lunedì 23 giugno 2014

A.Scarlatti - Intermezzi

38 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 112Mb

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The comic operatic intermezzo sometimes seems to have sprung into being fully developed with Pergolesi's sparkling La Serva Padrona in the 1720s, but the practice of inserting a little comic scene between the acts of a serious work went back to the early days of opera and even before. This Hungarian release brings together a pair of intermezzi by Alessandro Scarlatti that have completely vanished from view. Neither is on the level of La Serva Padrona; Pericca e Varrone drags the flirtation out a bit too long, while Leonzio ed Eurilla cuts it off with a sharp ending that doesn't quite come off (situation comedies, from Seinfeld on back in time, don't do bitterness well). But the comedy in both comes through three centuries pretty much intact, and the disc as a whole suggests that this almost unknown genre is worth further investigation. These intermezzi, as well as others in the genre, are for just two singers (which by itself ought to commend the intermezzo to college voice departments and the like). There is a soprano, conventionally a quick-witted young woman of modest origins, and a buffo bass, who is not too swift. Usually the woman's goal is marriage, but in Leonzio ed Eurilla it is humiliation for the guy. The characters may be minor figures drawn from the cast of the surrounding tragic opera. The music follows the ebb and flow of the libretto's humor closely, rather than adhering to Baroque unity of affect, and the music raises the question of how deeply what we now know as Classical style is rooted in these little comedies. The vocalists aren't top-flight singers, but do have a feeling for comedy. In all this is another fresh recording for conductor Pál Németh and his Savaria Baroque Orchestra. Booklet notes are in English, French, German, and Hungarian, but the two libretti, given complete, are in Italian, English, and Hungarian only. ~ James Manheim, Rovi


Perricca e Varrone
(intermezzo from Scipione nelle Spagne)

Leonzio ed Eurilla
(intermezzo from Marco Attilio Regolo)

First recording

Pericca, Eurilla: Bernadett Wiedemann (mezzo-soprano)
Varrone, Leonzio: László Jekl (bass)
Agnes Várallyay (harpsichord)

Savaria Baroque Orchestra
dir.Pál Nemeth

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