Monday, October 4, 2010

Giovanni Paisiello - Proserpine - Carella, Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia


This is Paisiello's one French opera and he adapted to the requirements and traditions of French opera with remarkable success. The result is that the usual French declamatory method of moving the plot forward -- rather than using recitativo -- is handled with great musical success where often, especially for non-French composers, it can deteriorate into ugly hollering. The orchestra is given a prominent role, not only in the dance sequences, but also more generally in the opera. The orchestration is remarkably rich and varied, with some very Paisiello at the clavichord, by Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, 1791. distinguished writing for the winds. In addition, the chorus is given a more prominent role than is usual in Paisiello's Italian operas. This is combined with some very lovely and melodic writing for all elements. Indeed, the opera is a listening joy, and it may be better heard this way than in an actual performance, since the libretto is a rather stilted retelling of Greek myth.

This production from the Festival della Valle d'Itria di Martina Franca is stunningly successful. The orchestra is first rate with some very distinguished wind playing. The chorus sings with beauty, intelligence and subtlety. The principals are all outstanding and well balanced and their selection was such that the three soprano voices are easily distinguished from each other. The able conducting of Giuliano Carella results in a splendid performance.

The recording, for a live performance, is excellent. The voices are miked quite closely and come through very clearly. Both stage and audience noise is at a minimum. I never found them even noticeable, let alone distracting.--Amazon

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