Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Marco Chingari, Alfredo Catalani, Massimo de Bernart|
Alfredo Catalani: Edmea
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An unjustly neglected gem
David Chandler | 05/31/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Alfredo Catalani's tombstone describes him as the composer of four operas: "Dejanice," "Edmea," "Loreley," and "La Wally." (The earlier "Elda" was revised as "Loreley.") Of these there can be little doubt that "Edmea," the middle work of Catalani's tragically short career, has been the most neglected. A shame, as Jay Nicolaisen, author of one of the best studies of post-Verdian Italian opera, was surely right to state that "'Edmea', with 'La Wally', may be considered Catalani's most characteristic opera." In other words, anyone who likes Catalani on the basis of "La Wally" ought to enjoy "Edmea." They are easily recognisable as by the same hand, but "Edmea" represents promise, "Wally" glorious fulfillment. Nicolaisen describes "Edmea" as "an introverted, poetic work" and that succinctly sums up its attraction and its weaknesses. It's easy to see why it was swept into oblivion by the verismo explosion, yet it has a tender poetry about it that composers like Mascagni and Leoncavallo could never match. Perhaps it's better suited for the recording studio than the theatre, like Delius's operas. The music is constantly beautiful, and there are many pre-echoes of the stormy restlessness of "La Wally."
This is the only recording. Indeed, as far as I am aware, there is no other recording even of extracts. It is far from perfect--it is cut, it is live, at times there is intrusive stage noise, and the recording balance has not always been worked out satisfactorily. But the performance is more than competant, and the recording good enough for the listener to thoroughly enjoy the work. Again, for anyone who likes "La Wally" this should be a must-have."