- Orchestra: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
- Conductor: Adam Fischer
- Composer: Antonio Salieri
- Audio CD (29 Sept. 2003)
- Collector's Edition edition
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Collector's Edition
- Label: Decca Records
- ASIN: B0000A01J6
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,720 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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The Salieri Album Collector's Edition
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Editorial Review: Antonio Salieri is, unfortunately, best known as Mozart's great Viennese rival. Some of his work has appeared on recordings, and he was clearly an interesting composer of well-crafted, entertaining music. But now that a singer with the stature and prodigious gifts of Cecilia Bartoli has undertaken an entire CD of his opera arias, he may just become a quasi-household name. Here he proves himself a composer who wrote for virtuosos; Bartoli is nothing if not a vituoso. And, indeed, this CD opens with an impressive bang: An aria from La secchia rapita features a wild vocal line complete with wild coloratura, huge leaps, a range from low G to high D flat (Bartoli flirts more and more with the soprano range while using her chest register even more forcefully!), and vast dynamic changes accompanied by a full orchestra augmented with grand, martial trumpets. Other arias--one from Palmira, Regina di Persia, for example--are more introspective and are spun out with a graceful, seamless legato and seemingly endless pianissimo. Everything one loves about Bartoli is here: the intensity, absolute fluidity in execution, breath control, glorious trill, the ability to whisper or holler, and an identification with the character she's portraying which makes the situation credible and involving for the listener. At the same time, we can't overlook a tendency to overstatement and exaggeration and a breathiness to some of the delivery which can be an annoying mannerism. But where else can one get such excitement and commitment coupled with an irresistible charm in a singer so clearly at her peak? Most/all of the arias and operas here are virtually unknown; this CD whets our appetites for more Salieri. The accompaniments are as superbly thought-out and played as one would hope for--the wacky pizzicato strings and solo wind and brass lines in an aria from La Cifra, for instance, will delight. - Robert Levine.
Top Customer Reviews
But while the film popularised Salieri's name it also portrayed him as a mediocre composer envious of Mozart's talents, creating an image of Salieri's attempted belittlement of his work and ultimately suggesting he was responsible for Mozart's death. This is not entirely true, but what is a fact is that as a consequence of Mozart's huge popularity, Salieri did gradually become undervalued, misunderstood and his works rarely performed.
The history books however reveal Salieri to be a talented violinist, pianist and singer who wrote scores of successful operas which in fact made him a more successful composer in his lifetime than Mozart enjoyed in his own time. So it's albums like this 2003 Cecilia Bartoli release which help redress the balance and put Salieri's name back into the limelight.
Cecilia's brilliantly agile vocals will be familiar to her existing fans and probably a slight surprise to her new listeners, for she is surely one of the most talented opera singers of our generation. Her style of singing is not to everyone's liking maybe, but to hear her is to hear opera singing at its most stunningly dramatic.
As is the custom with many of her albums this too comes with a CD size hardcover book with 67 pages (13 are a biography of Salieri in English), showing full libretti and some beautiful pictures of carved statues.
The purpose of the album is best described (on the sleeve notes) by the singer herself:
'Discovering the operas of Antonio Salieri has been a great experience. I hope this recording will help Salieri to emerge from the shadow of Mozart and finally accord him the status he deserves'.
This is one for the collector, the Bartoli admirer, the opera fan or the inquisitive, none of whom should be disappointed.
This CD comes in a lavish booklet with beautiful photos of some of Canova's beautiful white Cararra marble sculptures from collections scattered all over the world in black and white and with a few pages of Salieri's manuscript pages in facsimile on the end covers. The disc is full of intensity, fluidity, glorious trills, mannered whispering and even occasional shouting. Sometimes Bartoli's ever present tendency towards a mannered characterization tends toward overstatement in an attempt to portray the character of the aria and to involve the listener. Recommended in order to become familiar with this music (most of these works have never been recorded before; they are "world premiere recordings"), but overall not a really beautiful musical experience. Perhaps it's a fault of the music, which tends to be conventional and traditional for the period (there is no great inventiveness)and not the fault of this execution which is very good at many levels.
Listen to the overtures and symphonies on Naxos too.V good!
Treat yourself to this CD and you'll hear that the Italian did have extraordinary talent. I thoroughly recommend his overtures released on the Naxos label too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Weird opening song but cd improves with piece de resistance at the very endPublished 2 months ago by GREYHOUND
A star performer and star performances of an often despised composer. A CD well worth purchasing; pleasure is almost certainly guaranteed!Published on 7 Dec. 2012 by mr Christopher R Harris