Les Vêpres Siciliennes is one of Verdi’s misunderstood operas. It is usually presented to audiences today as I vespri Siciliani - that is, in a clumsy and pedestrian Italian translation and as such gives a false representation of Verdi’s original concept. This opera was composed for the Paris Opera to a libretto by Eugene Scribe, one of the greatest poets of the day and Charles Duveyrier. Verdi embraces the French idiom – the musical forms, the orchestration, the vocal writing – with the same grandeur and sense of occasion as Rossini and Meyerbeer before him. Certainly to give an opera in translation is no crime but to continually deprive the public of this particularly beautiful marriage of text and music is close to criminal. This is the third in the Verdi Originals series and this BBC recording of the opera finally restores the original French libretto.
The best thing about this CD of keyboard works from Spain and Central and South America is the warm, close sound, not what is normally heard from a harpsichord recording. It is as warm as the instrument's red and gold paintwork. The worst thing about the recording is the impression that there is little variation in tempo from work to work. The mix of pieces covers a wide period of time, stretching from the late Renaissance to the early Classical period. And the works are actually a mixture of tempo markings. What gives the impression of little difference, however, is Mario Videla's relatively strict, sometimes plodding, playing. There isn't enough of a difference between his Allegros and his Largos, and he seems to use ritards only at the very end of pieces, rarely using any kind of rubato to create interest within phrases.
Mario Panseri was an Italian composer and musician born in Rome in 1945. His first self-titled album was released on RCA in 1970. In 1973 came the album "Adolescenza", a suite of music crossing into the progressive realm inspired by a novel called Agostino by writer Alberto Moravia. The critically acclaimed album Adolescenza is a moving piece of music in the soft-prog field, music that will appeal to fans of the beautiful side of RPI rather than the difficult side. Gentle vocals, flute, beautifully played piano and acoustic guitars sparkle throughout. Occasionally a band sound comes in with some electric lead guitar and the bass/drumming will be very tight and well mixed.
Mario Biondi on a hunt for new talent introduces the "talent album: a unique project from the beloved artist who gives space in his new album for other artists, most of them just emerging. "Due" is a double cd of 20 songs (13 of them unreleased until now) featuring collaborations between the catanese crooner and twenty artists of the finest new jazz and talent from Italy and the world.
Hypnotic Beats (1990). The title "Hypnotic Beats", happily, doesn’t mean that this album, Schönwälder’s second since 1990, has something to do with modern rhythms, though, the music is more rhythmic than on its predecessor "The Eye Of The Chameleon". This recording has a great sequence, some nice rhythms, and, on top of this, a lot of atmosphere…