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La Griselda

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 Oct. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Opera D'Oro
  • ASIN: B00005NNDQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,482 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

OPP 1308; OPERA D'ORO - Stati Uniti; Classica Lirica

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is wonderful music. Although arias from Alessandro Scarlatti's operas are quite well known as "arie antiche" and there are excellent recordings of his cantatas and oratorios, "Griselda" seems to be his only opera for which there is a complete recording available. According to Grove it is not even his best opera (that distinction is accorded to "Mitridate Eupatore").
Listening to this recording it is clear that Scarlatti had a strong influence on Handel and Mozart and deserves to be better known.
This live performance, which dates back to 1970 sounds a little old fashioned by today's "authentic" standards, but is certainly not anachronistic. The conductor was Nino Sanzogno and the lead singers are Mirella Freni, Luigi Alva and Rolando Panerai. They have certainly brought this forgotten music to life. The performance, in Naples, must have been an inspiring experience.
Alas, the technical quality of the recording is very poor. It is a shame that a proper recording was not made, but I suppose at the time there was no market for this composer's works. The leaflet which accompanies the CD is also very poor. There is no libretto and the list of tracks does not even identify who is singing what.
Rene Jacobs has recently performed "Griselda" and a recording will doubtless follow. It will be interesting to see how it compares with Sanzogno's interpretation.
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Format: Audio CD
A beautiful opera. A fantastic cast. Brilliant conducting. Dorothea Roeschmann as Griselda is mind-blowing. The Act one aria towards the end of the disc 1 in which she insults Ottone is unbelievable in the variation of the tone colour, true attack and brilliance of the legato at such a fast pace! But her 'Tiranna', in Act two, another attack on Ottone, reveals a master of the genre in Scarlatti, whom I hope now will be recognised as a true genius of the 18th century theatre. The singers who disappoint me a little are Kobie van Rensburg and Veronica Cangemi. Both sing securely but there isn't much charm for me in their performance. For me Van Rensburg never really creates a character you can believe in, but technically his singing is flawless, if somewhat boring. Cangemi on the other hand makes very little of her role, which was written for the star castrato Carestini making his debut with this role. So many ad libs and cadenzas added in by the composer fall by the way in this recording. A real pity. Costanza is really very sympathetic, but as I say Cangemi does not really tap into it completely. But coming back to the rest of the cast: Bernarda Fink as the young prince Roberto really surprises and sings as charmingly as you would wish this role to be interpreted. And Sylvia Tro Santafe as Ottone sings beautifully, but how I wish that Ewa Podles were cast in this role. But Ms Tro Santefe is no mean artist and always pleases in every aria. And Lawrence Zazzo as the King sings with dignity but I don't find the character's music as interesting as that of the others. Also, considering that this is the only studio recording of this work, by a major conductor (not to mention his cast); I wonder why so many cuts were made as disc 3 lasts just under 50 mins!Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x94fa8cc4) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9513e1a4) out of 5 stars Superb Recording of a Forgotten Masterpiece 30 Jan. 2004
By Music lover - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Scarlatti's Griselda received one performance in Rome and then basically disappeared until now. The libretto had been used many times over, after the manner of the times, by the likes of Bononcini and Vivaldi. It is a not particularly attractive story concerning the cruel and deceptive treatment of the heroine by her royal husband in order to prove her nobility of spirit to his subjects. However, it enabled Scarlatti to fashion a suprisingly beautiful and varied work.
The music throughout is first-rate and revelatory. Themes start one way and then go off in directions that were not anticipated. The orchestration is rich and interesting. And there are an unusual, for baroque opera, number of ensembles; duets, a trio, and a quartet.
This performance under Rene Jacobs is superb. All the singers acquit themselves well and sing with style and sensitivity. Roschman and Fink are particularly fine, but there are really no weak links. Orchestra is clear, crisp, and virtuosic. Recorded sound, packaging, booklet, all truly excellent. One of the best things to come out this year.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95254c0c) out of 5 stars A beautiful recording 14 April 2004
By Eeesh - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Alessandro Scarlatti was both the most celebrated vocal composer of his day, and one of the most prolific to ever live. In his lifetime (1660-1725) he composed nearly 700 cantatas and 66 operas. He was also far more famous then than his son Domenico, whose harpsichord sonatas today have all but completely eclipsed his father's works.
It is surprising to me that with all the recent interest in Baroque opera this recording has not become better-known. The entire cast (and Mirella Freni in particular) do a tremendous job, proving that La Griselda, Scarlatti's last and finest opera, really does deserve a place in the permanent repetoire. The entire work overflows with moments of breath-stopping beauty and resplendant melody (as in the aria da capo form that Scarlatti helped to popularize).
There are a few negatives, of course. Notably, the plot lacks a certain sense of dramatic motion (which is probably Scarlatti's biggest flaw in general), but this is typical of almost all Baroque operas. Also, the recording quality isn't too great. However, it does manage to capture the beauty and warmth of the singers, which is after all (in this opera at least) what's most important.
Really, at Opera d'Oro's low low price, I guarantee you will find this CD worth your money and time. Help bring this recording the attention it deserves.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98c6d3b4) out of 5 stars Delightful recording of a Baroque masterpiece 24 Nov. 2006
By Eric Erwin - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Finding a complete recording of any of Scarlatti's operas would be treat to any lover of Baroque opera. However, to find one with such a skillful and talented cast of singers under the direction of the redoubtable Rene Jacob is a true treasure. This profound and delightful recording, made in 2000, recreates Alessandro Scarlatti's final opera and thus gives modern listeners insights into the culminative genius of this great composer of the Baroque period. Dorothea Röschmann and Lawrence Zazzo (a counter-tenor of tremendous musical sensitivity and talent) sing the music of the two main characters beautifully, and the supporting cast (Veronica Cangemi, Silvia Tro Santafé, Bernarda Fink, and a fine tenor Kobie van Rensburg) provide interpretations of great depth and vocal agility. Rene Jacobs and the Akademie für Alte Musik of Berlin are to be commended for the gorgeous interpretation of Scarlatti's score.This recording is well-edited: arias and recitatives are placed on their own tracks, allowing listeners to program their CD players with their favorite arias or skip the long recitatives if desired. Most of the arias are in the familiar Baroque da capo style, but require amazing vocal agility and sensitivity of emotion and rhythm on the part of the singers. The music is not as predictable as Handel's style, which adds to its charm and richness. Scarlatti's famous dislike of wind instruments is quite evident: nearly all of the characters' arias are accompanied by string instruments, giving them a subtle, plaintive, and melancholic tone. The recitatives are somewhat longer than a modern listener might be accustomed to, but nearly like arias in their emotional and melodic quality (Regula Rapp refers to them as "harmonically very complex"). The opera overture begins with a rousing fanfare of brass and strings, and the delightful journey does not end until the joyful strains of the final chorus. This recording is a "must buy" for veteran connoisseurs of Baroque opera, as well as for neophytes taking their first tentative steps into this genre.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x953d57f8) out of 5 stars a voice teacher and early music fan 30 Oct. 2006
By George Peabody - Published on
Format: Audio CD

'Griselda' was first performed in Rome in 1721, the last of Alessandro Scarlatti's seventy or so operas. The cast consisted of five castrati and a tenor; on this recording the five castrati are replaced with two sopranos, two mezzo sopranos and a countertenor.

Apostolo Zeno fashioned the subject of Griselda into an opera libretto in 1701. Briefly, the plot is as follows: The King of Sicily (Gualtiero portrayed by Lawrence Zazzo-countertenor) marries Griselda (portrayed by Dorthea Roschmann-soprano)much to the chagrin of the people, because she is below his station. Consequently, they will not recognize their offspring as heir to the throne. Gualtiero goes back and forth between supporting his wife, then testing her by taking their one child away and leaving one with her. With his pretended acts of cruelty, he is no longer fighting for his own convenience as a husband, but (so to speak )battling alongside his unsuspecting wife for their recognition in society and the preservation of the couple's happiness. Another "test" is when he tells her that she must marry Ottone(a courtier portrayed by Silvia Tro Santafe) and she refuses,at which point he hopefully will have convinced his people that she is a worthy and virtuous woman. There are so many twists and turns in this plot that I leave it to you to listen to the opera and you will understand it all.

Jacob's cast is ideal! Dorothea Roschman's Griselda is always noble, belying this character's humble origins. Her voice is beautiful. Lawrence Zazzo (Gualitiero-countertenor), while on one hand seeming cynical and insensitive, in his 'asides' he must convince us of his inherent goodness, and he does! His countertenor is a firm instrument, and he uses it remarkably well.

Mezzo Bernarda Fink excels in her trouser role of Roberto. Veronica Cangemi's singing is first-rate. Kobie van Rensburg as Corrado has bites in his delivery and indeed has a very exciting operatic voice. I especially liked his Act II aria: "Agitata da fiera procella". Just glorious!!!

The singing is absolutely superb, and I find no fault with Jacob's pace and interpretation. The only thing I found somewhat annoying was the overabundance of treble voices; especially the two women who were portraying men. It was easy to determine Zazzo's sound because he has a truly Male quality even though he is a countertenor, but I don't think this type of thing can be avoided if one wants to be authentic in the casting. It's an exellent Scarlatti listening experience; it's quite dramatic, very melodious and has much variety of tempo and phrasing.

It is packaged with a booklet with all the pertinent information and text.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9511187c) out of 5 stars Resplendent Scarlatti 2 Mar. 2013
By Lindon Andrew Sjolander - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There is little I can add to what my fellow enthusiasts have so well stated here, but this live 1970 recording is an absolute gem. Alessandro Scarlatti, especially his operas, tend to be sadly underrated. His music for the better part is politely spoken of with respect as being pleasant and competent, but little more. Listen to this, his final opera, and tell me it's only an academic achievement! My goodness, this is brilliant stuff! As for the recording, it is full and rich. It is a pure treasure! The performances are very polished as well. All in all, everytime I listen to this album, its nearly two hours are over before I know it!
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