Ethel Smyth: The Wreckers (BBC Philharmonic, Odaline de la Martinez, Anne-Marie Owens, Justin Lavender, Peter Sidhom et al, Conifer, 2CDs)
The main opera by Ethel Smyth (she wrote six). The overture was actually my first encounter with Smyth's works about 35 years ago, by its inclusion on an EMI CD coupled with British tone poems. The opera was completed in 1904. It is well worth hearing.
Apart from all of the cast being great singers, I loved how the composer captured the delightfully creepy quality. It feels very much like something you would listen to around Halloween, with an ominous, almost schizophrenic quality.Wonderful production. That was TV then, and that was opera without gimmicks. Sigh.
Quel ruscelletto che l'onde chiare or or col mare confonderà, nel mormorio del foco mio colle sue sponde parlando va.1. Endimione, Act I: Quel ruscelleto
I‘m curious about your impressions of those works (that I don’t know), would you put them on par almost with Mozart ?I have become a big fan of Salieri's operas, particularly Falstaff, La Scuola de' Gelosi, Tarare, Les Danaïdes and La grotta di Trofonio. Some fantastic music, and we are blessed with top record labels, conductors, orchestra and signers recording his works, finally.
I also love Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles and the new recording on the Versailles label is fantastic.
Leonardo Vinci's Artaserse in my opinion is one of the greatest, and certainly most fun, baroque opera. I also love Porpora's Germanico in Germania. Two gems.
Harnoncourt's recording of Schubert's Alfonso und Estrella is absolutely wonderful.
There are so many works, outside the main repertoire that are fantastic and if one doesn't venture outside, one misses out.
Have a look at:I‘m curious about your impressions of those works (that I don’t know), would you put them on par almost with Mozart ?
Les Danaïdes is terrific.
Bold and imaginative, from the stormy, turbulent, string-heavy overture to the tableau of the Danaides in Hell. The young Berlioz was blown away, and one can hear echoes of the final scene in La damnation de Faust. In between, there are massive choruses, great arias for the soprano, and a handful for her father and her lover.
If this is mediocrity, let's have more of it.
I wrote it up here: https://operascribe.com/2018/03/11/56-les-danaides-antonio-salieri/
The contemporary music public in Mozart's time knew what they were doing when they acknowledged Salieri as a worthy peer of the boy genius. Check out Les Danaides or Les Horaces if you are not familiar with his work. Maybe they don't reach the Olympian heights of Don Giovanni or La Nozze di Figaro - but they are at least on the level of Cosi Fan Tutte and better than some of the lesser Mozart operas IMO (and I like Cosi very much).
I've listened to Salieri's Falstaff. It isn't on a par, not even almost, with Mozart's best-known operas (I haven't heard most of his early ones), and it definitely can't stand alongside Verdi's comic masterpiece of the same name. It's pleasant, though, and might make for a good theatrical evening.I‘m curious about your impressions of those works (that I don’t know), would you put them on par almost with Mozart ?