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Rossini: Il Turco In Italia / Marriner, Alaimo, Jo, Corbelli


Release Date: 08/14/2007 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 000943202   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Enrico FissoreSusanne MentzerAlessandro CorbelliSimone Alaimo,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the FieldsAmbrosian Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 34 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Il turco in Italia is one of Rossini's most sophisticated early comedies, an elegantly crafted two-act drama buffo that looks back to the world of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte (a relationship interestingly explored in Philip Gossett's booklet essay "Il turco in Italia: poor relation or noble scion?") and forward, like so much Rossini, to aspects of twentieth-century neoclassicism. The Pirandello-like theme of an author in search of six characters has often been remarked on, a casual analogy that hardly begins to explain the character of a piece that working almost exclusively through duets, trios, and larger ensembles, presents a strangely disturbing view of sophisticated, socializing man. Rossini would almost certainly have understood Read more Harold Pinter's idea of the weasel in the cocktail cabinet.

Unlike Cosi, Il turco is flawed by various acts of omission by Rossini who farmed out to deputies the secco recitatives (crucial to the character of the Pirandellian Poet), several arias, and even part of the Act 2 finale. Chailly's CBS version is almost unduly faithful to the original; Marriner's new version, produced by the record industry's leading Rossinian Erik Smith, is more pragmatic. Out goes Albazar's aria (not by Rossini), in comes a new cavatina, stylishly sung by Raiil Gimbnez, written by Rossini for Don Narciso for Rome in 1815. In practice, the Philips edition works well, scholarship and the demands of theatre locked in happy accord.

The new set has an exceptionally strong cast of philandering and speculating menfolk. You only have to hear how Simone Alaimo, the Turkish prince Selim, articulates his entrance aria to realize that solid musicianship and the rhetorical demands of the stage action are equally in accord. Alessandro Corbelli is the Poet, the admirable Enrico Fissore the feckless Don Geronio. Importantly for gramophone listening, all three baritones are readily distinguishable in voice and character.

If there is a weakness in the set it is the Fiorilla of Sumi Jo. She sings bewitchingly but it is really too sweetly sympathetic a portrayal of the sharp-tongued Fiorilla. (I wondered on more than one occasion if she isn't too far from the microphone; half an inch can make or break a career as any broadcaster knows.) In Fiorilla's breezy cavatina it is Caballé who steals the show on CBS; her tone is more brilliant than Jo's, the vocalization more secure than Callas's on Gavazzeni's characterful (though textually antediluvian) 1954 mono recording on EMI. On the other hand, in the famous Act I duet between Fiorilla and Geronio, only Callas and Calabrese give us the scene as it is: a terrifying musical switch-back in which Geronio is challenged, charmed, duped, dressed down and dismissed by a woman who in Callas's performance is as guileful as Shakespeare's Cleopatra. Caballé and Dara are not in the same class, nor is Sumi Jo who allows her Geronio to emerge bafflingly in command.

But don't make too much of this. As I say, Jo is a charming artist and Il turco is very much an ensemble piece, here cogently conducted by Sir Neville Marriner. Throughout the entire length of Act 2 there is nothing to detract from one's unalloyed pleasure in the music or the music-making. The playing of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields is predictably stylish and, as usual with Philips, the balance of voices, orchestra and ambient acoustic has a near-ideal Rossinian intimacy and point. The Callas set, with the young Nicolai Gedda as Narciso and the veteran Mariano Stabile as the Poet, will always be something of a collectors' item; but among modern versions of Il turco, the new Philips version leads the field by a short head.

-- Gramophone [12/1992]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Il turco in Italia by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Enrico Fissore (Bass), Susanne Mentzer (Mezzo Soprano), Alessandro Corbelli (Baritone),
Simone Alaimo (Baritone), Raúl Giménez (Tenor), Sumi Jo (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1814; Italy 
Language: Italian 

Sound Samples

Il Turco in Italia: Overture (Sinfonia)
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Nostra patria è il mondo intero"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Ho da far un dramma buffo"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Ah! se di questi zingari l'arrivo"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Vado in traccia d'una Zingara"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Ah! mia moglie"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Brava! Intesi ogni cosa"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Non si dà follia maggiore"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Voga, voga"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Bella Italia, alfin ti miro"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Serva..." "Servo"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Della Zingara amante"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Un vago sembiante"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Amici... Soccorretemi..."
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Un marito scimunito!"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Olà: tosto il caffè"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Siete dei Turchi"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Io stupisco, mi sorprende"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Come! Sì grave torto"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Sono arrivato tardi"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Per piacere alla signora"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "No mia vita, mio tesoro"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Ho quasi del mio dramma"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Gran maraviglie"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Per la fuga è tutto lesto"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Perché mai se non tradito"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Evviva d'amore"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Chi servir non brama amor"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Qui mia moglie ha da venire"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Ah! che il cor non m'ingannava"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Vada via: si guardi bene"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 1: "Quanto il vento"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Via... cosa serve?"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "D'un bell'uso in Turchia"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Se Fiorilla di vender bramate"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Ed invece di pagarla"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Credeva che questa scena"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Non v'è piacer perfetto"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Che Turca impertinente!"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Credete alle femmine"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "In Italia certamente"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Sentite!"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Intesi: ah! tutto intesi"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Se il mio rival deludo!"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Amor la danza mova"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Eccomi qui"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Oh! guardate che accidente"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Dunque seguitemi"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Questo vecchio maledetto"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Benedetta la festa"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "I vostri cenci vi mando"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Squallida veste"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Caro padre, madre amata"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Che dramma!"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Son la vite sul campo appassita"
Il Turco in Italia / Act 2: "Rida a voi sereno il Cielo"

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