A live performance from the Teatro Lirico “Giuseppe Verdi” of Trieste under the direction of conductor Paolo Arrivabeni. Cast features Daniella Barcellona, Charles Workman, and Daniela Pini.
Mention Giacomo Puccini's name and opera-lovers all over the world will think of grand opera and passionate love stories. One of the world's most famous arias comes from the composer's final opera, Turandot: "Nessun dorma" none shall sleep because by morning the Chinese princess is determined to have discovered the name of the unknown prince. The work is remarkable for its Chinese local colour, its opulent crowd scenes, its powerful choruses and its characters overwhelmed by their emotions. Enthusiastically acclaimed by its audiences, the present production combines spectacular and touching scenes on the Bregenz Festival's vast lakeside stage.
While the connection between Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu was established back in 2006, their partnership truly blossomed with Alma (Ota Music, 2012), a beauty of an album with a soft sell approach. That record—quite possibly the most moving item in either man's discography—prioritized heart over all else, and this follow-up date follows suit.
Tutto Buffo, Paolo Bordogna's debut solo release on Decca, is a generous collection of comic bass-baritone arias by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni, and Nino Rota. Accompanied by the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini under Francesco Lanzillotta, Bordogna gives an engaging recital that emphasizes the exceptional vocal skills required to make these roles truly musical and not just parts played for laughs.
Paolo Fresu's Songlines/Night & Blue is a beautiful performance by a musician who does not feel compelled to prove himself with pyrotechnics. Instead, on this two-disc set, the Italian trumpeter prefers speaking his piece with lush melodies and a rich full horn sound, supported by an exceptional quartet. Being an Italian album, it seems appropriate to use a few musical terms. The entire affair, around 140 minutes in length, is taken sostenuto (smoothly), with a pace that slides between adagio (slowly) and andante (walking), but never goes much faster than that. But this down-tempo consistency should not be confused with sloth. Everything here is tightly played, with some real intensity from the musicians; it's just not going to wake the neighbors with frenetic thunder.