Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giordano, Maragliano, Zambon|
Umberto Giordano: Siberia
Listen to Samples
A curiosity; worthwhile and decently performed
G.D. | Norway | 03/05/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Several attempted revivals of Siberia throughout the last hundred years have failed to establish a place for the opera in the repertoire, and it is not really hard to see why. It is far inferior to Andrea Chenier and Fedora, and even to some of Giordano's less well-known operas. The setting is also reminiscent of Alfano's Risurrezione - another verismo opera revived by Opera d'Or and a clearly superior work as well. Siberia is very loosely based on Dostoevsky, but the music doesn't at all reflect the harshness and desolation of its setting. Still, there is some fine music here and some rather effective use of Russian folk music (but the Volga Boatmen theme is overused). But as a whole the work is lacking in inspiration and the whole thing is atmospherically shallow, despite some nice touches. The story and libretto are no more than mediocre. It is, in the end, worth hearing, though - Giordano was a fine craftsman and was able to bring some inventive uses of the rather thin material.
This live performance dates from 1973, and the sound quality is hardly excellent though it includes very little stage-noise. But it is clear enough to display orchestral detail and capture the atmosphere of the score, so it should present absolutely no obstacle to those who are used to these kinds of releases (despite a slightly unreal tinge to the voices which makes them meld rather poorly with the orchestra whose acoustics are more natural). The orchestral playing is in any case pretty good, and Belardinelli's approach is thoughtful, detailed and structurally coherent. The soloists are decent enough, but Maragliano is uneven (although she does have some nice touches and solos in between). Overall, though, the cast is pretty good, with most of the minor roles taken by more than able singers. In the end, this release will hardly make any huge impact, but it is nice enough and worth a listen."