Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Simon Mayr, David Parry, Tiziano Severini|
Listen to Samples
Bel Canto Pioneer
Steven Muni | Sutter Creek, CA USA | 12/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti are unquestionably the giants of bel canto opera, they were by no means the only good opera composers of their day. Johann Simon Mayr was born in what is now southern Germany in 1763. Always wanting to live in Italy, he finally made it at the age of 23, arriving in Bergamo and then on to Venice. Changing his name to Giovanni Simone Mayr, he settled in Venice where his first opera, Saffo, was produced in 1794. He wrote more than 60 operas, with his last being Demetrio, in 1824.
Moving back to Bergamo in 1803, he became known as a music teacher, and in fact was the teacher of Donizetti. He is considered the most important Italian opera composer in the years just prior to Rossini, and is particularly known for Medea in Corinto, (which is available in an Opera Rara edition), which was produced in Naples in 1813, and his comic opera L'Amore Coniugale, which is available in a Naxos edition, and which was premiered in Padua in 1805. By the time of his last opera, Mayr could see that he was being eclipsed by Rossini and decided to devote himself to teaching. Even after losing his eyesight he continued to teach until his death in 1845.
This CD contains selections from some of his best operas, including Medea in Corinto, L'Amor Coniugale, Ginevra di Scozia, Adelasia ed Aleramo, Elena, Alfredo il Grande, Cora and Fedra. The orchestra is primarly the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by David Parry, with some excellent bel canto singers like Bruce Ford, Antonio Siragusa, Daniela Barcellona and Diana Montague. The sound quality is excellent.
Mayr's music is an interesting fusion of Italian melody with Germanic harmony. His operas deserve better from history, and fortunately they are now seeing the light of day again after so many years. This CD is an excellent introduction to his music and I strongly recommend it to any opera enthusiast."