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Armida (Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro 1993) Live, Box set, Import

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Oct. 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Live, Box set, Import
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B0000029L0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 672,881 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Armida: Sinfonia
2. Armida: Act One - N. 1 Introduzione: 'Lieto, ridente oltre l'usato' (Coro)
3. Armida: Act One - N. 1 Introduzione: 'Ah! no: sia questo' (Goffredo)
4. Armida: Act One - N. 1 Introduzione: 'Arditi, all'ire' (Goffredo, Coro)
5. Armida: Act One - Recitativo: 'Si, guerrieri' (Goffredo)
6. Armida: Act One - N. 2 Coro di Paladini: 'Germano, a te richiede' (Eustazio, Goffredo, Coro)
See all 27 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Armida: Act Two - N. 7 Coro di Furie: 'Ala voce d'Amida possente' (Coro)
2. Armida: Act Two - Recitativo: 'Sovr'umano potere' (Astarotte)
3. Armida: Act Two - N. 8 Coro: 'Di ferro e fiamme cinti' (Coro, Astarotte)
4. Armida: Act Two - N. 9 Duetto: 'Dove son io!' (Rinaldo, Armida)
5. Armida: Act Two - Recitativo: 'Mio ben, questa che premi' (Armida, Rinaldo)
6. Armida: Act Two - N. 10 Finale secondo: 'No; d'Amor la reggia e questa' (Armida, Rinaldo, Coro)
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Armida: Act Three - N. 11 Duetto: 'Come l'aurette placide'
2. Armida: Act Three - Recitativo: 'Oh quanto, amico'
3. Armida: Act Three - N. 12 Coro di Ninfe: 'T'inganni' - 'Qui tutto e calma'
4. Armida: Act Three - Recitativo: 'Fuggite, inferni mostri'
5. Armida: Act Three - N.13 Duetto: 'Soavi catene'
6. Armida: Act Three - Recitativo: 'O mio Rinaldo'
See all 16 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By George M on 16 Oct. 2010
Armida (Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro 1993)
This is a great performance by Miss Fleming which is what we always expect from her! All the tenors are great too as is the quality of the live recording.
I understand this to be a rarely performed opera due to the difficulty of the singing and the fact that such a large cast is required. However, I would add that as far as the role of Armida is concerned I have never heard anyone sing it with such bravura, passion, ferocity and vocal excelence as a live recording from 1952 with Maria Callas in the title role. I don't know if anyone will ever surpass this show stopping performance with unbelievable vocal acrobatics from Callas in her vocal prime. A recording of this is available for anyone interested but be warned that the sound quality is poor although voices are fairly well to the fore. Nevertheless Miss Fleming's rendition is admirable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Burning fury!!!! 13 April 2002
By adam,lorenzetti - Published on
In August 1992 I was working at the Rossini Opera Festival and I was very excited to meet Anna Caterina Antonacci who was supposed to sing Armida,one of my favourite operas.On August 1 around 12:00 pm. I receive a phone call from Antonacci's agent,cancelling the preformances. i was so disappointed I felt like crying,but we did have a double,her name was Renée Fleming a young and almost unknown american soprano.She was there the next day and rehearsed the aria "D'amor al dolce impero" at the piano. I must confess that loving Antonacci so much I had a prejudice against this young soprano,but when she opened her mouth it was like listening to a miracle, the beauty of her voice,her incredible technique and her amazing grasp of the Rossini style left me speechless and astonished. Needless to say she was wonderfull throughout the hole score and the preformances were flabbergasting,it was fortunate that they decided to record one of them so that everybody can enjoy this masterfull interpretation. After Callas' preformances in Florence in 1952 it seamed as though we had lost the real Armida voice,Christine Deutekom sang the part in the sixties,June Anderson in the eighties and Cecilia Gasdia recorded it in 1987 but each of these singers failed in recreating the true Rossini style.Armida is Rossini's third neapolitan opera wrote for his future wife Isabella Colbran one of the greatest opera divas of her time; born a contralto she gradually turned into a soprano and this switch left her with a very large vocal range and an incredible vocal agility. This particular vocal organization was to influence every opera wrote for her(10 all together,9 for the "Teatro San Carlo" in Naples and Semiramide wrote for the "teatro la Fenice" in Venice. Armida is probably one of the most difficult roles in opera history,the soprano is the only female role in the opera,she's almost always on stage and her voice is asked to run up and down the scale constantly with terrifying two octave jumps. The results achieved by Fleming in this live recording are astonishing excpecially considering she was at the beginning of her career,if you love Rossini and female voices you can't miss this Armida,pain,anguish,fury,cruelty,every emotion is portrayed with such artistry that the listener is thrown into a magical exceperience that will leave him speechless.If there is anybody who hasn't heard it yet I hope that this review will convince him. The rest of the cast is outstanding,Kunde is a valid partner for Fleming and Giorgio Gatti always finds the right tempos and the right atmosphere. Enjoy,enjoy,enjoy!!!!!
Adam Lorenzetti
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Best Available Recording 8 Jan. 2002
By pat_boyle_2001 - Published on
This is a live performance recording so it suffers from a certain amount of over resonance. That aside this is the one to get.
The Armida story has been made into nearly twenty operas. The Rossini is one of the last. It was a very popular libretto in th 18th century with works by Lully and Haydn. After Rossini only Dvorak wrote a major Armida opera again.
This piece is famous for requiring five or six tenors. Some of these parts only appear in one act so they were written to be doubled in performance. However it is also true that at the oppening performance the bass was ill and his role was covered by one of the tenors. Therefore if you don't like tenors - like say Richard Strauss - stay away for this opera.
The tenors here are all quite good. They have lovely voices, good muscianship and can sing the notes. This hasn't always been true. On the Callas recording Mario Fillepeschi, and Gianni Raimondi (both excellent in other repetoire) are lost in the fioratura.
Gregory Kunde is especailly noteworthy. He sings the Nozzari role altough he has a very different voice from Chris Merritt the Nozzari specialist.
The lead tenor part does not have an aria although some of the secondary tenor parts do. Kunde is a high note specialist. Most tenor voices thin out somewhat as they ascend. For example Pavarotti or Corelli had great success with there high notes but these notes were connected to their lower voice. There are a few others who have voices that explode into the high notes. Examplea include Leon Esclais, Pierre Duval, and even Franco Bonisolli. Kunde has this kind of voice. Down in the regular tenor range he sings very well but he sounds like a routine Mozart tenor or even a comprimario. Above the staff he hits some kind of a resonant node. He sounds better on a high C than a middle C. He is a very fine musician also.
Fleming is stupendous. I had no idea she could do this material this well. The opera is about 50% Armida and 50% all those tenors. Fleming dominates the procedings. This is a tour de force role. It is much bigger than say Semiramide. There is no seconda donna with whom to share the stage. Everything rests on the soprano. No one else today could match this performance.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Rossini: Armida 17 Feb. 2001
By Mr T.Dennis - Published on
I attended these Pesaro performances, and wish to inform potential buyers that the set preserves in fine sound really remarkable performances from all the principals of one of Rossini's most demanding and individual Neapolitan operas. On buying the CD's I wondered if my memories of the live performances had been true to form, and all I have to add is that they were thrillingly confirmed! When the vocal demands of this work are considered, the beauty, virtuosity and stylish panache of the singers deserve all the bravos they can get!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Buy This Recording 7 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
The story of Armida was very popular. As I remember there are something like 20 full length opera based on the plot. Rossini's was almost the last of them. There is of course the famous Armida by Haydn another by Lully, Gluck and Dvorak.
The Rossini version is also famous because it supposedly requires five tenors. In fact the tenors in the first act can come back as other newly introduced tenor characters in the last act. This is how it was originally done. Strangely at the premier the bass was sick and they had to substitute - you guessed it - another tenor. In this recording from the Pesaro festival there is no part doubling. Lots of tenors.
So did they find enough good tenors? In a word yes.
Gergory Kunde is a real find. It isn't a real big voice. He's sort of like a good not great Mozart tenor - say Kurt Streit - for most of his voice. Then there's the top. He has a sort of turbo charger above the break. This is of course nothing at all like the voice that Rossini was writing for. We know that Andrea Nozzari - the first Rinaldo - had great low notes and we suspect that the top was some kind of head voice. Maybe Nozzari sounded like Chris Merritt on the bottom nad Stanford Olsen on the top.
This is exactly the opposite of Kunde. Not much at the bottom but a top like Vesuvius. No matter, Kunde makes it work.
Strangely Rinaldo has no aria but don't worry he gets lots of duets and of course the famous trio for tenors.
The opera starts off with a giant scene for tenor and crusaders - recit, aria, and a cabaletta ending on a C. For anyone else this would be the climax of the show in the third act finale with the star tenor. In Armida its a curtain openner for a character who disappears shortly therafter. Donald Katsch is very good in this scene but we would like to hear Kunde.
The eponymous role was written for Rossini's squezze. She sings a lot. Many duets and the big aria 'Di Dolce Amor'. Fleming is worth a trip as they used to say in the travel business. Until I heard this recording I had consideredher a Puccini singer. I and the world now know, she is an everything singer. I like her better than Caballe in the aria. Her duet with Kunde in the first act is one of the excerpts I always play for friend, especially those who think Rossini is all patter and coloratura. That duet always reminds me of the similar duet in Les Troyans.
The sound is good but sometimes a little hollow. The tenor trio sadly is badly captured. The conducting and the musical preparation are all first class.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Halvor - Published on
The singing in this live performance is awfully good; the entire cast goes the extra mile to bring this interesting opera by Rossini to life. For example, listen to Renee Fleming--this is beautifully produced operatic singing, a voice you could easily fall in love with, especially in the lower register. Here, she is lush, voluptuous, and very musical. The Rinaldo, Gregory Kunde, is simply first-class. I would like to hear more of him. Another one of the six tenors in this opera is Donald Kaasch in the role of Goffredo. His voice is powerful on top, with an expressive midrange. However, he affects the idiosyncracy of "scooping" up to higher notes by as much as a fourth, a habit that is unsatisfactory. (If I were his voice coach, I'd get rid of that affectation post haste. It's annoying.) Another no-no that all of the soloists are guilty of is the embellishment of second stanzas of cabalettas. This is a practice Rossini loathed. (I don't mind a high C at the end in the exuberance of performance, though. There are plenty here.) The rest of the tenors and a couple of basses are just fine, and the orchestra and chorus of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna are led in a very lively performance by Daniele Gatti. This recording is high up on Halvor's Personal Favorites List and would probably be on yours, too. Four thumbs up!
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