Domenico Cimarosa: Overtures

Domenico Cimarosa: Overtures

by Alessandro Amoretti
     
 
In his 52 years, eighteenth century Italian composer Domenico Cimarosa left behind an astounding 65 operas and that was not through sheer industriousness but to meet demand; in terms of Italian opera, Cimarosa was the biggest fish in the pond -- even bigger than Mozart was. Only one of his operas has gained a foothold in the repertory, "Il

Overview

In his 52 years, eighteenth century Italian composer Domenico Cimarosa left behind an astounding 65 operas and that was not through sheer industriousness but to meet demand; in terms of Italian opera, Cimarosa was the biggest fish in the pond -- even bigger than Mozart was. Only one of his operas has gained a foothold in the repertory, "Il matrimonio segreto"; perhaps a half-dozen others have been recorded in some way or another. A good way to connect with an opera that you cannot otherwise hear is through listening to its overture, and Naxos' Domenico Cimarosa: Overtures I presents 12 of them in freshly scrubbed editions prepared by Artaria Editions performed by the Hungarian Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia under the direction of Alessandro Amoretti. The Esterházy Sinfonia founded as a recording orchestra for Naxos; past issues has turned in performances of Haydn, Beethoven, and Vanhal that range from good to great. This disc is more toward the "good" side of the dial as they are serviceable performances that represent the letter of Cimarosa's music without being in themselves particularly imaginative. Compared to Mozart's opera overtures, or to others of the same period, most of these works have charm and some lilt but are pretty cut and dried. One would expect the overture to Cimarosa's "Cleopatra" to be faintly exotic in character, given the subject, her locale, and historical value. Rather it is just faster in tempo than most of the other overtures; with the equivalent of about eight measures containing some typically "Turkish" features being the only exploration of "Cleopatra" beyond that. The opera overture in the eighteenth century was a changeling; Johann Christian Bach tended to add pre-fabricated overtures to his operas, rotating them when necessary, and Cimarosa himself is identified here as utilizing several different overtures for the same opera. As orchestral music, these overtures are good -- pleasant, vibrant, and infectiously rhythmic, but no one would confuse them with being great orchestral music on their own terms; nor are they lame -- just middle ground works that might appeal to fanciers of the Classical-era stage and fans of the eighteenth century symphony, but probably to few others. This is a lower priced reissue of a disc originally issued on Marco Polo in 2002; as it is designated with a volume number, perhaps this indicates a follow-up is in the works.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/28/2007
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313050871
catalogNumber:
8570508
Rank:
132949

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Volodimiro, opera: Overture
  2. La baronessa Stramba, opera: Overture
  3. Le Stravaganze del Conte, opera: Overture
  4. Il Matrimonio Segreto, opera: Overture
  5. L'infedeltà fedele, opera: Overture
  6. Il ritorno di Don Calandrino, opera: Overture
  7. Il falegname, opera: Overture
  8. La Cleopatra, dramma serio: Overture
  9. Il convito, opera: Overture
  10. La Vergine Del Sole, opera: Overture
  11. Il credulo, opera: Overture
  12. L'impresario in angustie, opera: Overture

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