So assuming you A. read the article below or B. already know about the work, you know that it's rarely performed and it hasn't been picked up by major houses like the Met. My question is, is the world ever going to get a quality recording of a staged William Tell? I know it's got a lot working against it, the tenor part is treacherously difficult, the baritone part is boring, it's four hours of uncut french madness..but it feels like something that deserves a staging.
I recently had the opportunity to venture to NYC and see Juan Diego Florez in Rossini's Le Comte Ory..the program said he was performing Arnold in Lima, Peru later this year. Could there possibly be a revival coming for the opera? Maybe the Met gauges its success and plans accordingly? Below, just for funsies, I've linked the aria from Act III by JDF in a recital and by Marcello Giordani in a staged production..the second can be painful to watch.
I like much more the dramatic operas by Rossini than his comic operas.
Semiramide is my favorite, and I like a lot Tancredi, Mosè in Egitto, La gazza ladra and Ermione.
And of course I love Guglielmo tell (I have the dvd from la Scala with Studer, Merritt and Zancanaro; Merritt has a very high and nice voice in this production, my cd is live from the same production)
I'm crazy with this duet, the duet is from the minute 11:00 "Ah Matilde io t'amo" From the La Scala production:
And Studer is fantastic here in this duet "Pel nostro amor non v'ha più speme" minute 6:40
Zancanaro in the famous "resta immobile" minute 6:40
Agree with the author that Tell is a thing apart from Rossini's other works. [To personalize this a bit]- you know, when I (as a Wagnerian) get tweaked with Rossini's (in)famous quote about Wagner's 'magnificent moments and dreadful half-hours,' I often counter-tweaked that such a quote came from the composer of this sprawl- sprawl that benefits from editing more than ANY of Wagner's ten canonical works. But really, that's "snark-snark" talk... and doesn't get us any closer to any mutual understanding.
Guillaume Tell occupies an orphan-place in the repertoire. I can see how fans of Rossini's comic masterpieces would view it as a very un-Rossini kind of work. Those enthused with broad canvases might be inclined to view it less favorably than works by composers who more frequently gravitated to those dimensions.
I'm sure that there are those who feel 'Tell' is the best thing Rossini ever did. There is an 'assessment parallel' elsewhere in opera. Every now and then, you hear someone argue that Verdi's Otello is the Best-- Opera-- Ever. You don't need to know much about opera to be exposed to the quote that Otello is Wagner's most successful work. But such claims, however spiritedly held, remain a minority view. Lots of Verdi fans view it as a departure from that which made Verdi great, and Wagner fans assert that it comes up short of Wagner's musical standards. [Perhaps a similar thing can be said of Schubert's 5th symphony, which its advocates view as Mozart made even more perfect- but seems to belong to a world not really Mozart and not quite yet Schubert as he's more widely understood.]
The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95