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Mercadante: I Normanni a Parigi [Highlights] CD


Price: £14.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£14.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Mercadante: I Normanni a Parigi [Highlights] + Ricci: Corrado d'Altamura [Highlights]
Price For Both: £29.88

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Product details

  • Performer: Judith Howarth, Barry Banks, Riccardo Novaro, Katarina Karnéus, Graeme Broadbent, et al.
  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Stuart Stratford
  • Composer: Saverio Mercadante
  • Audio CD (1 Nov. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: OPERA RARA
  • ASIN: B00444OGOY
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,535 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I Normanni a Parigi, (Highlights) - Various Performers

Product Description

In this popular series of new, specially recorded highlights, Opera Rara selects the best moments from neglected 19th-century operas. Each single-disc set is accompanied by a complete libretto, allowing the listener to place the selections in the context of the whole opera. Opera Rara continues to explore the fascinating figure of Saverio Mercadante with this world premiere recording of substantial highlights from I Normanni a Parigi, written for Turin in 1832. With Rossini in retirement, Mercadante was then in competition with Bellini and Donizetti for the crown of Italian opera. As this work demonstrates, he was easily in the running. Mercadante expert Michael Rose describes it as one of the highlights of this period, scoring a triumph at its premiere before circulating widely. The libretto (by Felice Romani, the finest practitioner of the art in his day) is set in Paris, following the death of the mighty King Charlemagne, with the city threatened and eventually besieged by Norman invaders. The complex plot centres on Charlemagnes widow, Berta (sung by Judith Howarth), who was previously secretly married to Ordamante (Riccardo Novaro) in a relationship that produced her equally secret son, Osvino (Katarina Karnéus), now guarded by the loyal Odone (Barry Banks). When Ordamante leads the Normans against the Carolingian forces, father and son are pitted against each other, though the latter initially knows nothing of their relationship. The scene is set for personal and political drama of the highest order in this gripping drama from the heart of the bel canto repertoire. This is the seventh opera in the Essential Opera Rara series and, once again, a vivid impression of the work is captured on a single disc, accompanied by a complete libretto and article by the eminent 19th century musical scholar, Jeremy Commons.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Compton on 12 Nov. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I have been anticipating this recording for a while. This was a great success when first premiered, and at a first listening you realise why. This fully deserved to be a full recording.
Opera Rara as always have done this recording full justice, the disappointment is that it is only the highlights. I understand that a full recording would probably extend to 3 discs, and you are at the state of what great music are we missing?
The singing is sublime, and although I am not yet fully conversant with the plot, the music stirs the soul to make the hairs stand up. There is a full libretto, and I believe we have the best.
I now have 13 Mercadante recordings, and wait for more.
I understand there is a recording of Don Chisciotte out there, but I am unable to find it, can anyone help?
After playing this now for more than 10 times, I am yearning for more. Buy this - you will not be disappointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Mercandante, a master of melody and rich orchestration 31 Oct. 2012
By George M. Meiser - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you like Donizetti, Verdi, Bellini, and Pacini, you will enjoy ALL the Mercandante operas. Unlike so many of the newer composers, Mercandante really knew how to write a memorable melody and create choruses that will set you hair on fire. And like Pacini, another of the great Italian composers of his era, his orchestrations are full and rich. Check Amazon's listings for all the operas by
Pacini and Mercandante; there isn't a dud among them. The crime is that the Met
has done none of their works, which is its loss. Be aware this is a highlights--one CD--presentation. I'd have preferred the entire opera, but this is what there is, so go for it.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Much glorious bel canto music mostly supurbly sung 20 Jan. 2012
By John Cragg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This opera shows off some of Mercadante's best music. Written to a really rotten libretto, from the point of the drama, which is overlong, rests too much on the pre-story and at times does not make much sense. Of course, this does not distinguish it from a lot of other bel canto operas, many of them quite well known. The opera enjoyed considerable success for about five years and then was occasionally performed for another 20 or so years before disappearing from theaters completely. That disappearance is understandable, but as a result a lot of very exciting music is being ignored.

That neglect is largely rectified by Opera Rara's highlights disc. By and large, the singing is excellent, though unfortunately not consistently so. Judith Howard in particular suffers some unfortunate breakdowns in technique, tone and possibly pitch. The conducting of a very good orchestra and chorus is first class, though sometimes it seems to be trying to overly heighten the drama, possibly because this is a highlights production. The recording usually has a rather remote acoustic for the singers with the orchestra a bit too prominent for my tastes. But otherwise, the recording is first-rate. As usual for Opera Rara, there is a very informative booklet essay be Jeremy Commons together with the complete libretto.

Overall, despite the weaknesses, a very well worth while addition to the recordings of Mercadante's operas
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