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Thread: Rossini on cd, DVD or Blurry.

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    Senior Member Revenant's Avatar
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    Default Rossini on cd, DVD or Blurry.

    Yes, Rossini, the seldom mentioned one, as far as I can tell. I'm scratching around, trying to dig myself out of mere knowledge of the Barber and isolated overtures and arias from other operas. So I'm getting the 1972 Guillaume Tell cd as I posted elsewhere. But are there other recordings or videos that our denizens would recommend to me and to other Rossini-deficient hopefuls?

    I've found these two items, which look interesting. If Abbado & co. did Rossini proud on the recordings in this compilation, it would be a steal at the price. The Cenerentola dvd merited some fine reviews.

    RossiniCE.jpg

    LaCenerentola.jpg

    Any comments, opinions, reviews, suggestions or even sterile wisecracks will be welcome.
    "No preluding! Piano pianissimo -- then all will be well." (Posted in the orchestra pit on August 13, 1876)

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    For a COMPLETE Barbiere, I recommend the Marriner on Philps
    The Abbado Cenerentola is a first choice.
    For L'Italiana get either the Varviso on Decca or the Cobos on Teldec which is absolutely complete.
    Il Viaggio was bettered by Abbado's later Sony recording.

    The DG box is a decent intro tho.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

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    Well, that's a long task, but also a very pleasurable one.

    In basic terms, Rossini's operas can be divided into seria and buffa, and there are around forty of them, counting pastiches. Up to some decades ago, the only ones that were usually performed were some buffa (especially Barbiere, of course, but also Italiana, Cenerentola and Turco) and Gillaume Tell. Then, Rossini Renaissance came to the rescue, the Pesaro Festival was created and today most of his operatic outcome is regularly performed all around the world, and there are recordings of just about everything.

    Of course, with so many operas, perhaps some decision needs to be taken about how to start. Clearly, one approach would just to start with the first one, and end with the last, but this could be a little bit daunting. So, this would be my personal recommendation, limiting myself to just eight operas, outside from Barbiere, 5 serias and 3 buffas, and in chronological order. I will link youtube productions, and then we can discuss discography of any opera, but as a first contact, I think it could be a good (and cheap) option:


    1.- Tancredi

    Rossini was still a young man, scarcely 21 years old, in 1813 when he wrote this wonderful opera, of a classical, pure beauty.

    Riccardo Frizza - Daniela Barcellona. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71cN6nFnYdk

    And then one can chase for the great Tancredis of Horne, Valentini Terrani or Podles.

    2.- L'Italiana in Algeri

    This is my preferred buffa from Rossini. Some funny stuff, with some fantastic numbers and elegant melodies.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLIUwoAbgFM

    3.- Il Turco in Italia

    Not as funny as L'Italiana, but every bit as great from a musical point of view:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikdl63DnMpA

    4.- La Cenerentola

    Not my personal preference, but it's a must:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuEUqwYNZ8Q

    5.- Armida

    Great singing was paramount here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eir3L1IJv00

    6.- La Donna del lago

    Based in Walter Scott, and a feast of irresistible music, and great singing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCaOC69k-eM

    7.- Semiramide

    A Rossini scholar said once: "Rossini wrote the best Baroque opera (Semiramide), the best Classical (Tancredi), the best buffa (Barbiere), the best Belcanto (Armida) and the best Romantic (Tell)". Well, this would be the Baroque one. And a great one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i25nplkHZmk

    8.- Guillaume Tell

    Another must.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NufaurLuCw

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    That Tell video is terrible.
    Picture and audio totally out of synch.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

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    Well, I watched this one myself live at Pesaro, many years ago. The performance was ok (with the traditional cuts), though nothing to write home about. If the synch is that bad, please feel free to point out any other complete Tell in youtube.

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    Senior Member Couac Addict's Avatar
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    Be mindful that Guillaume Tell is arguably one of Rossini's weaker operas.


    Try these recordings on for size...

    L'Italiana in Algeri - Lopez-Cobos/Lausanne Chamber
    La Cenerentola - Chailly/Bologna
    Semiramide - Bonynge/London Symphony
    Tancredi - Weikert/La Fenice
    La donne del lago - Pollini/Prague Philharmonic
    Le Comte Ory - Lopez-Cobos/Bolgna
    Il Turco in Italia - Chailly/La Scala
    La gazza ladra - Gelmetti/Turin Radio Symphony
    Ermione - Parry/London Philharmonic
    Guillaume Tell - Gardelli/Royal Philharmonic
    Mose in Egitto - Scimone/Philharmonia
    Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra - Masini/London Symphony

    (for anyone else who hasn't listened to Il barbiere di Siviglia) Galliera/Philharmonia

    ...should keep you going for a while.

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    Senior Member Couac Addict's Avatar
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    ...and then there's that other essential recording.

    http://vimeo.com/2909820

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    Quote Originally Posted by Couac Addict View Post
    La donne del lago - Pollini/Prague Philharmonic
    Couac Addict, are you serious

    La Cenerentola - Chailly/Bologna
    Couac Addict, are you serious

    Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra - Masini/London Symphony
    Couac Addict, are you serious

    Quote Originally Posted by Couac Addict View Post
    La donne del lago - Pollini/Prague Philharmonic
    Revenant, avoid this

    La Cenerentola - Chailly/Bologna
    Revenant, get some great Cenerentola first (Berganza/Alva/Abbado, for example)

    Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra - Masini/London Symphony
    Revenant, this is one of the last Rossini operas to listen and that's only if you want to know all of them (Rossini himself thought it's bad)

    Quote Originally Posted by Couac Addict View Post
    La donne del lago - Pollini/Prague Philharmonic
    La Cenerentola - Chailly/Bologna
    Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra - Masini/London Symphony
    Couac Addict, regards

    Quote Originally Posted by Couac Addict View Post
    La donne del lago - Pollini/Prague Philharmonic
    La Cenerentola - Chailly/Bologna
    Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra - Masini/London Symphony
    Revenant, regards

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    Senior Member Revenant's Avatar
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    Thank you all thanks for all those suggestions and the insights. I didn't know where to begin, but now I have an idea. You've all replied very considerately to my request. I've got my miner's hat on the ready now.

    Itullian, I'm glad that you believe that the compilation is good for starters and will help not only me but anyone else who reads this thread and is Rossini-curious like me.

    Schigolch, thank you for your extended and detailed recommendations and suggestions. You're right, a long if pleasurable task, that is why I'm initially focusing on a few introductory ones, also as you suggested. I ordered the 1972 Guillaume Tell last week and it should arrive in a couple of days. I will follow your list as I range wider and delve deeper into the impressive body of Rossini's oeuvre. To think this guy quit composing operas at 37!

    Couac and Aramis, thank you very much for your dueling aesthetic appreciation preferences. I was under the impression that Tell was considered a masterpiece, but apparently this too is disputed. I'll keep it in mind when the cd set arrives this week.

    As I wrote in my original post, I am not completely sensorily deprived when it comes to Rossini, as over the years I have listened to some selections from operas other than IBdS, including some with Callas from L'Italiana in Algeri and Semiramide. But no complete operas yet, aside from Barbiere. And of course, I'm well-versed on the immortal Rabbit of Seville.
    Last edited by Revenant; Jan-07-2014 at 17:06.
    "No preluding! Piano pianissimo -- then all will be well." (Posted in the orchestra pit on August 13, 1876)

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    Personal tastes set aside (myself, I don't like Tell that much, either), of course Guillaume Tell is a major opera, and it should be one of the main goals for any Rossinian exposure project, in my view. Three years ago, the great Rossinian expert Alberto Zedda conducted (in a concert performance) in Spain the version of the premiere in Paris (with a few cuts, but the cuts done by Rossini himself, like Jemmy's aria "Ah, que ton âme se rassure"), and it was really a wonderful experience, and with a superb Arnold sung by Gregory Kunde.

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    Senior Member Couac Addict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    Revenant, get some great Cenerentola first (Berganza/Alva/Abbado, for example)

    I have it because it's worth having for Berganza and Alva. The former showing technical brilliance but you still need the right person on the tiller and Abbado isn't that person in my opinion. He barnstorms through the entire score.
    Conductor/orchestra is always my first priority.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Couac Addict View Post
    Conductor/orchestra is always my first priority.
    Strange, then, that you've recommended La Donna del Lago incompetently conducted by a piano virtuoso who wanted to try doing opera.

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Tell IS a masterpiece.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

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    Senior Member Revenant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    Tell IS a masterpiece.
    Tell it like it is, Itullian.
    "No preluding! Piano pianissimo -- then all will be well." (Posted in the orchestra pit on August 13, 1876)

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    Senior Member Revenant's Avatar
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    If it be heresy, so be it. Although singing a bit out of the fach for the role, I much prefer this version of Largo al factotum to Bug Bunny's. This was the early Woody, before the cartoon quality and comedy declined. The early Woody was a psychopath's psychopath and practically a Jungian archetype, although I may be reading too much into it.

    "No preluding! Piano pianissimo -- then all will be well." (Posted in the orchestra pit on August 13, 1876)

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