Montemezzi, "L'Amore Dei Tre Re" Stirs Many Feelings
Michael D. Villecco | Fort Lauderdale, Florida United States | 10/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Italo Montemezzi was one of the fortunate composers to be influenced by turn of the century variety and experimentation in music, particularly opera. The Italian born Montemezzi delivers to us a powerfully morbid, yet sensual work in "L'Amore Dei Tre Re". His music, although very Italian in nature and influenced by his peers of the time, Puccini and Mascagni, brings still another element into his work. One cannot fail to recognize some similarity to the lyric music of the French composer Jules Massenet or the intense, almost obsessive music of German composer Richard Strauss, as was felt in "Salome". In any case, this newest recording done at the Bregenzer Festspiele with a mixed cast of singers brings to us the intensity and drama of Montemezzi's work. The Vienna Symphony Orchestra delivers the electric at times, subtle at times score with exactness. Kurt Rydl portrays well vocally the old desperate aging King Archibaldo. His voice lends the aging raspiness needed to convey the part, particularly his hidden lust for his son's wife, Fiora, sung well by Denia Mazzola-Gavazzeni, who uses quiet reserve most of the way through, excepting when she wishes to admit that she has a secret lover, which heightens her resolve to spell it out at any cost, albeit it costs her life. Although she sings the role well, she falls somewhat short of delivering the same as did Anna Moffo in a recording done years earlier. Moffo truly believed she was Fiora and she used every last scream and breath when choked by Archibaldo. She was not to go down easy, and we'll never fail to hear that in her recording. Marcus Haddock sings a dutiful, almost brotherly husband to Fiora. He depicts vocally his underlying resolve of the situation at hand and knows that how ever much he loves Fiora, she can never give the same in return. This recording is well worth the puchase. Montemezzi was one of the lesser known Italian composers and this work should show opera lovers that he readily competes with the best of his time period. This recording was a live recording and handled well, as one rarely notices the occasional noises and applause of the audience. Recommended for any opera or classical collection!"
This is a real stinker!
Kevin Hagen | Albuquerque, NM United States | 10/05/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fascinating opera, but give this recording a wide berth or it will give you a very bad impression of the score. The old LP has Siepi and Domingo, along with Pablo Elvira -- all in terrific voice. Even Anna Moffo sounds good compared to the soprano here. Ms. Mazzola-Gavazzeni and the tenor, Marcus Haddock, manage to make some incredibly erotic music sound very matter of fact. Worst of all is the Archibaldo, Kurt Rydl, who barks and woofs his way through the part, only occasionally approximating the pitches or line and robbing the character of the dignity and power that Siepi brought so movingly.I bought this CD hoping to have an alternative to the Siepi/Domingo disc (not available on CD it seems). Unfortunately, this was a waste of $40.Kevin Hagen"