Pia is amazing!
Brett Farrell | Cape May, NJ USA | 09/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I know I rave about all the Donizetti operas I review but of the unknown masterpieces that are constantly being released, especially by Opera-Rara, this one is the best so far. Every Donizetti opera has it's own feel and sound despite being distinctly Donizetti in style, but some of them remind you of some of his other peices. Some are closely related to his Maria Stuarda sound, some to the early Donizetti sound, some actually have snippets of his other less succesful opera's in them, and some are clearly intended to sound comedic while others ring of his later and final Grand opera style but of all the Donizetti operas none could have been considered 'Lucia di Lammermoors' sibling. This would be true if it were not for Pia de' Tolomei. Pia de' Tolomei is clearly the shadow of 'Lucia...'. While it is certainly NOT Lucia it does contain just as many vocal and orchestral explosions. It never fails to rivet and it is just exciting music throughout.
The sotry is of a countess who is framed by a snubbed lover. The lover convinces the count that Pia is having an affair (which she is not) to have vengance on Pia. The count then orders her assisnation and when it comes down to having the murder executed the snubbed lover recants his lies but much to the dismay of the Count and the snubed lover it is too late. There is of course much more than this to the plot but you'll have to read the book it comes with to find out what more there is.
Pia is three disc of superior music very remincent of the Lucia sound. Why would you wish to hear Lucia's shadow you may ask so let me asnwer that it is not Lucia and the music is quite different just the style and format are similar. It's not Lucia's ugly cousin, it's Lucia's equally beautiful younger though less popular sister. She contains all the alluring aspects of her older sister but she is always overshadowed by her older sister.
If you are a fan of Donizetti than you will not want to miss this stunning opera. The orchestra and cast to a wonderful job throughout with everything being top notch. With crystal clear sound and as those familiar with the Opera-Rara label know it also contains a massive booklet with as many details as you could wish for. No plywood shelf could hold an opera-rara collection for very long..."