Vincenzo Bellini’s third opera, Il pirata, marked an important step in his career. Not only was it the 27 year old’s first score for the brand leader of Italian opera houses, La Scala, Milan, it also represented his first collaboration with Felice Romani, the leading librettist of the day, who was to become his regular artistic partner. Based (via a French translation) on an English play by the Anglo-Irish Gothic writer Charles Maturin, Il pirata describes how Gualtiero (José Bros) is shipwrecked during a storm on the Sicilian coast, where his former love, Imogene, (Carmen Giannattasio) has been forced into an unwilling marriage by Ernesto, the local duke (Ludovic Tézier). Tensions build between the three until Gualtiero kills Ernesto in a duel, causing Imogene to go mad with guilt. David Parry conducts this exceptional example of early romantic opera at its most dramatically potent.
During the years from 1815 to 1822 when his career centered on Naples, Rossini composed a sequence of works for the Teatro San Carlo, which at that time boasted an outstanding orchestra and a company of resident singers that was the leading ensemble available anywhere. A string of masterpieces resulted, including Ermione - which is without doubt one of the composer's greatest operas, despite it being perhaps the least immediately successful. Ermione was received with incomprehension at its sole performance in 1819 and was never revived in Rossini's lifetime. Since its first stage revival in Pesaro in 1987, Ermione has been recognized as a lost masterpiece. Set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, the opera's novelties begin with an overture interrupted by a choral lament of Trojan prisoners. Tension and staggering originality are maintained right to the very end.
This book makes accessible the major structural features of the dialects of Italy and emphasises the importance of a detailed understanding of the dialects for issues in general linguistic theory…
Parry’s two finest and most popular anthems, Blest Pair of Sirens and I was glad, make an attractive coupling to his famous choral works. The 45-minute work The Soul’s Ransom, with its sequence of solos and choruses, forms a broadly symphonic four-movement structure and The Lotos eaters; a setting for soprano, chorus and orchestra is performed by Della Jones, a characterful soloist. This is a full and atmospheric recording to match the incandescent performances.