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Cherubini: Arias & Overtures / Maria Grazia Schiavo, Carlo Ipata, Auser Musici

Cherubini / Schiavo / Musici / Ipata
Release Date: 02/14/2012 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67893  
Composer:  Luigi Cherubini
Performer:  Maria Grazia Schiavo
Conductor:  Carlo Ipata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auser Musici
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



CHERUBINI Il Giulio Sabino: Sinfonia; “I mesti affetti miei.” Ifigenia in Aulide: “Turbata ai dubbi acccenti.” “D’un dolce ardor la face.” Démophon: Overture. “Ti lascio adorato mio bene.” Armida abbandonata: Sinfonia; “Qual da venti combattuta.” Mesenzio, re d’Etruria: Sinfonia Read more class="ARIAL12"> Carlo Ipata, cond; Maria Grazia Schiavo (sop); Auser Musici HYPERION CDA67893 (58:07)


In his early days, Luigi Cherubini (1760–1842) moved from Florence to London to Paris, where he was destined to remain for half a century. This disc, titled Arias and Overtures from Florence to Paris , traces that progression, supplying us with excerpts from several now-unknown operas and scenas, ranging from youthful flowerings ( Il Giulio Sabino; Mesenzio ) to mature mini-masterpieces—the good stuff begins on track 6. Everything here was composed between 1782 and 1790. Beethoven said that Cherubini was the great composer of his day, copied some of Les Deux journées into Fidelio , and asked that the C-Minor Requiem be played at his own funeral. It has long been a mystery to modern listeners why Beethoven was so entranced (beyond those two works); this CD provides some answers. These superb orchestral performances brim over with life and spirit, even in the lesser works. Aided by modern recorded sound, they raise the music to new highs, leaving even Arturo Toscanini’s Cherubini in their dust. Much of the time we could be listening to a cross between Beethoven and Rossini. Some of it is amazingly prophetic: The opening moments of the tragic, C-Minor Overture to Démophon are pure Verdi.


The vocal selections make an equally potent impact. Cherubini’s demands in these opera-seria arias range from high-ranging Mozartean coloratura to Verdian drama; they must be truly daunting for a soprano in this era of specialized fachs. The 1789 scena e rondeau consists of an extended, widely pitched recitative (think Haydn) followed by a high-flying aria. “Qual da venti combattuta” includes no fewer than three vocal cadenzas. Maria Grazia Schiavo does well at both ends of the scale; some strain shows, but I cannot imagine even a Joan Sutherland surpassing her in this music.


The recorded sound is bright and clean, voice and orchestra are well balanced, but there is an unnaturally wide stereo spread—something like the ping-pong LPs of early stereo days. Little harm is done, but there are a few surprising leaps across the soundstage when instrumentation shifts. Schiavo is positioned slightly right of center, and her voice stays put. Unfortunately, there are no texts in either Italian or English for these virtually unknown arias.


Even though this disc does not include any of his best-known works, it is an outstanding Cherubini compilation, joining Christoph Spering’s Opus 111 recording of Les Deux journées and whichever you prefer of the C-Minor Requiem (I like Matthew Best on Hyperion) at the top of everyone’s Cherubini collection.


FANFARE: James H. North
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Works on This Recording

1.
Il Giulio Sabino: Overture by Luigi Cherubini
Conductor:  Carlo Ipata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auser Musici
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; France 
2.
Démophon: Overture by Luigi Cherubini
Conductor:  Carlo Ipata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auser Musici
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Paris, France 
3.
Armida abbandonata: Sinfonia by Luigi Cherubini
Conductor:  Carlo Ipata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auser Musici
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1782 
4.
Mesenzio, re d'Etruria: Sinfonia by Luigi Cherubini
Conductor:  Carlo Ipata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auser Musici
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1782 
5.
Ti lascio adorato mio ben by Luigi Cherubini
Performer:  Maria Grazia Schiavo (Soprano)
Conductor:  Carlo Ipata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auser Musici
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789 
6.
Ifigenia in Aulide: Turbata ai dubbi accenti by Luigi Cherubini
Performer:  Maria Grazia Schiavo (Soprano)
Conductor:  Carlo Ipata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auser Musici
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; France 
7.
Il Giulio Sabino: I mesti affetti miei by Luigi Cherubini
Performer:  Maria Grazia Schiavo (Soprano)
Conductor:  Carlo Ipata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auser Musici
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; France 
8.
Armida abbandonata: Qual da venti combattuta by Luigi Cherubini
Performer:  Maria Grazia Schiavo (Soprano)
Conductor:  Carlo Ipata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auser Musici
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1782 
9.
D'un dolce ardor la face by Luigi Cherubini
Performer:  Maria Grazia Schiavo (Soprano)
Conductor:  Carlo Ipata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auser Musici
Period: Classical 

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