This is a welcome addition to my collection. These little gems sparkle and make me want to look at other Vivaldi pieces. It's time to go beyond the Four Seasons. These pieces show compositional variety, the playing is nuanced and exciting, and the SACD recording is superb.
Les Troyens is a tour de force that ranges from fiery military marches to intense choruses, passionate soliloquies and the lyrical love duets of Dido and Aeneas. For Hector Berlioz, librettist and composer, the opera became the work of decades and the passion of a lifetime, the culmination of his literary love affair with Virgil's Aeneid and with two tragic heroines, Cassandra and Dido. David McVicar's staging is on an enormous scale, assembling one of the largest casts ever seen at Covent Garden. The sweeping theme of the rise and fall of empires runs throughout Les Troyens, along with moving meditations on love and honour.
Sooner or later every aspiring Italian composer of worth wanted to make his debut at the Paris Opéra. The 1830s and 1840s were its golden age under the management of Veron. The musical pillars of the Paris establishment were Auber, Meyerbeer and Halévy. Together they developed opera to greater complexity and to a scale that had not been seen before.Robert J Farr
Stage Director Giancarlo del Monaco (the son of the famed dramatic tenor, Mario) flat-out rejects the notion that Cavalleria rusticana or Pagliacci should be performed with anything except each other. In an interview included on this Opus Arte Blu-ray release, del Monaco emphatically notes that these operas represent “the fundamental diptych of realist theater;” that they are “two sides of the same coin.” As with many other productions, del Monaco presents Pagliacci ’s Prologue before the Mascagni work, Tonio appearing in the midst of the audience to underscore that the verismo evening ahead is meant to connect to everyone’s real-world experience. A seamless integration of the two dramas is further highlighted when Turridu’s lifeless body is driven off the stage just as the first chords of Pagliacci are sounding.