GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Opera and Vocal => Topic started by: Leo K. on June 29, 2011, 02:59:50 PM

Title: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on June 29, 2011, 02:59:50 PM
I have been immersed in 18th Century Opera the last few weeks. There is SO much unknown 18th century opera to explore...and I'm in heaven!

Here are some recordings that are amazing:

(http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR8WfcwSnbiChwaJ7JZgMYHd6mbX_vkmZ3zOf5CDjjoEzD8Uin4GQ)

(http://pixhost.info/avaxhome/88/e7/0011e788_medium.jpeg)

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_pDvIera0qiM/TOl5Ss6UsFI/AAAAAAAAD9g/wUuP-faGBq4/s640/front.jpg)

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ybJCVl-Hd0w/TfcJshEnifI/AAAAAAAAJ10/mc7l8G62zYA/s1600/zaide.PNG)
(this one was recorded from a radio broadcast, and WOW, what a work!)

Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: kishnevi on July 08, 2011, 05:10:30 PM
Domenico Cimarosa: I Tre Amanti 
Intermezzo in musica in due parti

first presented Teatro Valle, Rome, Carnival 1777

Violante, a young lady: Basia Retchitzka, soprano
Don Arsenio Scarnicchia, a young man, son of a banker in Palermo, in love with Violante; Carlo Gaifa, tenor
Don Riccardo, a military officer courting Violante: Rodolfo Malacarne, tenor
Il Barone della Nebbia, a nobleman courting Violante: Laerte Malaguti, baritone
Brunetta,  Violante's maid and confidante: Grazia Ferracini, soprano

Orchestra della Radiotelevisione della Svizzera Italiana
Edwin Loehrer, conductor

Recorded in Lugano, Switzerland March-April 1968
CD 1 (Part I) 51:26   CD (Part 2) 37:00
issued by Nouva Era Internazionale (Order No. 23288)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ExnFim4QL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

This is a relatively short comic opera, but short and with the barest of plots, it deserves the term intermezzo and not opera buffa. It would probably work very well as a student production. The music is suitably light, but much of it would not be out of place in, say, Cosi fan tutte, and it is all recognizably of its era.  The overture is in several section, rather like the sinfonias which Vivaldi used for his opera introductions.  The plot, such as it is, is simple:  Young lady staying at an inn in Livorno has three suitors, and not really ready to marry.   Her maid is somewhat in love with one of them, Don Riccardo.  The three suitors court her and bicker with each other; she is most attracted to the youngest one, Don Arsenio.  The three men serenade her maid, believing they are serenading Violante, who in the end has the inn's servants chase them away.  That's Part I.  In Part II,  Don Riccardo and the Baron conspire to have Don Arsenio arrested on the charge that he is really a pirate, Captain Bombardo, then offer to have him released if he promises to leave Violante alone.  He has a scena in which he decided he would rather die than give her up.  Violante, disguised,  has the soldiers release him.  Don Riccardo and the Baron, not recognizing her in the disguise, court her, to her disgust.  Don Arsenio, also not recognizing her, does not court her and shows himself faithful.  She admits to herself that she is love with Don Arsenio, and publicly chooses him over Don Riccardo and the Baron.  Don Riccardo accepts Brunetta as his wife (I think), and the Baron is consoled with the idea that he is destined to marry a noblewoman, and the opera therefore ends with everyone happy.  While the liner notes are in English, Italian and German, the libretto in this issue is only in Italian, and therefore I may be wrong about Don Riccardo actually marrying Brunetta, since my Italian is rather weak.

The arias are distributed rather evenly:  Violante and Don Arsenio both have two arias in Part I and one aria in Part II (his aria in Part II is officially labelled "Scena"); the Baron has two arias, one in each Part;  Don Riccardo has one aria in Part I, and Brunetta has one aria in Part II.   Both parts begin with a quartet;  Violante and Don Arsenio have a duet near the end of Part II;  there is a relatively long (fifteen minutes) finale to Part I, which includes the serenades; and a short finale to Part II,  long enough to establish who is and who is not marrying whom and send everyone off satisfied.   The aria are all relatively short;  the two longest are both assigned to Don Arsenio,  being both a little over four minutes long.  Most of them have recognizable sections;  some of them even have full pauses in the middle, suggesting a strophic structure. 

This recording was done in connection with a series of radio broadcasts.   I caught nothing to fault in the orchestra during my initial listen.  The male singers were excellent;  Gaifa's voice is rather similar to that of Juan Diego Flores;  Malacarne is a much lighter tenor, but the role is not particularly difficult and the timbre easily distinguishes him from Gaifa in the ensemble scenes.  The role of the Baron also has no huge hurdles, and Malaguti is pleasant to listen to.   It's the ladies with whom the problems lie in this recording:  both sopranos are rather shrill in the upper register and even sound a little shallow breathed;  Retchitzka in particular suffers from too much vibrato, although this problem lessens after her first aria.  Possibly she needed to warm up before hitting her stride.  Since both she and Ferracini suffer from the shrillness, it is possible that this was a fault of the engineering and not the singers.   I've never heard any of these singers before, so I have no way of knowing.  Other than that, the engineering was well done, with the voices placed at just the right distance and with just enough roominess in the studio to suggest an actual theater--although of course there was no attempt to suggest movement among the characters or any other sort of staging.

Overall, this was a pleasant experience, although the price might be a little high considering the total time is 87:26.  This may be the only recording of this work, so I would recommend it, but suggest you look for a good bargain if you do purchase it. (The Amazon price seems realistic compared to the official retail.)  There is an earlier issue of the same recording that seems to be available only through resellers or as an MP3 download from Amazon.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/616TezvrsSL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 08, 2011, 05:16:32 PM
Thanks, Jeffrey. I like Cimarosa's instrumental music, it is quite galant and very entertaining for all that. Of course, like most Italians of his time, opera was his specialty, and he was extremely popular (believe he was employed by Catherine the Great for a few years). This might be a good place to pitch in on him for a lightweight opera-goer like myself. :)

8)

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Now playing:
Camerata Amsterdam \ Jeroen Weierink - Myslivecek Concerto in C for Cello 3rd mvmt - Tempo di Menuetto
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: kishnevi on July 08, 2011, 05:32:19 PM
Thanks, Jeffrey. I like Cimarosa's instrumental music, it is quite galant and very entertaining for all that. Of course, like most Italians of his time, opera was his specialty, and he was extremely popular (believe he was employed by Catherine the Great for a few years). This might be a good place to pitch in on him for a lightweight opera-goer like myself. :)

Apparently this conductor specialized in Italian music from 1600 to 1800, both with RSI and with an organization called Lugano Chamber Society.  Amazon lists a few of them as being available on CD.  Of course, I have no idea how good these others might be, but it might be worth exploring. 
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on July 09, 2011, 11:35:12 AM
Thanks Jeffery for your overview of that opera by Cimarosa. I have four of his operas in my collection and only know one of them so far.

I am listening to a lot of out-of-the-way 18th Century opera lately, and my latest aquisition is quite ravishing! The melodies are subtle but beautiful, with thoughtful orchestration including windwood writing that takes the breath away.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61X4GHYd%2B4L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HB6pyql5L._AA300_.jpg)

This opera is very much influenced by Mozart's late operas, not surprising considering that composer Johann Rudolph Zumsteeg championed Mozart's operas in Stuggart, according to the wiki:

Quote
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bf/JohannRudolfZumsteeg.jpg/220px-)

Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg (born in Sachsenflur, Lauda-Königshofen 10 January 1760 – died in Stuttgart 27 January 1802) was a German composer and conductor.

Zumsteeg championed the operas of Mozart in Stuttgart, staging the first performances there of Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan tutte. He also was a prolific composer of lieder and ballads. His ballads had a great influence on the young Franz Schubert, who imitated a number of Zumsteeg's as studies (some even in exactly the same keys) while he was a teenager.

Zumsteeg's received his early education at the Carlschule in Stuttgart. There Zumsteeg became intimate friends with Friedrich Schiller. A setting for Schiller's drama, Die Räuber, 1782, is an example of the type of close collaboration that Zumsteeg undertook with prominent poets.

Perhaps the most well-known of Zumsteeg's compositions are the seven volumes of Kleine Lieder und Balladen published by Breitkopf & Härtel between 1800 and 1805. These were highly popular in Germany, remaining well-known until the 1830s.

In 1783, Zumsteeg married Luise Andreae with whom he had seven children. During most of his career, Zumsteeg was closely connected to the Swabian court, and in 1791 he was appointed court director of music to fill the vacancy left by C. F. D. Schubart's death. In this capacity, Zumsteeg championed the works of German composers, countering the dominant Italian influence at the court. The last important post he held before his death in 1802 was that of court Konzertmeister.



Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on July 10, 2011, 09:53:22 AM
A charming opera buffa from Baldassare Galuppi. I love the orchestration, and this live recording is well recorded with pleasant singers. 18th century greatness all around!  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41P8YDV87SL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Quote
"The World of the Moon" is a playful drama in three acts written by Carlo Goldoni to be set to music by Baldassare Galuppi , whom he represented for the first time on 29 January 1750 at the Teatro San Moise in Venice. Later the book was taken up by other composers, including Giovanni Paisiello , and Franz Joseph Haydn.
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 10, 2011, 10:05:41 AM
A charming opera buffa from Baldassare Galuppi. I love the orchestration, and this live recording is well recorded with pleasant singers. 18th century greatness all around!  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41P8YDV87SL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Yes, that is a quite amusing opera, Goldoni justly earned his laurels as the premier librettist in the second half of the 18th century. I don't have Galuppi's version, but I do have Haydn's (1777-78). Also one of his better efforts. :)

8)


----------------
Now playing:
Manfred Huss - Haydn Sinfonietta Wien - Bernard Richter - Hob 24b:14 Aria for Tenor "Se tu mi sprezzi, ingrata"
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on July 10, 2011, 10:51:18 AM
Yes, that is a quite amusing opera, Goldoni justly earned his laurels as the premier librettist in the second half of the 18th century. I don't have Galuppi's version, but I do have Haydn's (1777-78). Also one of his better efforts. :)

8)


----------------
Now playing:
Manfred Huss - Haydn Sinfonietta Wien - Bernard Richter - Hob 24b:14 Aria for Tenor "Se tu mi sprezzi, ingrata"

I'll have to track down Haydn's version for sure!
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on July 10, 2011, 10:56:33 AM
I've got a few Haydn operas on LP that I'm gearing to listen to soon.  ;) I've also picked up some of Salieri's operas. I'm not sure why I waited so long to listen to Salieri, but a recent encounter with his piano concerti was a beautiful listen. Salieri surprises me a lot, his ideas are melodic and bold.
 
8)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 10, 2011, 11:14:01 AM
I've got a few Haydn operas on LP that I'm gearing to listen to soon.  ;) I've also picked up some of Salieri's operas. I'm not sure why I waited so long to listen to Salieri, but a recent encounter with his piano concerti was a beautiful listen. Salieri surprises me a lot, his ideas are melodic and bold.
 
8)

Oh, and I meant to say that I have some Galuppi instrumental music and find it quite enjoyable too. He wrote over 100 keyboard sonatas, BTW. And that was just a sideline. :)

As for Salieri, I have a moderate amount of his instrumental music, including the piano concertos and quite a few overtures. I would like to get at least one of his operas, preferably one with a libretto by da Ponte, just for comparison's sake. :)

8)


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Now playing:
Quatuor Festetics - Hob 03 57 Quartet in C for Strings Op 54 #2 2nd mvmt - Adagio
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on July 24, 2011, 12:18:07 PM
I've listened to two of Salieri's operas so far, and have found them to be truly beautiful and dramatic. I love them! AND these works transport us to the 1770s-1790s and thereabouts, my favorite period of study.

La Grotta di Trofonio
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61CcVuJh0gL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Axur
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517WfNYDDwL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

 8)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on July 27, 2011, 10:12:34 AM
Another evocative opera, from Antonio Sacchini (14 June 1730 – 6 October 1786). Very Beautiful opera Buffa. The ensembles are particularly chock full of melodies and evocative ochestration. I love the arias as well, and I am easily transported to 1765!

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-c0KtS6Upsxo/TiwHEDwk83I/AAAAAAAALLs/pP-hhMq_f70/s1600/contadina+front.PNG)

Quote
La Contadina in Corte is an opera buffa in two acts by Antonio Sacchini, first performed at the Teatro Valle in Rome during the Carnival in 1765. The libretto was by Niccolò Tassi. It was a popular opera at the time of its first performance: by the 1780s it had been staged over 20 times in such diverse cities as Rome and Warsaw. Sacchini's original setting is an intermezzo with 4 roles.

There was a revival at the Teatro Verdi in Sassari in Sardinia in 1991, conducted by Gabriele Catalucci and directed by Gianni Marras.

8)



Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on July 28, 2011, 08:31:34 AM
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Pasquale_Anfossi.png/220px-Pasquale_Anfossi.png)

Another discovery for my personal listening is the music of Pasquale Anfossi (5 April 1727 – February 1797), in particular, his opera La Finta Giardiniera from 1774, if I remember correctly. A friend of mine has a recorded broadcast of this opera that is simply stunning (it's a shame this hasn't been officially released). It will be interesting to compare Anfossi's La Finta with Mozart's account of the same libretto, as I understand Mozart studied Anfossi's score and appears to mirror it to some extent.

The great soprano Catarina Cavalieri had her debut in Anfossi's La Finta Giardiniera, in 1775, in the role of Sandrina.


 8)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Florestan on July 29, 2011, 03:00:56 AM
Leo, you should also try Anfossi's La Maga Circe, you'll love it.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-iv0jMAnL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on July 29, 2011, 12:41:03 PM
Leo, you should also try Anfossi's La Maga Circe, you'll love it.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-iv0jMAnL._SS400_.jpg)

Thanks for the heads up Florestan! I shall seek this 8)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on July 31, 2011, 06:24:11 AM
My 18th century opera marathon continues with Haydn  8)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/618YlQFCNFL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Wunderbar! Bravo!

My first venture into the mature operas of Haydn, and I'm overjoyed over this opera. The adventurous variety in the music is charming, the orchestration carefully colored in Haydn's subtle style. The ensemble's are fun and at turns very moving. All in all, this work is chock full of melody with a consistant dramatic mood throughout.
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 31, 2011, 08:14:22 AM
My 18th century opera marathon continues with Haydn  8)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/618YlQFCNFL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Wunderbar! Bravo!

My first venture into the mature operas of Haydn, and I'm overjoyed over this opera. The adventurous variety in the music is charming, the orchestration carefully colored in Haydn's subtle style. The ensemble's are fun and at turns very moving. All in all, this work is chock full of melody with a consistent dramatic mood throughout.

Ah, Leo, at last you move into an opera that I know. Well, I have heard it 3 or 4 times which isn't quite the same, however.... :)  That opera is indeed from his maturity. 1779 was around the peak of the Esterhazy opera craze. Do you know that Anfossi has set this opera only 2 years before and it was very popular back then? Haydn liked it so much that he incorporated one of Anfossi's scenes directly. I think he really gave some nice arias to Rosina, they are among my favorites of his operatic works. As it happens, I have the same version you do, although not in that very cool opening scene box, but in the orange box of 10 disks. Very nice work there. :)

8)


----------------
Now playing:
Berliner Philharmoniker \ André Cluytens - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 3rd mvmt - Adagio molto e cantabile - Andante moderato
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Que on August 08, 2011, 09:31:08 PM
Behold, here is the new thread on opera from the Classical period. 8)

May it prosper! :)

Q
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: knight66 on August 08, 2011, 10:25:14 PM
I've listened to two of Salieri's operas so far, and have found them to be truly beautiful and dramatic. I love them! AND these works transport us to the 1770s-1790s and thereabouts, my favorite period of study.

La Grotta di Trofonio
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61CcVuJh0gL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Axur
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517WfNYDDwL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

 8)

I thought that I would look out for Axur; I think that anyone considering the set needs to read the Amazon reviews; each of which describe apalling sound quality.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Salieri-Martin-Rayam-Mei-Clemencic/dp/B000JCE9I8/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1312874266&sr=1-1

The other one recommended costs £30 on Amazon; I will see if I can find it at a more reasonable price. I have some arias by Salieri on a disc by Kozena and enjoy them.

Mike

Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: The new erato on August 08, 2011, 11:00:45 PM
No luck for Gluck?

The one opera composer (besides Mozart) from the period I'm reasonably familiar with. The Minkowski series on Archiv is splendid; and there's a new recording out that should be plenty interesting:

Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: knight66 on August 08, 2011, 11:07:24 PM
I have only just window shopped here; but I assumed that Mozart and Gluck were pretty well established in our minds and libraries; but you are right, when I think about it Gluck only has a toe hold in my collection whereas Mozart opera, even though not numerous, take up yards of shelf space.

I will go have a rummage on the Net.

Mike
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: The new erato on August 08, 2011, 11:15:37 PM
I have only just window shopped here; but I assumed that Mozart and Gluck were pretty well established in our minds and libraries;

Yes, but I couldn't find a pun on Salieri or Paisiello...........
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on August 09, 2011, 12:28:07 PM
Behold, here is the new thread on opera from the Classical period. 8)

May it prosper! :)

Q

Thanks Q for putting this together!  8)

Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on August 09, 2011, 01:00:35 PM
I have finally aquired some Gluck, and look forward to listening for the first time soon.  ;)

Like Knight66 said above, I have more shelf space devoted to Mozart, with years of study and listening to Mozart opera, yet, I decided it was time to branch out, and it's been a ravishing and educating journey so far  8)

Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Que on August 09, 2011, 09:34:16 PM
I was wondering if we would include Gluck! :)

We do.  8) Hence a repost:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51D08KvyjYL.jpg)

Review on Musicweb (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Nov04/Gluck_innocenza.htm)

Newly acquired. One of the last of Gluck's "early" operatic work. (He was already 40, but had still over 30 years and many grand operas ahead of him :)). A small scale court opera - also called "serenata" or "festa teatrale" - in two acts. How to characterise it? Charming, with interesting and characterful music that easily keeps attention during the near 1,5 hours of duration. The performance is a delight - absolutely everything is right. Starring Maria Bayo who, as always, firmly projects the charcater of the role she sings. I am impressed by Argentinian soprano Veronica Cangemi, the other singers are very fine as well. Very idiomatic accompaniment by the Cappella Coloniensis under Christopher Mould - in the vein of Tafelmusik under Weil or Freiburger Barokorchester under Von der Goltz.

Of course, this is not a major work in the genre but still a very nice piece - much strengthened by a top notch performance. I think lovers of the baroque opera, or serenatas/oratorios alike, will find this quite enjoyable.

Q
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 10, 2011, 03:24:18 AM
I have finally aquired some Gluck, and look forward to listening for the first time soon.  ;)

Like Knight66 said above, I have more shelf space devoted to Mozart, with years of study and listening to Mozart opera, yet, I decided it was time to branch out, and it's been a ravishing and educating journey so far  8)

IMHO, it is far more difficult to appreciate Mozart's accomplishment if one does not know Gluck and his revolutionary changes and his influence on Mozart and others. Given that I appear to be going backwards through the era (started with Mozart, then Haydn) Gluck would be the next candidate for me to explore. And so it shall be, probably with the 2 Iphigenie... works. Any recording suggestions on those (PI preferred, of course)?   :)

8)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on August 10, 2011, 06:08:08 AM
It is interesting to work backwards from Mozart (and using him as a reference point) and going back into the history of classical opera, and high baroque opera. What I've found is that Mozart didn't write in a vacuum, and worked with the traditions of opera seria and opera buffa as much as his contemporaries did. You also hear why Mozart stays around :) BUT his forebears and contemporaries had the capacity to reach the sublime too!

My interest, personally, is not so much to compare musical strengths as much as exploring the classical period and it's world in all it's detail, warts and all.
 ;D

Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: The new erato on August 10, 2011, 06:18:24 AM
IMHO, it is far more difficult to appreciate Mozart's accomplishment if one does not know Gluck and his revolutionary changes and his influence on Mozart and others. Given that I appear to be going backwards through the era (started with Mozart, then Haydn) Gluck would be the next candidate for me to explore. And so it shall be, probably with the 2 Iphigenie... works. Any recording suggestions on those (PI preferred, of course)?   :)

8)



If you can get the Aulide, this is also the way to go. And get the rest of the series that is still available:




Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 10, 2011, 06:23:49 AM
It is interesting to work backwards from Mozart (and using him as a reference point) and going back into the history of classical opera, and high baroque opera. What I've found is that Mozart didn't write in a vacuum, and worked with the traditions of opera seria and opera buffa as much as his contemporaries did. You also hear why Mozart stays around :) BUT his forebears and contemporaries had the capacity to reach the sublime too!

My interest, personally, is not so much to compare musical strengths as much as exploring the classical period and it's world in all it's detail, warts and all.
 ;D

And so it should be, IMO. You can probably tell that I am an opera know-nothing, mostly because it has taken me several years to get over my aversion to sopranos. But I am doing better now, and as you say, exploring to recreate context is highly worthwhile. :)

8)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 10, 2011, 06:24:57 AM



If you can get the Aulide, this is also the way to go. And get the rest of the series that is still available:





Great, thanks, Erato! That's just the sort I'm looking for, I really admire Minkowski's efforts, and those particular works are ones that I have heard (well) of. :)

8)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on August 14, 2011, 08:25:01 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51V1BQ9D39L._SS500_.jpg)

This morning I have returned to Mozart's Don Giovanni, in a recording that is new to me. I have to say I rather like this version so far. I'm still in Act 1, and having a great time with the sound of the orchestra, the tempos (on the fast side) and a fantastic Donna Elvira sung by Christina Hogman!

Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on August 14, 2011, 08:29:40 AM
By the way, like Gurn has mentioned, the sound of rough and small ensemble playing is ideal for me for 18th century music. It just sounds right to me too  ;D

The above Don Giovanni is played like that, especially the natural and imperfect singing, a quality I JUST LOVE.

 8)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on September 11, 2011, 08:20:22 AM
My classical era opera odyssey continues with Vincente Martin y Soler (May 2, 1754 – January 30, 1806). I've had this recording for quite awhile and finally listened to it yesterday:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71eD6pXSzPL._AA300_.jpg)
(Unfortunately this recording is out of print)

Besides the fun of hearing the famous quote from this work in Mozart's Don Giovanni in context, the music was what I hoped it would be...full of charm, lightness, beautiful melodies and wonderful instrumentation...taking me back to 1786 like a time machine!

Quoth the Wiki:

Quote
Una cosa rara, ossia Bellezza ed onestà (A Rare Thing, or Beauty and Honesty) is an opera by the composer Vicente Martín y Soler. It takes the form of a dramma giocoso in two acts. The libretto, by Lorenzo da Ponte, is based on the play La luna de la sierra by Luis Vélez de Guevara. The opera was first performed at the Burgtheater, Vienna on 17 November 1786. It was a huge success. Mozart quotes the music to the ensemble O quanto in sì bel giubilo towards the end of Don Giovanni.


(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/Martin_y_Soler1.jpg)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 11, 2011, 09:08:32 AM
My classical era opera odyssey continues with Vincente Martin y Soler (May 2, 1754 – January 30, 1806). I've had this recording for quite awhile and finally listened to it yesterday:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71eD6pXSzPL._AA300_.jpg)
(Unfortunately this recording is out of print)

Besides the fun of hearing the famous quote from this work in Mozart's Don Giovanni in context, the music was what I hoped it would be...full of charm, lightness, beautiful melodies and wonderful instrumentation...taking me back to 1786 like a time machine!

Quoth the Wiki:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/Martin_y_Soler1.jpg)

Leo,
Boy, you've hit on one that I would really like to have! For so many reasons. Not least because I have always thought that it must be very good indeed! OOP, of course... :'(  Well, there has to be an alternative, we'll see what's what. Thanks for reminding me of this. And that little scena n DG is one of my favorite parts, too. :)

8)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Drasko on September 12, 2011, 02:33:22 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/arts/music/atys-french-baroque-opera-by-lully-at-bam.html?_r=1

For New Yorkers, 5 performances of Atys revival, September 18-24. I'm jealous.

http://www.bam.org/view.aspx?pid=3085
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on September 17, 2011, 08:25:10 AM
(also posted in Gurns Classical Corner)

By the way, let me quickly praise these two recordings of Mozart's amazing La Clemenza di Tito! I've been getting rather obsessed with the special sound Mozart executed for this opera. Mozart's late style scoring has such a beautiful, simple, and fragile quality! Why I haven't quite noticed the orchestral tonality of this opera before is beyond me, but these two releases make see the light!

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/6105TZBB97L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Pg6tORuJL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Wow!  :o

Of these two I slightly prefer the Mackerras, but man, these are really fantastic!

Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: JoshLilly on September 20, 2011, 02:44:50 PM
Sometimes, I wish I could make an excerpts CD of parts from various Grétry operas and give it to people.  For example, the finale to Act 1 of La caravane du Caire, or the very interesting opening to Richard Coeur-de-lion... it starts out extremely dark and heavy, but then blurs into a pastoral, cheerful choral scene.  There's no standalone overture to that one, it's really a little jarring and strange, but it's really fantastic.

I also sometimes wish that no CD of Dittersdorf's symphonies had ever come out, since it gets people to avoid his operas (and chamber music, as well).  I like a few of his symphonies okay, but despite the large number of them, I think it was in his operas and chamber music that he shined.  Apparently, Joseph Haydn was a bit fan of his Il Barone di Rocca Antica, and I like it quite a bit myself... I not only have it on CD, but in a DVD as well.  I hesitate to recommend the DVD, since the choreography is utterly embarrassing as far as I'm concerned.  However, other than that, the performance is really, really good (it's almost worth the price alone just to see those period instruments in action before the stage).  There are several really star parts here, including the finales to both acts, which show a great skill for combining complexity and subtlety that would probably surprise the many Dittersdorf-bashers out there.

By the way, I also have that recording of Martín y Soler's Una cosa rara.  As a whole package, this is one of my absolute favourite operas.  I have to admit when I bought it, it was blind and mostly due to the references in Wolfgang Mozart's Don Giovanni.  Boy, what a lucky stab in the dark this was!  I've got it back out now, I almost forgot how amazing it was from start to finish.  In my opinion, I'm thinking Mozart might have had a hard time picking which music to borrow for his own opera, since there's a seriously large amount of very catch material here.

I wonder how many complete operas I have from the Classical Era.  I'm just looking through my collection, and geez.  I have 11 complete operas by Cimarosa alone (not to mention 3 separate recordings of Il matrimonio segreto, and 13 complete operas by Paisiello, and more (such as 3 complete operas by the relatively obscure Piccini).  I used to have a serious interest in Classical period Italian opera, and seeing this discussion has suddenly revived a bit of an itch in me.  I know what I'll probably be listening to a lot of the next few weeks!
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 22, 2011, 03:17:57 AM
I am looking for a nice CD performance of "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" by Paisiello (not Rossini!). PI would be preferable but not as important as performance. What say you all, you Classical Operators?  :)  Is Fasano from 1959 really my only choice?

8)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: JoshLilly on September 22, 2011, 05:54:26 AM
I am looking for a nice CD performance of "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" by Paisiello (not Rossini!). PI would be preferable but not as important as performance. What say you all, you Classical Operators?  :)  Is Fasano from 1959 really my only choice?

I have this version here, and it's amazing:

http://www.amazon.com/Paisiello-barbiere-Siviglia-Christian-Tschelebiew/dp/B000005IEJ

This is one of my all-time favourite operas.
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 22, 2011, 06:09:27 AM
I have this version here, and it's amazing:

http://www.amazon.com/Paisiello-barbiere-Siviglia-Christian-Tschelebiew/dp/B000005IEJ

This is one of my all-time favourite operas.

Excellent, thanks, Josh! Should have it in hand very soon. :)

8)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on September 24, 2011, 07:18:17 AM
Sometimes, I wish I could make an excerpts CD of parts from various Grétry operas and give it to people.  For example, the finale to Act 1 of La caravane du Caire, or the very interesting opening to Richard Coeur-de-lion... it starts out extremely dark and heavy, but then blurs into a pastoral, cheerful choral scene.  There's no standalone overture to that one, it's really a little jarring and strange, but it's really fantastic.

I also sometimes wish that no CD of Dittersdorf's symphonies had ever come out, since it gets people to avoid his operas (and chamber music, as well).  I like a few of his symphonies okay, but despite the large number of them, I think it was in his operas and chamber music that he shined.  Apparently, Joseph Haydn was a bit fan of his Il Barone di Rocca Antica, and I like it quite a bit myself... I not only have it on CD, but in a DVD as well.  I hesitate to recommend the DVD, since the choreography is utterly embarrassing as far as I'm concerned.  However, other than that, the performance is really, really good (it's almost worth the price alone just to see those period instruments in action before the stage).  There are several really star parts here, including the finales to both acts, which show a great skill for combining complexity and subtlety that would probably surprise the many Dittersdorf-bashers out there.

By the way, I also have that recording of Martín y Soler's Una cosa rara.  As a whole package, this is one of my absolute favourite operas.  I have to admit when I bought it, it was blind and mostly due to the references in Wolfgang Mozart's Don Giovanni.  Boy, what a lucky stab in the dark this was!  I've got it back out now, I almost forgot how amazing it was from start to finish.  In my opinion, I'm thinking Mozart might have had a hard time picking which music to borrow for his own opera, since there's a seriously large amount of very catch material here.

I wonder how many complete operas I have from the Classical Era.  I'm just looking through my collection, and geez.  I have 11 complete operas by Cimarosa alone (not to mention 3 separate recordings of Il matrimonio segreto, and 13 complete operas by Paisiello, and more (such as 3 complete operas by the relatively obscure Piccini).  I used to have a serious interest in Classical period Italian opera, and seeing this discussion has suddenly revived a bit of an itch in me.  I know what I'll probably be listening to a lot of the next few weeks!

Hey, awesome post. I've got a few of those in my collection as well! Not as much Cimarosa though (I only have four of those) ;) Thank you for your contribution, and I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts!

 8)



Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Lisztianwagner on September 24, 2011, 08:09:35 AM
I usually prefer listening to the music of the Romantic era, I think it's much more involving and thrilling. But I really love Mozart's operas, especially Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, they're so beautiful and melodious!!  :)
Mozart's opera are definitely some of the finest pieces of music ever composed!  :)

Ilaria
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on September 24, 2011, 10:10:28 AM
I usually prefer listening to the music of the Romantic era, I think it's much more involving and thrilling. But I really love Mozart's operas, especially Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, they're so beautiful and melodious!!  :)
Mozart's opera are definitely some of the finest pieces of music ever composed!  :)

Ilaria

I love the Romantic era too, probably just as much as I do the 18th Century...it is another wonderful world to explore...but the 18th Century is deepest in my heart  8)

Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Lisztianwagner on September 24, 2011, 10:25:09 AM
I love the Romantic era too, probably just as much as I do the 18th Century...it is another wonderful world to explore...but the 18th Century is deepest in my heart  8)

As a matter of fact the Classical era is really amazing, full of greatest composers who deeply influenced of the other centuries......Bach, Händel, Haydn and Mozart are just few examples. I started to love classical music  listening to the 18th Century music.

Ilaria
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on November 06, 2011, 11:38:53 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51cX8gybLDL._SS400_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513E2DTBaOL._SS400_.jpg)

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c8/Johann_Gottlieb_Naumann.jpg/220px-Johann_Gottlieb_Naumann.jpg)

Listening to my second opera by Johann Naumann (1741-1801): Gustav Wasa (1786).

Fascinating! A very hypnotic musical journey from 18th century sweden! I'm still in the first act, but I LOVE what I'm hearing!

This recording sounds amazingly detailed and natural, nice bass, and no compression. Lovely!

 8)

From Groves:

NAUMANN, Johann Gottlieb (or GioVanni Amadeo), well-known composer in his day, born April 17, 1741, at Blasewitz near Dresden. Though the child of a peasant he was educated at the Kreuzschule in Dresden, and intended for a schoolmaster. He studied music by himself, until a Swedish musician resident in Dresden named Weestroem, happening to visit his home, was struck by seeing Bach's (probably Emanuel's) sonatas on the harpsichord, and determined to take him on a professional tour. Starting in May 1757, they first went to Hamburg, where they were detained ten months by Weestroem's ill health, and then to Padua, where Weestroem took lessons from Tartini, in which he did not allow Naumann toshare. His treatmentwasaltogether so bad that the young man left him, but was able to proceed with his training, as Tartini taught him for nothing, and an English musician named Hunt gave him pecuniary assistance. During his stay of three years in Padua he made the acquaintance of Hasse. He next went to Naples in 1761 with a pupil named Pitscher, to study dramatic music for six months ; and then, armed with a recommendation from Tartini, visited Padre Martini at Bologna, and received from him some instruction in counterpoint. During a lengthened stay at Venice he produced his first opera at San Samuele. In 1763 he returned home, and through the influence of the Electress was appointed court composer of sacred music. In 1765-68 he was again in Italy, composing 'Achille in Sciro' (1767) for Palermo, and 1 Alessandro nelle Indie' for Venice. In 1769 he produced 'La Clemenza di Tito' (Metastasio's text) in Dresden, and in 1772 'Solimanno ' and ' Nozze disturbate ' in Venice, 'Armida' in Padua (1773), and 'Ipermestra' in Venice (1774). On his return to Dresden in 1774 he declined a flattering invitation from Frederick the Great to Berlin, and in 1776 was rewarded by the Elector with the title of Capellmeister, and a salary of 1200 thalers. During a temporary residence in Stockholm (1776-78) he produced in Swedish 'Amphion' (1776) and 'Cora,' his best and most popular work, published for PF. in 1780. [He was again in Sweden in 1782-84, producing ' Gustav Vasa' in 1783.] In 1786 he was raised to the dignity of Obercapellmeister, with a salary of 2000 thalers, for his refusal of a brilliant position at Copenhagen. In 1793 he produced 'Protesilao,' an opera, at Berlin, and an oratorio 'Davidde in Terebinto' at Potsdam, for which he received a gold snuff-box with 400 Friedrichs d'or from the King Frederick William II., who also induced Hummel to take lessons from him. His last opera, 'Aci e Galatea,' was produced, April 25, 1801, at Dresden, where he died of apoplexy on the 23rd of the following October. For further particulars the reader is referred to Meissner's Bruchstiicke zur Biographic Naumann's (Prague, 1803-4).

Naumann was also a prolific composer of church music; thirteen oratorios, and twenty-one masses with Te Deums, and smaller church pieces, being preserved in Dresden. [See the Qucllcn-LcxHxm, for list.] The court chapel still performs some of his compositions, but the single work of his now known beyond Dresden is his setting of Klopstock's 'Vaterunser,' an effective composition for its day. Though a good musician, capable of turning his talents to account, he had not a particle of genius. Entirely uninfluenced by the works of Haydn and Mozart, he trudged on to the end of his life in the footsteps of Hasse and Graun. [He is reported to have composed the beautiful 'Dresden Amen,' immortalised in Wagner's ' Parsifal.']

The Library of the Royal College of Music contains a Mass of his(inG) publishedin London, with an accompaniment arranged by Edmund Harris; and'ThePilgrimsattheHolySepulchre,' an oratorio, edited with a biography by Mainzer. By his marriage with the daughter of Admiral Grotschilling he left three sons, the eldest of whom, Karl Friederich, became a woll-known mineralogist, whose son Ernst, born August 15, 1832, studied the organ with Johann Schneider, and composition with Hauptmann, and was from 1860 organist and musikdirector at Jena, and from 1877 professor. He published an excellent treatise, Ueber die verschiedenen Bestimmungen der Tonverhaltnisse (Leipzig, 1858), as well as some music, among which may be named two string quintets, and a serenade for strings and wind.

Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Leo K. on February 02, 2013, 10:27:34 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51z9Otde4ZL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Hasse's "Cleofide". Highlights.

The COMPLETE opera is a listening experience of excitement and beauty, but the advantage of the highlights is, of course, that you need not listen to all of the recitatives, but truthfully I haven't minded even doing that at all. This approach is a great way to give you some idea of the entire opera. Rich and full. It would have to be very difficult to take from four discs of excellent arias and pick the 'best', but I think this recording presents a fair picture of the singers and what they did in 'Cleofide' (still available in the marketplace if you are interested). Anyway since not much unwittingly on his part. There are six main characters in this opera, all of whom perform their characterizations superbly. One may think that with all these basically teble voices, that confusion would exist in the listening process, but the quality of each of them is so unique and so abviously different from one another it does not really present a problem. Those of you who have heard each or all or some of them will easily detect to whom you are listening. For example Visse's male alto voice is a bit rough and reedy whereas Cordier is somooth, becoming one of the most powerful exponents of the Italian operatic style in Germany.

'Cleofide' was first performed in Dresden in September of 1731. Essentially, this work is based on the subject of jealousy, and has in general to do with conquest and the desire to be sole possessor of women and of kingdoms. This story idea is very reminiscent to me of the Gluck opera 'Iphigenie en Tauride'. In that opera the character 'Thoas' could be compared to Alexander in 'Cleofide', and in Purcell's 'Dido and Aeneas' we would have to equate Aeneas to that role, albeit Johann Hasse (1699-1783) studied with Porpora in Naples. He was the first composer to set many of Metastasio's texts, and his music reflects the neo-classical ideal of Metastasio's style. A powerful dramatist, he was renowned for his careful use of the accompanied recitative (this is evident in 'Cleofide'. Hasses's long career covered the period around the middle of the eighteenth century, and his later works reveal attempts at overall unity by means of tonal planning and a reaction against the 'da capo' aria like those of Gluck. In 1734, he became composer for the court of Dresden.

Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Spineur on April 19, 2017, 10:05:18 AM
After the wonderful Amadis de Gaule, the opera in french composed by Johann Christian Bach I had to get his Zanaida



David Stern (son of Isaac the violinist) discovered a complete score of this opera in the library of an American collector in 2010 and decided to exhume this interesting opera and record it. Compared to Amadis which is firmly classical, this leans a bit toward the baroque with Mozartian idioms.  I love the musical style of this period, where elegance was always at the forefront.



Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Spineur on July 17, 2017, 09:03:57 AM
Beside Zanaida (posted above), I recently listened to la Clemenza de Scipione, but in term of recorded operas of J.-C. Bach, my clear favorite is this Amadis de Gaule.  There is so much energy in it, it is a truely uplifting moment for me.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51dlM7SNPzL._SY400_.jpg)
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Spineur on January 23, 2018, 04:23:48 PM
Dug out this version of Orfeo ed Euridice with Franco Fagioli as Orfeo and Laurence Equilbey directing the insula orchestra on period instruments



This music of Gluck is so dramatic that it becomes thrilling.  The mixing of the Viennese and Paris versions is a strange idea especially considering the cuts made.  But I enjoyed it for the score and the commited performance.
Title: Re: # Opera from the Galant & Classical Era #
Post by: Que on November 14, 2020, 05:24:22 AM
Listening now, after it lingered unopened on my shelves for quite a while:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81iRIH2y4UL._SS500_.jpg)

An opera seria from 1765, premiered in Mannheim, by Neapolitan composer Gian Francesco de Majo (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gian_Francesco_de_Majo).

Q

PS  This has been really interesting and enjoyable!  :)
De Majo was very orginal and innovative and Mozart was very complimentary on his music. And listening to this you can tell why and you will hear little motives and techniques that will sound oddly familiar.
A review on Amazon complains about two things: the fact that this is a "cut" version without the recitatives and the quality of the performance. Well, if you read the notes you'll find that all the recitativi secci were lost. So was the overture, but that has been replaced by one from another opera. I find the performances by the solists and the orchestra more than adequate. Given the quality the music, a star studded performance would obviously do well,  but there is plenty to enjoy even if the orchestpa occasionally sounds a bit "rustic". The opera was written for the court orchestra in Mannheim, so the scoring includes horns - a treat.  :)

Gian Francesco de Majo wrote 17 operas before he succumbed to tuberculosis at 38 years old.
Judging from this recording, record companies have plenty of treasures to dig out.