Magazine article Gramophone

Leo: L'ambizione Delusa

Magazine article Gramophone

Leo: L'ambizione Delusa

Article excerpt

Leo L'ambizione delusa Giampiero Cicino bar      Ciaccone Candida Guida mez         Foresto Filomena Diodati sop      Delfina Alessia Martino mez       Laurina Riccardo Gagliardi ten    Lupino Federica Carnevale mez    Silvio Michela Antenucd sop      Cintia 

Chorus of Teatro Petruzzelli, Bari: Orchestra ICO della Magna Grecia di Taranto / Antonio Greco

Dynamic (M) (3) CDS7677 (172' * DDD) Recorded live 2013

Leonardo Leo (1694-1744) was regarded by his Neapolitan contemporaries as a learned composer. His contrapuntal abilities are scattered throughout the comic pastoral L'ambizione delusa (Naples, 1742), which pokes fun at the country peasant Lupino and his sister Cintia, who have unexpectedly inherited a fortune; they have hired the ex-city maid Delfina because she is their only acquaintance who can teach them how to behave aristocratically--their behaviour is instantly familiar as the folly of the nouveau riche whose funds far exceed the quality of their taste (they have purchased a panther for their menagerie, and havoc ensues when it breaks loose), and pretentious attempts to speak posh lead to amusing malapropisms. A tangled web of romantic infatuations fleshes out the comedy of their 'deluded ambition', and facilitates room for Leo's varied arias in different low and high styles.

This staged performance was recorded at the Valle d'Itria festival in Puglia. The concise Sinfonia exposes not only the unaffected honesty of the warts-and-all live performance but also an uncomfortable lack of technical finesse from unstable strings. …

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