Three important pieces of music, loosely linked by the programmatic theme of "exile" are addressed by Camerata Bern under the direction of Thomas Zehetmair. "Verklärte Nacht" is the second ECM New Series appearance for the distinguished ensemble, who previously recorded music of Sándor Veress for the label. Here, too, Veress's attractive "Transylvanian Dances bridge compositions by two of the great architects of modern music, Arnold Schönberg and Béla Bartók.
Rossini's wonderful comic opera, written when he was only 21, to an Italian libretto by Angelo Anelli, was first performed in Venice on May 22, 1813. Since then audiences have thrilled to such mezzos as Teresa Berganza and Marilyn Horne, in the title role of Isabella, the Italian girl who torments the Pasha into loving his own wife. Here rising star Christianne Stotijn, a BBC Young Generation Artist, moves into new repertoire in this production from Aix-en Provence, 2006, conducted by Rossini specialist Riccarda Frizza and directed by Toni Servillo.
This is a highly original and fitting adaptation with two really excellent leads (the Perrys) and of course, the always excellent Lorraine Hunt (pre-Lieberson) as Elvira. Zerlina is very enjoyable. But, Donna Anna and Don Ottavio disappoint. Donna Anna has some good moments, but is uneven. Ottavio is just poor, well out of his league vocally…S. J McKenna .