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Rossini - Cantatas Volume 2 / Bartoli, Flórez, Kelly, Scano, Barcellona; Chailly
Juan Diego Flórez
Rossini - Cantatas Volume 2 / Bartoli, Flórez, Kelly, Scano, Barcellona; Chailly
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1

Here are two of Rossini's "secular" cantatas: "The Lament of Harmony on the Death of Orpheus" for tenor, male chorus, and orchestra, written when he was a 16-year-old conservatory student, and the far more substantial "W...  more »

     

CD Details

All Artists: Juan Diego Flórez
Title: Rossini - Cantatas Volume 2 / Bartoli, Flórez, Kelly, Scano, Barcellona; Chailly
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Decca Import
Original Release Date: 1/1/2001
Re-Release Date: 3/23/2001
Album Type: Import
Genre: Classical
Styles: Opera & Classical Vocal, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 028946632826

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Here are two of Rossini's "secular" cantatas: "The Lament of Harmony on the Death of Orpheus" for tenor, male chorus, and orchestra, written when he was a 16-year-old conservatory student, and the far more substantial "Wedding of Thetis and Peleus," one of many such pieces he composed for special occasions, commissioned for the marriage of an Italian princess to a French prince. Both consist of primarily short, separate, contrasting numbers, most of which would be perfectly at home in the opera house. Indeed, Rossini himself evidently made no distinction between the genres, recycling and adapting arias freely from one to the other. No wonder much of the music here sounds familiar. It is also very beautiful. There are some echoes of Haydn and Mozart, but most is vintage Rossini, full of charm, grace, and beguilingly lovely, celestially floating melodies, as well as exciting sections of high drama. Only the end of the Wedding Cantata gets repetitious, as if Rossini had run out of ideas. The orchestration is singularly felicitous, with wonderful woodwind passages and horn solos. The vocal parts are extremely difficult, demanding agile coloratura, melting lyricism, and dramatic weight. All are stratospheric, going up to many high B-flats and B's; the tenors have several C's and even a D. The singing ranges from excellent to spectacular; only the soprano is a little shrill at times. Tenors Florez as Peleus and Kelly as Harmony are outstanding, and Cecilia Bartoli, who gets stellar treatment with the only picture in the booklet, also gets every chance to display her strengths in all their glory: the intense, focused voice, pure throughout a huge range; the large palette of colors and timbres; the rippling, immaculately clear coloratura. The orchestra and chorus, led by Riccardo Chailly, are splendid. --Edith Eisler
 

CD Reviews

Virtuosic
Mathew Calewarts | VA | 05/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD is a rare treat. It combines a light classic "Mozartian" style with a melodic Rossinian belcanto. The vocal performances are very good. Bartoli and the young tenor Juan Diego Florez as the headliners. Juan Diego Florez really stands out on this CD as a vocal force to look out for. He is very young, mid-twenties, but has an extremely beautiful and fluid voice. He exhibits practically no vocal strain. Bartoli's coloratura is stunning as usual. The range she possess is well demonstrated on this disc. Fans of classical music will not be dissapointed by this disc. It is well worth the cost."
Pure Pleasure
William S. Levison | Valdosta, GA United States | 05/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This recording of two of Rossini's many cantatas is an abolute delight. Everyone involved communicates the joy of making these early works come alive. Bartoli and Chailly are known qualities, and the former contributes some of the most spectacular vocal pyrotechnics I have ever heard; I don't remember any "superstar" who so fully lives up to his or her hype the way this singer does with every recording. Chailly is a Rossini specialist who works his usual magic with this unfamiliar material. The other four soloists deserve their equal billing with Bartoli, tenor Florez and soprano Scano doing outstanding work. Too bad space could not be found to include their photos along with the mezzo and maestro in the otherwise excellent accompanying booklet. This disc is a gem."
Crave a Dose of Rossini Now and Then?
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 09/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I know I do. When my mood is funky, nothing raises it more dependably than Rossini's musical "abbondanza" - his extravagant wit, untarnished nobility, amore honore valore with ample parmaggiano, his ringing heroic tenors, his eye-and-wine-glass-popping sopranos - and my mood needs elevating in this sordid era of mass deception, when America is being herded toward its Day of Reckoning, eagerly by its religious fanatics toward cultural civil war, cynically by its corporatist neo-conservatives toward World War III. Perhaps only music can put that two-headed dog to sleep.

These two cantatas - already an archaic form in the early 19th C - are products of Rossini's youth. Il Pianto d'Armonia was a conservatory project, written when he was 16, but already displaying his command of the "seria" musical vocabulary, a pre-taste of the grandeur of Guglielmo Tell. Le Nozzi di Teti, written when Rossini was 24, is a celebratory masterpiece composed for the wedding of the Duc de Berry, half cantata and half pageant. The accounts of its single performance suggest that it was splendiferous, with the kind of vocal athletic display to be heard in his greatest operas.

Juan Diego Florez is widely considered the finest Rossini tenor of our lifetimes, and his subtle emotionalism in these performances supports that assessment. Cecilia Bartoli was born and raised to sing the most heart-stopping flights of coloratura; her arias as Ceres in Le Nozzi di Teti are virtuosically acrobatic. Paul Kelly and Elisabetta Scano, though less world-famous, match Bartoli and Flores passage for passage.

Rossini's abbondanza extended to la cucina, by the way. He was both chef and gourmet. I'd love to have jolly Gioachino join me in the kitchen to whip up some edible music - "slow food", you may be sure, all local, all organic. Rossini was said to know the names of every regional cheese in the Italy of his time, and to be able to recognize each of them by one taste. Corporate fast food and globalization have destroyed most of those extravagant local flavors. I doubt Rossini would relish frozen scallops and gas-ripened tomatoes. He might well need a dose of his own music to keep his pallet fresh and cheerful."