Notes and Editorial Reviews
Wolfgng Sawallisch, cond; Nicolai Ghiaurov (
); Shirley Verrett (
); Mario Petri (
); Ottavio Garaventa (
); Teresa Zylis-Gara (
); Gloria Lane (
); Fernando Jacopucci (
); RAI O & Ch, Rome
OPERA D’ORO 7063 (2 CDs: 133:55 ) Live: Rome 4/11/1968
This is a reissue; it was previously released on the Arkadia label, and I reviewed it in
19:2. Since that was 13 years ago, new readers will probably not have read it, so I am providing them with an updated version of that review.
Mosè in Egitto
premiered on March 5, 1818, at the San Carlo Opera in Naples. Although the first two acts were admired by the audience, the final act was a fiasco because the sight of boys pulling ropes to depict the crossing of the Red Sea incited laughter and derision. A year later Rossini revised the third act, adding the most famous number in the opera, “Dal tuo stellato soglio.” In 1827, Rossini rewrote the opera, adding a new first act for Paris, and turning it into a French grand opera now titled
Moïse et Pharaon.
Shortly afterward, an Italian translation of the French version premiered in Rome; that version has endured under the simple title
This is actually the third release of this performance, since it was also released on Frequenz and reviewed in
13:3 by David Johnson. In
23:4, Henry Fogel, in his review of the Orfeo CD release, mentioned all previous recordings of this opera. When discussing the “Paris version sung in Italian,” he said, “Ghiaurov is stupendous, and the set may be worth owning for his richly vocalized portrayal.” I said in my previous review that Ghiaurov’s Mosè is only rivaled by Boris Christoff’s, and that Ghiaurov has the power and depth of voice to produce an outstanding interpretation of the role. Zylis-Gara sings well, Garaventa tends to sing always at the levels of
, but at least he produces a stream of well-focused tone. Shirley Verrett is a first-rate Sinaide, Mario Petri a fine Pharaoh.
This version, like most others, is not complete. There are standard cuts; fragments here and there are omitted. Wolfgang Sawallisch’s conducting has the requisite momentum and grandeur that the score requires. The sound is quite acceptable. The booklet contains notes and a libretto with English translation. In my previous review, I recommended this set over its rivals at that time. Fogel in his review recommends the Orfeo release, also conducted by Sawallisch. I feel this recording is worth having for Ghiaurov’s outstanding performance.
FANFARE: Bob Rose
Works on This Recording
Mosè in Egitto by Gioachino Rossini
Giampaolo Corradi (Tenor),
Ottavio Garaventa (Tenor),
Franco Ventriglia (Bass),
Fernando Jacopucci (Tenor),
Teresa Zylis-Gara (Soprano),
Gloria Lane (Alto),
Mario Petri (Bass),
Shirley Verrett (Mezzo Soprano),
Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass),
Giovanni Gusmeroli (Bass)
Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,
Italian Radio Chorus Rome
Written: 1818; Italy
Date of Recording: 04/11/1968
Venue: Live Rome, Italy
Length: 133 Minutes 23 Secs.
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