Bruckner's early string quartet is more a composition exercise than a full-fledged work of art, but the quintet is something else entirely: a chamber music masterpiece to rank with the great symphonies in expressive intensity and sheer musical grandeur. Indeed, there are a few places where Bruckner seems to demand an almost orchestral volume of tone, and the slow movement has been successful performed (and recorded) by a full string orchestra. The Intermezzo is none other than an alternative scherzo for the quintet, composed because the original players at the premier found Bruckner's first thoughts too difficult. Well, the members of L'Archibudelli certainly don't find the music too difficult–you won't find better performances anywhere.
Béatrice et Bénédict, Berlioz's last completed work, is based on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, but the libretto, by the composer, dispenses with most of the intrigue of the original and reduces the plot to a single premise: Béatrice et Bénédict mask their affection for each other by squabbling, and then finally come to their senses and get married. Although designated an opera, it is closer in effect to an opéra comique because of its very extensive use of spoken dialogue.
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection
A very nice surprise!!
This album came as a surprise to me in many ways. This band is one of my favorite in the RPI genre, but I didn’t realize that this album existed until recently. Their first two albums are more along the lines of heavy prog and hard rock power trio with flute, with the thunderous bass of Stefano Urso commanding most of the attention.
Most opera fans are familiar with Gluck the reformist – the composer of Orphée et Eurydice who sought to balance drama and music in his works. But few know his early works which show him to be a master of the Baroque opera seria tradition he later rejected. L'innocenza giustificata, a festa teatrale written in 1755, is one of these works. Its structure – cobbled together from aria texts by Pietro Metastasio, but with new recitatives by Giacomo Durazzo – already shows a desire to create more dramatic continuity and interest than was commonly found in the Baroque period.