The series of musical excepts from Giachino Rossini's operas, entitled "Master of Belcanto", continues with new uploads and a whole new concept.
I decided to do something a bit different for my new upload: a compilation based on a single theme which is featured prominently in all selections. The first theme is love (what else :)?). The compilation is entitled: "Tornami a dir che m'ami".
Originally, I had planned a more diverse program which would have included arias as well as duets. But when I saw the size of the content I wanted to upload (the remaining compilation is about two hours long), I decided to do love arias as a separate series.
The chosen items include love scenes from the very first to the very last operas by Rossini. We start at "L'occasione fa il ladro" with a simple pastoral duet and finish at the beginning of the second act of "Guillaume Tell" with a romantic grand scena. Such an approach gives us a chance to understand how Rossini's composing style changed with each passing year. The presented excepts are listed below with some notes detailing their characteristics.
As the whole compilation is quite large, I'm going to upload everything slowly.
1) «Se non m'inganna il core» for Alberto and Berenice from «L'occasione fa il ladro».
2) «Quanto e dolce a un'alma amante» for Florville and Sofia from "Il Signor Bruschino".
3) "L'aura che intorno spiri" for Amenaide and Tancredi from "Tancredi".
4) "Credete alle femmine" for Selim and Fiorilla from "Il turco in Italia".
5) "Quest'ultimo addio" for Torvaldo and Dorliska from "Torvaldo e Dorliska".
6) "Ah qual colpo" for Almaviva and Rosina (plus, Figaro) from "Il barbiere di Siviglia".
7) "Un soave che non e" for Ramiro and Angelina from "La Cenerentola".
8) "Amor! Possente nome" for Armida and Rinaldo from "Armida".
The duet from "Armida" is similar to the one in "La Cenerentola", due to the fact that it also depicts a scene of love at first sight, even if it is a spell. It also is one of Rossini's best mature love duets with it's unusually rich accompaniment and wonderful vocal writing. It's structure repeats the one already foreshadowed in "Tancredi": moderato - andante - allegro, though the pattern is used intelligently.
The "main" version is sung by Chris Merritt and Cecilia Gasdia. It is a very good rendition but I don't like some of the vocalism that is almost "raw" in it's quality (though, it can be seen as a depiction of the unusual love of the two characters); plus, I find it a bit to fast for my taste (especially the allegro). So I am also supplementing an appendix of sorts from Opera Rara's recording of "Otello".
This version of the duet uses a slightly different text but the same music to depict a reconciliation between Othello and Desdemona (improbable but quite enjoyable musically). Here the duet is sung by Bruce Ford and Elizabeth Futral. It still isn't as ideal as it can be but the tempos are more relaxed (this version is two minutes longer). Hope you enjoy!
Watch videos with other singers performing Amor..possente nome!: