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All notes written by Bellini are there ...,
This review is from: Bellini: Il Pirata (Opera Rara: ORC45) (Audio CD)
All notes written by Bellini have been recorded in this production by Opera Rara. This is by far the best criterion to purchase this CD set. The conductor David Parry has his merits in particular in also asking the singers to respect the foreseen ornaments in arias and duos.
However, after listening to other recordings by Rescigno (Callas etc, EMI), Gavazzeni (Caballe etc, EMI), or Rossi (DeCavalieri(McKnight) etc, RAI), one finds out what is missing here: "brio". The most striking example is perhaps the duo Imogene/Ernesto from Act 2: thanks to Rescigno's know-how in the Callas live-recording, Callas and the mediocre Constantino Ego manage to perform a fantastic stretta, although most of Ego's solo parts are omitted. You will not recognize this scene in Parry's recording. Of course Tezier sings the notes that Ego is unable to produce, but otherwise there is no brio at all.
Among the singers, only Jose Bros is really disappointing. In earlier recordings together with Edita Gruberova his voice is still intact; here he is beyond his repertoire, the role requires a more spinto-type tenor with "agilita" (difficult to find, of course), not a tenorino. Apart from this, his former strength, the high tessitura, is spoiled.
Ludovic Tezier is the first baritone who sings all notes written for the difficult role of Ernesto, which requires both the flexibility of a Rossini baritone and the power of a Verdi baritone. The latter quality is not (yet) his strength, at least he cautiously avoids forte where it would be adequate. Somewhat, his interpretation, not his purely vocal performance, remains one-dimensional.
Carmen Giannattasio is a convincing Imogene, she masters all difficulties of this role of the type "soprano d'agilita' ", although her voice has no real beauty. With a better conductor she could have delivered an outstanding performance here.
In summary, with this recording you will learn what Bellini has written, but not find out how good that can sound. For this you need to listen to Rescigno, to Gavazzeni, and not to forget to Rossi, and to have the imagination how they could have performed the missing music.