Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mayr, Gencer, Johns|
Giovanni Simone Mayr: Medea in Corinto / Arena (3 CDs)
First class performance of second class material
John Cragg | Delta(greater Vancouver), B.C Canada | 07/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Judged by this work, Mayr was a talented but minor composer. The score is largely bel canto with many references to earlier styles including Mozart. The orchestration sounds richer than in most bel canto operas.Medea was not a nice woman!. Leyla Gencer sings with great fluency and character, putting in an appropriate edge to bring out the not very pleasant goings on. She produces supurb singing and vocal acting. One of the odd features of this set is a "bonus" set of tracks at the end gathering together most of Gencer's role from a dress rehersal. This performance has a little less edge, and better recording quality than the version in the complete opera recording. The contrast is interesting, though heard straight through adding the repetition to the opera itself gives one rather a lot of Mayr! William Johns as Jason and Gianfranco Pastine bring out their material ably, though with far less dramatic force than Gencer. The conductor, Maurizio Arena, seems to make the most of the score.The recording is of a live performance in Naples in 1977, and has many of the acoustic and extraneous-noise problems common to such recordings, including the principals moving in and out of the optimum locations for the microphones. (How this sort of recording makes one value the production values of the Met's Saturday afternoon broadcasts!) The material might have come across better in the theatre, though one wonders how Medea's leaving in a chariot drawn by dragons at the big dramatgic moment was managed without bathos (but I heard no giggles.) The booklet contains a brief English essay, with a very sketchy synopsis, and with the libretto in Italian only.All together, a valuable set, though flawed acoustically and not of great music"