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".
These first two selections have quite a lot in common: they are both sung by young lovers in a moonlit garden, so they both can be called nocturnes. Moreover, unlike some of Rossini's later compositions, both duets are very simple in construction: there is a main theme that is repeated two times with short phrases exchanged between the lovers as a musical bridge.
What's more, both pairs of lovers are destined to be wed. In the case of Alberto and Berenice, it is an actual, albeit prearranged, marriage. They have not even met each other. That is, before the duet. Actually, they don't even know their respective identities, because Berenice is dressed as her maid to get to know her future husband. But they fall in love at first sight and sing this wonderful nocturne.
Florville and Sofia are worse off from the start: Sofia's tutor wants her to marry another. But they are so happy to at last see each other (Florville has been away for quite a while and has returned only at the start of the opera) that they forget everything around them and sing a dreamy duet which is presented here.
But, happily, a bit of clever trickery helps both pairs to get their "happy endings" at the end of each opera. The duets are respectively sung by Raul Gimenez and Luciana Serra and by Frank Lopardo and Kathleen Battle. There is again a common trait: both duets are sung beautifully and sincerely.
P.S. As I mentioned before, I'm planning on doing a whole compilation on love arias/songs/serenades. But I'm not planning on stopping there. I'm also preparing compilations of music written for specific singers. The most obvious choices here are "Colbran", "Nozzari & David" and "Galli". I also hope to do compilations on "Opera buffa".