As my pseudonym has already given away, I'm an admirer of Rossini's music, in particular :). And yet, I realized today that I don't have that much Rossini's music on my channel. I'm going to change that :). I'm going to start uploading my favorite pieces from the operas of the maestro not only as single uploads, but also as compilations and small comparisons (such as the present one). Thankfully, I have most of Rossini's operas and cantatas :)! So, here is the first of a series of uploads entitled "The Master of Belcanto".
"Tancredi" was the young composer's first real "hit" and it's easy to understand why. Of course, "Di tanti palpiti" is the opera's best known tune, but it's only the tip of the iceberg: a couple of good arias for the father, two meltingly beautiful duets for the lovers, a prison scene for Amenaide which is wonderfully expressive and a good final aria before the finale for the hero. What more could anyone want? Granted, this still isn't, in my opinion, Rossini's best work as good as it is: a couple of uninspired arias for second characters, absence of a real villain, a rather flat finale to the First Act... But such sceptisism only underlines the fact how the highlights of the opera are beyond critisism.
I decided to first upload the Second Act Duet of the lovers. The situation is tipical of a Romantic opera. Tancredi believes himself betrayed by Amenaide and, naturally, ignores her pleas. The duet is built around the standart Rossini model: a moderato to set the mood, a gentle pensive adantino and a finishing allegro. I personally love the allegro, it's just so full of hopelessness. Both characters sure that their happeness has ended. I hope you'll enjoy this (the music, I mean :)).
I am posting three different takes on this duet:
1) Ewa Podles & Sumi Jo. From the complete recording with Alberto Zedda. My personal favorite; the conducting is superb here.
2) Jennifer Larmore & Hei-Kyung Hong. From their joint recital "Bellezza vocale". I actually prefer Hong's voice to Jo's, the latter is a bit cooler vocally.
3) Vesselina Kasarova & Eva Mei. From the complete recording with Roberto Abbado. Not really my favorite. A good take, but Kasarova just isn't a Tancredi for me. Mei is good, but Hong is better. I really don't like the excessive ornaments here. They disrupt the music itself.