Search - Gioachino Rossini, Claudio Scimone, Cecilia Gasdia :: Rossini - Ermione / Gasdia, Zimmermann, Palacio, Merritt, Matteuzzi, Alaimo, Scimone

Rossini - Ermione / Gasdia, Zimmermann, Palacio, Merritt, Matteuzzi, Alaimo, Scimone
Gioachino Rossini, Claudio Scimone, Cecilia Gasdia
Rossini - Ermione / Gasdia, Zimmermann, Palacio, Merritt, Matteuzzi, Alaimo, Scimone
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #2


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CD Reviews

Ermione . . . about time!
Halvor | United States | 08/25/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Now here's an underrated opera by Rossini if there ever was one. It has everything a good Rossini opera possesses: a profusion of melody, tasteful coloratura, excitement, and first rate, innovative orchestration. The overture, as a matter of fact, pioneers the use of male chorus punctuating the orchestra with cries about the fall of Troy. The singers are all up to their tasks, especially Chris Merritt and Cecilia Gasdia. Both execute the brilliant fioratura with ease, and both have extremely agreeable voices to listen to. Ernesto Palacio also has a large role in this opera. His tone is very easy on the ears, but he has trouble in spots with the fast passages. (I still like Palacio, however, ever since I first heard him in a 1978 Tancredi.) Margarita Zimmerman has a nice enough contralto voice, but her execution of coloratura is more than messy. Bill Matteuzzi has a smaller role here, but he sings it with aplomb. Simone Alaimo also has a small part, but he shines in it. This guy is going places! The secondaries handle their fairly noticeable assignments well. Scimone conducts with style and vigor, and there is never a dull moment in this recording. The chorus is also well-rehearsed and produces with feeling. The libretto is a bit silly, but aren't those of most Italian operas? The music more than makes up for it, so throw the libretto away and just listen! I guarantee you'll have a good time; buy this set, sit back, and enjoy top-drawer Rossini."
Rossini's masterful treatment of Racine
Kirk Falconer | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | 06/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Prior to my encounter with Ermione, I tended to hold with the standard prejudice that Rossini's operatic genius resided with comedy, not drama. However, I was happy to proven altogether wrong by his treatment of Racine's Andromache (which Rossini perhaps sensibly named Ermione - the Italian for Hermione - given the pivotal role assumed in the story by this character). The Scimone recording captures all of the pace, lucidity, and sheer beauty that Rossini invested in the score, which matches, in its own special Rossinian way, the pace, lucidity and sheer beauty of Racine's tragic play (not a small achievement when one considers how great composers have wrestled when setting the works of Euripides, Sophocles, Shakespeare and other great tragic poets). Congratulations are owing to all involved in the recording, and especially to Gasdia as Ermione and Palacio as Pirro, both of whom I found stirring throughout. This is not to take anything away from the other perfomers, as the Erato set is blessed with a peerless group of Rossinians, not the least of which is Scimone himself, who well sustains the momentum of the piece, and always drives the climaxes home. Repeated hearings of this recording inspired me to go see the New York City Opera production in 2004, which featured an equally talented selection of voices, led by Alexandrina Pendatchanska. There are precious few opportunities to see live performances of this great opera, so don't hesitate to turn to the Scimone recording, which is unlikely to disappoint. Indeed, it stands among my very favourite recordings, along with the Gui recording of a somewhat less neglected Rossini masterpiece, Le Comte Ory."