The Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini, which has been devoting itself to the research and performance of Pergolesi‘s music for years now, had his operas recorded live at the annual Music Festival in Jesi. Released on this BD are two productions from Jesi of one almost forgotten opera, Il prigionier superbo, and one of Pergolesi’s most popular works, La serva padrona, combined like they were at the original premiere.
Pergolesi’s first opera “La Salustia” is filled with emotions and dramatic elements. It portrays the battle of two women, their struggle for power and justice. Further, it is the story of failing deceitful plots and mistrust. Young French director Juliette Deschamps, known for various opera productions in Jesi, made the old story come alive on a stage that suggests an ancient palace with large windows, later on the coliseum. The cast features well-loved Pergolesi interpreters such as Serena Malfi, Laura Polverelli or Vittorio Prato. The Accademia Barocca de I Musici Italiani, well-known for productions in historic performance practice, are led by Corrado Rovaris.
Il Prigionier Superbo is a three-act opera seria with six characters — two kings, two princes, two princesses. La Serva Padrona is a two-part comic intermezzo with two singing characters — master and servant. It was performed between Prigionier's acts when they bowed in 1733, as Naples theaters reopened after earthquake-forced closure. Prigionier vanished from the stage, but Serva Padrona grew popular, helped establish opera buffaand helped start a pamphlet war between Italian and French opera supporters in Paris… MARK MANDEL
Once known for his stately grand operas Gaspare Spontini posthumously surprised posterity with a light-hearted “commedia per musica” that was found at an antiquarian book dealer in England in 2006 and performed for the first time since 1800 at the Festival Pergolesi e Spontini in Jesi, Italy. With its motoric ensembles, intensifying rhythmic repetitions, and imaginative play with word fragments, La fuga in maschera anticipates Rossini at his best. Known for their historically informed performances, I Virtuosi Italiani is considered as “one of the most dynamic and able-bodied ensembles in the international musical world” (Milano Finanza).
A rare recording of Pergolesi’s second opera, a comic and colourful tale of tangled love in which three girls resist their arranged marriages in pursuit of the same young man. Rediscovered by conductor Riccardo Muti, this forgotten jewel sparkles in its 1989 period production..
Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, his achingly lovely swan song, was most likely written with two male singers in mind. Yet it's not often recorded that way, and the present release, with a genuine male soprano and alto, represents something rarer still, perhaps because not a lot of male singers can pull off the higher ranges convincingly without belting. Both the singers are billed as countertenors on the album, but Romanian-born Valer Barna-Sabadus, who looks like he just stepped out of a rock & roll dive, is a true soprano. Check out his soaring lines in the "Cujus animan," track 2, for the real news on this album. It's not that he delivers operatic power; plenty of countertenors can do that. It's the lightness and balance – even a certain soberness – that fit the work to its intended church ambiance.
A rare recording of Pergolesi's second opera, a comic and colourful tale of tangled love in which three girls resist their arranged marriages in pursuit of the same young man. Rediscovered by conductor Riccardo Muti, this forgotten jewel sparkles in its 1989 period production.
The legendary Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi was born 300 years ago, in 1710. To mark the anniversary, Naïve re-issues three renowned recordings to feature his choral music, in a specially-priced box set, headed by the Gramophone award-winning version of his Stabat Mater by Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano, considered one of the best ever recorded…
Also featured in the bargain “3 for the price of 1” set are other short pieces by Pergolesi, plus more by Alessandro Scarlatti and Leonardo Leo.