Altogether a pleasure. These are bright, capable, affectionate, well-pointed performances in good sound, with soloists who sound totally at home with the music…— International Record Review
Once known for his stately grand operas Gaspare Spontini posthumously surprised posterity with a light-hearted “commedia per musica” that was found at an antiquarian book dealer in England in 2006 and performed for the first time since 1800 at the Festival Pergolesi e Spontini in Jesi, Italy. With its motoric ensembles, intensifying rhythmic repetitions, and imaginative play with word fragments, La fuga in maschera anticipates Rossini at his best. Known for their historically informed performances, I Virtuosi Italiani is considered as “one of the most dynamic and able-bodied ensembles in the international musical world” (Milano Finanza).
…I Solisti Italiani continues, both spiritually and sonically, where the original Virtuosi di Roma left off, with creamy, expert, middle-of-the-road performances of Baroque and Classical period music, and occasional 20th-century pieces as well. The ensemble is small - only 12 players, without conductor - but the sound is full and caloric, the playing dapper and disciplined.
The Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini, which has been devoting itself to the research and performance of Pergolesi‘s music for years now, had his operas recorded live at the annual Music Festival in Jesi. Released on this BD are two productions from Jesi of one almost forgotten opera, Il prigionier superbo, and one of Pergolesi’s most popular works, La serva padrona, combined like they were at the original premiere.
I Solisti Veneti is one of the first rank of small Italian chamber orchestras with modern instruments. Founded in Padua in 1959 by Claudio Scimone, it has made a reputation especially with Italian Baroque music, recording many works by Antonio Vivaldi, Tomaso Albinoni, Francesco Geminiani, Benedetto Marcello and Giuseppe Tartini. Giuliano Carmignola and Piero Toso were two of the soloists in the ensemble. The group has made over 300 recordings, many on the Erato record label. A number of these were first-ever recordings of works of Vivaldi, Albinoni and Rossini.
Pergolesi’s first opera “La Salustia” is filled with emotions and dramatic elements. It portrays the battle of two women, their struggle for power and justice. Further, it is the story of failing deceitful plots and mistrust.
Salustia is the strong empress, wife of the Roman emperor Alessandro, whose mother-in-law Giulia would rather see dead than accept as ruler. Strangely however, it is Salustia who saves Giulia from her own death more than once. She fights not only for her own justice – ruling together with her love Alessandro – but also for justice amongst all the other battling parties. At the end she is rewarded for her moral strength. The drama around the unbreakable Salustia takes its course in the setting of ancient Rome. Young French director Juliette Deschamps, known for various opera productions in Jesi, made the old story come alive on a stage that suggests an ancient palace with large windows, later on the coliseum. The cast features well-loved Pergolesi interpreters such as Serena Malfi, Laura Polverelli or Vittorio Prato. The Accademia Barocca de I Musici Italiani, well-known for productions in historic performance practice, are led by Corrado Rovaris. This is a world premiere recording of one of the very few Salustia-productions that exist worldwide.
La sfida della cultura di massa (1943-1991).
Nel corso della grande trasformazione che ha reso l'Italia una fra le potenze industriali del mondo, il Pci si è affermato come una forza politica di massa con profonde radici nella società. …