SAVERIO MERCADANTE (1795-1870): I due Figaro.
Catalogue Number: 07P025
Reference: DUC 045-47
Description: This first original opera composed for his seven-year contract in Madrid was never performed there for bizarre reasons given in the notes, but stands out for the sheer variety and quality of Spanish music which Mercandante had rapidly assimilated in his first year there (even the overture is titled Sinfonia caratteristica spagnola). The title may look familiar: we offered a DVD of an opera to the same libretto by Michele Carafa three years ago (05L045). Finely balanced between light-hearted and serious, with scenes of great intimacy along with exuberant ensemble numbers, Mercadante features elegiac romantic melodies that anticipate Bellini and comic numbers whose text-setting and use of crescendo are an homage to Rossini. Ducale is an Italian CD distributor; Muti appears to have financed this recording (live, as usual in most of these cases) and the label have given the libretto, disc-holder fold-out and master container the Opera Rara treatment (well, an 8 if Opera Rara is a 10). 3 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Eleonora Buratto, Rosa Feola (sopranos), Annalisa Stroppa (mezzo), Antonio Poli (tenor), Mario Cassi (baritone), Philharmonia Choir Vienna, Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini; Riccardo Muti.