Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pergolesi - La serva padrona - Scotto, Bruscantini, Fasano

 

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This reissue of what was always one of the better performances of Pergolesi’s La serva Padrona is welcome, particularly as the sound is still quite fresh to the ear. Closer screening of the singers would have avoided a certain diffuseness— especially noticeable in the opening aria—but one gets used to the acoustic. Bruscantini is in his element as the old bachelor who is tyrannized and outwitted by his scheming maid, whom Renata Scotto portrays as a real "little madam": the feigned pathos of her "A Serpina penserete" would certainly be enough to snake anyone despairingly declare "Son imbrogliato" (an aria Bruscantini does splendidly). The playing of the Virtuosi is just that: Mr Fasano gets great variety of light and shade from his players. His choice of tempo is unfailingly defensible. In short, a delightful performance of an opera which historically stands in an important position.

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