyed, with every syllable and note distinct. And Bartoli is, as usual, wondrous, the accuracy, agility, range and speed of her coloratura astonishing. As Ceres, she has just one duet (with the excellent contralto Daniela Barcellona) and one aria. But what an aria it is, the second part of it all but identical musically to the showpiece ‘Non più mesta’ from La Cenerentola.

The second work, Il pianto d’Armonia, is another curiosity, written when Rossini was 16, for a tenor and male chorus, improbably playing nymphs. But again, this is an outstanding account, with Paul Austin Kelly deeply felt and affecting in the title role.

Performance: 5 (out of 5), Sound: 5 (out of 5)

-- Claire Wrathall, BBC Music Magazine

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Works on This Recording

Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano), Juan Diego Flórez (Tenor), Elisabetta Scano (Soprano),
Daniela Barcellona (Alto), Luigi Petroni (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala Philharmonic,  La Scala Philharmonic Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/1998 
Venue:  Teatro Studio, Piccolo Teatro di Milano 
Length: 51 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Il pianto d'Armonia sulla morte di Orfeo by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Paul Austin Kelly (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala Philharmonic,  La Scala Philharmonic Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1808; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/30/1997 
Venue:  Verdi Hall, Verdi Conservatory, Milan 
Length: 17 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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