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An Italian Songbook
     

An Italian Songbook

by James Levine
 
Gioacchino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Vincenzo Bellini have taken their rightful places in the pantheon of great opera composers. Given the revered status of these masters, it's something of a mystery why their songs are still overlooked. While none of these ditties may match the profundity of the greatest Schubert lieder, they have their own soul-stirring

Overview

Gioacchino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Vincenzo Bellini have taken their rightful places in the pantheon of great opera composers. Given the revered status of these masters, it's something of a mystery why their songs are still overlooked. While none of these ditties may match the profundity of the greatest Schubert lieder, they have their own soul-stirring charms, especially when they're performed with such proselytizing zeal as they are here. Cecilia Bartoli obviously adores the sheer tunefulness of this music, gracefully slipping her voice into the perfectly-molded melodic contours -- like Cinderella stepping into her fabled slippers. Met Opera maestro James Levine, truly the hardest- working man in show business, sets aside his baton to accompany Bartoli on the piano with elegance and élan.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
For an operatic superstar, Cecilia Bartoli has invested an unusual amount of energy into the musicological pursuit of researching (and then performing) obscure repertoire, particularly of the Italian Baroque and Romantic eras. In this release, she brings to light songs by Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, composers known almost exclusively for their operas. Each was a prolific song composer, but few of their works in this genre are known, and only a handful are published in modern editions. The songs represented here are mostly fairly simple strophic songs, but they reflect the same gift for melody and penchant for florid vocal display that characterized their operas. In fact, many of these songs could be slipped into their operas without causing any sense of stylistic or aesthetic disruption. Among the most striking are Bellini's haunting "L'abbandono," Donizetti's boisterous "Me voglio fà 'na casa," Rossini's manic "La danza," and his profound and moving "A ma belle mère." Bartoli delivers the music with her characteristic gusto and full commitment, which, while it may not always result in technically immaculate performances, always packs a visceral punch. James Levine provides a chaste, subdued, and immaculate piano accompaniment. The sound is clear and clean, but seems just a little close.
Gramophone
The transforming power of imagination is rarely shown so clearly.... From the very first bars it feels that something special among Bartoli’s many fine recordings have come into being here with these two distinguished artists in association.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/16/1997
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0028945551326
catalogNumber:
5036219
Rank:
129912

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Aragonese, for voice & piano (Péchés de vieillesse, book 11), QR iv/44
  2. Vaga luna, che inargenti, song for voice & piano
  3. Il barcajuolo ("Voga, voga, il vento tace"), for voice & piano
  4. Ah, rammenta, o bella Irene, cavatina for voice & piano
  5. L'abbandono (L'ultima veglia), for mezzo-soprano & piano
  6. La passeggiata ("Or che di fiori adorno"), for voice & piano
  7. Malinconia, ninfa gentile for voice & piano (6 ariette da camera)
  8. Amore e morte ("Odi d'un uom che muore"), arietta for voice & piano
  9. L'invito ("Vieni o Ruggiero"), song (bolero) for voice & piano (Soirées Musicales)
  10. La conocchia ("Quann'a lo bello mio voho parlare"), song for voice & piano
  11. Il fervido desiderio, for voice & piano
  12. Torna vezzosa Fillide, for soprano & piano
  13. Vanne, o rosa fortunata, for voice & piano (6 ariette da camera)
  14. Dolente immagine di figlia mia, for voice & piano
  15. La farfalletta, song for voice & piano
  16. A ma belle mère (Requiem eternam), for piano in A major (Péchés de vieillesse, book 11), QR xi/58
  17. Per pietà, bell' idol mio, for voice & piano (6 ariette da camera)
  18. Amor marinaro ("Me voglio fà na casa"), canzonetta napoletana for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  19. L'esule ("Qui sempre ride in cielo"), for voice & piano (Péchés de vieillesse, book 3), QR iv/25
  20. La danza. Tarantella Napolitana ("Già la luna è in mezzo al mare"), for voice & piano (Soirées musicales)

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