Notes and Editorial Reviews
This production puts an end to the perception of Salieri as "Mozart's murderer" and provides a perfect opportunity to discover Salieri the composer.
From the Schwetzinger Festspiele 1988
An Opera in Five Acts
Sung in French
Howard Crook, Jean-Philippe Lafont, Anna Caleb, Eberhard Lorenz Deutsche Händel Solisten, Jean-Claude Malgoire
Stage Production by Jean-Louis Martinoty
Stage Design by Heinz Balthes
Sound Format: PCM Stereo
Picture Format: 4:3
Menu Languages: German, French, English, Spanish
Subtitles Languages: French, German, English, Spanish
Region Code: 0 worldwide
Running Time: 184 mins
Tarare was such a great success in Paris in 1787 that Emperor Joseph II commissioned Salieri to compose an Italian version of this opera. Axur re d'Ormus, Lorenzo da Ponte's translation of Beaumarchais's libretto premiered the following year. Indeed Mozart only began to work with Da Ponte after the latter's huge success with Salieri in France. Salieri was hailed as the natural successor to Gluck, the main force at the opera in the third quarter of the eighteenth century, and was greatly influenced by his music.
Tarare tells the story of the Spirit of Nature who wants to renew the human race, which has become corrupt and sluggish. She produces a host of shadowy characters, into which the Spirit of Fire breathes life. These newly-created beings are then assigned to their roles in life: one of them is a king, another a soldier. As a result of this, a story of love, jealousy, abduction, honour and intrigues develops….
The historic Schwetzingen revival of this important treasure is mentioned even in the standard reference work Pipers Enzyklopädie des Musiktheater, singling out Jean-Louis Martinoty's well judged staging and extolling in particular the exemplary casting and the way in which the imaginative sets complemented the strident gravitas of the work. From the cast made up of members of the Paris and Karlsruhe opera ensembles, special praise was lavished upon Eberhard Lorenz as the lively and witty chief eunuch Calpigi, and Jean-Philippe Lafont as the vocally powerful tyrant Atar.
This production puts an end to the perception of Salieri as "Mozart's murderer" and provides a perfect opportunity to discover Salieri the composer. "This Tarare proves as never before to me that Salieri was a hugely important figure in his own right, a composer who took Gluck’s “reforms” into uncharted territory, in the process creating a work that is, as Grove Opera claims, sui generis.
If you buy only one DVD opera recording this year, this absolutely has to be it."
- Brian Robins, FANFARE
Works on This Recording
Tarare by Antonio Salieri
Eberhard Lorenz (Tenor),
Howard Crook (Tenor),
Anna Caleb (Soprano),
Jean-Philippe Lafont (Baritone)
Deutsche Händel Solisten
Date of Recording: 1988
Venue: Schwetzingen Festival
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