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Lampe: Pyramus and Thisbe

John Frederick Lampe , Peter Holman , Opera Restor'd , Rachel Brown , Mark Padmore , et al. Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Performer: Rachel Brown, Mark Padmore, Susan Bisatt, Michael Sanderson
  • Orchestra: Opera Restor'd
  • Conductor: Peter Holman
  • Composer: John Frederick Lampe
  • Audio CD (16 Jun 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B000002ZV9
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 203,427 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Vivace - Rachel Brown
2. Adagio - Rachel Brown
3. Allegro - Rachel Brown
4. Prologue - Michael Sanderson/Arwel Treharne/Peter Milne/Alan McMahon/Jack Edwards
5. Overture: Allegretto - Adagio e piano - Alan McMahon/Peter Milne/Michael Sanderson
6. Allegro - Alan McMahon/Peter Milne/Michael Sanderson
7. Poco presto - Affetuoso - Poco presto - Alan McMahon/Peter Milne/Michael Sanderson
8. Air (Wall) 'The wretched sighs and groans' - Jack Edwards/Alan McMahon/Peter Milne/Mark Padmore
9. Air (Pyramus) 'And thou, O wall' - Mark Padmore
10. Aria 'O wicked wall' - Mark Padmore/Alan McMahon/Peter Milne/Susan Bisatt
11. Air 'Fly, swift good time' - Susan Bisatt/Mark Padmore
12. Whispering duetto 'Not Shafulus' - Susan Bisatt/Mark Padmore
13. Duetto 'I go without delay' - Susan Bisatt/Mark Padmore/Michael Sanderson/Alan McMahon/Jack Edwards...
14. Air 'Ladies don't fright you' - Andrew Knight/Alan McMahon/Jack Edwards/Peter Milne/Arwel Treharne
15. Air 'The man in the moon I am, sir' - Arwel Treharne/Alan McMahon/Jack Edwards/Susan Bisatt
16. 'Where is my love, my Pyre dear' - Susan Bisatt/Andrew Knight/Alan McMahon/Jack Edwards
17. Arioso 'Sweet moon, I thank thee' - Mark Padmore
18. Air 'Approach, ye furies fell' - Mark Padmore/Alan McMahon/Jack Edwards
19. Air 'Now I am dead' - Mark Padmore/Alan McMahon/Jack Edwards/Peter Milne/Susan Bisatt
20. Air 'These lily lips' - Susan Bisatt/Alan McMahon/Jack Edwards/Peter Milne
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Product Description

HYP 66759; HYPERION - Inghilterra;

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining historial document! 26 Feb 2005
This "mock opera" (1745) by John Frederick Lampe (born winter 1702-03 as Johann Friedrich Lampe in Saxony) ridicules the fight between Italian and English opera in 18th century London: in the prologue, the opera director meets two gentlemen one of whom has just been to Italy -- both of them are of course convinced that only an Italian opera can be true opera delight. The opera director then wants to convince them of the opposite in what follows.
While the arias are written in best Handelian tradition (Lampe was bassoon player in Handel's orchestra), offer wonderful Baroque music, and make fun of the Italian tendency to employ coloratura over dramatically unimportant words, one can follow the debate between the opera director and the two gentlemen in the recitatives. Usually, the two gentemen either yawn or scoff at mistakes in the staging ("This is the greatest error of all the rest!").
A first taste of this English sarcasm is offered already in the prologue in whose end the two gentlemen make fun of the performance of one of the singers:
"1st gent: This fellow does not stand upon his points.
2nd gent: He has rid the prologue like a rough colt: he knows neither stop nor cadence.
1st gent: Indeed, he has played on this prologue like a child on a recorder -- in sound but not in government."
Overall, a very entertaining historical document which is not just a well-done opera buffa about Ovid's lovers Pyramus and Thisbe in its own right, but which also illustrates the fight between Italian and English opera in 18th century London which Handel himself had to experience towards the end of his life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great example of English humor 14 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Since you've stumbled upon this site, let me try to persuade you to buy this disc. You won't be sorry. Pyramus & Thisbe is very enjoyable. First of all, it is superbly sung and played. But there is more. The plot itself deserves mention because it makes a pitch for English-language opera, thus falling in line with the present day movement which advocates staging famous operas in English translation. In brief, Pyramus & Thisbe is a musical parody on Italian opera, embedded into a spoken mini-play in which two English musicians are attempting to persuade their third colleague who had just returned from Italy that Britain has as much to offer by way of high brow entertainment as does Italy. The two advocates of home-grown opera thus present the haughty Italophile with the opera of their own creation. By the end the critic becomes persuaded; and the characters of the opera step out of their roles and express a wish that we, the audience, become persuaded too. It is hard to resist this humorous plea! NB: there are other English operas which were recently restored and recorded. E.g. Dibdin's Ephesian Matron (grotesquely funny!!) and Arne's Alfred. If you find them, buy both.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A voice teacher and early music fan 1 Jan 2006
By George Peabody - Published on Amazon.com
LAMPE LIGHTS A VERITABLE BLAZE UNDER SHAKESPEARE AND THE RESULT IS CHARMINGLY HUMOROUS!!!!

Very little is known of the early life of John Frederick Lampe,other than that he was born in 1702 and came from Saxony. Lampe's career as a composer was owed largely to his friendship with the poet and musician Henry Carey. In fact Carey wrote a quatrain in his honor in 1726:'Call not my LAMP obscure, because unknown, He shines in secret (now) to Friends alone;Light him but up! let him in publick blaze, He will delight not only but amaze'.

'The story of Pyramus and Thisbe comes from Book IV of Ovid's 'Metamorphoses',and was familiar to readers thruout Europe from Classical times. Lampe's version of Pyramus and Thisbe is a reworking of the play acted by the 'rude mechanicals'in Act V of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream, with the satire turned from playwrights and actors to Italian opera and opera singers. Lampe himself leaves out the rehearsal that occurs prior to the performance. The onstage audience is changed from the Athenian court to 2 unnamed gentlemen. The silly comments they make thruout the performance are largely drawn from Shakespeare.

I would like to make mention of the two excellent leads namely Mark Padmore and Susan Bisatt whose voices are so well suited to this little opera! Bisatt sings in a light lilting manner with just a touch of pathos at the appropriate times and has lovely high notes. I own many of Padmores'CDs and I think he is one of the finest tenors to come along from England. His voice can take on any quality and is certainly convincing in the death scene in this opera. He does it ultra-dramatically but it remains humorous to the end!

The recording actually begins with Lampe's only surviving independent orchestral work,the G major concerto for flute, strings and continuo. It has been included to represent the sort of orchestral music that was routinely played in the London theatres before plays began and as interval music.

The disc is accompanied by an informative booklet in German, French and English; the text is included in English.
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