Magazine article Gramophone


Magazine article Gramophone


Article excerpt

Vinci [DVD] Didone abbandonata Roberta Mameli sop        Didone Carlo Allemano ten          Enea Raffaele Pe counterten     Iarba Gabriella Costa sop       Selene Marta Pluda mez           Araspe Giada Frasconi mez        Osmida 

Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale, Florence / Carlo Ipata

Stage director Deda Cristina Colonna

Video director Matteo Ricchetti

Dynamic (F)(3) CDS7788; (F)(2) [DVD] 37788 (166' * DDD * NTSC * 16:9 * DD5.1 & PCM stereo * O)

Recorded live, January 2017

Includes synopsis

Leonardo Vinci was a busy bee in the winter of 1725-26 working simultaneously on three operas: Astianatte for Naples, Didone abbandonata for Rome and Siroe re di Persia for Venice. The latter two were to librettos by Metastasio, who provided four more before Vinci died--possibly poisoned, a real death-by-chocolate --in 1730. Didone was Metastasio's first original libretto, set in 1724 by Domenico Sarro. For Vinci he revised his text, removing some arias and adding new ones. This production from Florence spoils his careful planning by turning the three acts into two; sadly the audio version, on three CDs, fails to take the opportunity of putting this right.

Dido and Aeneas are in love. The story turns on Aeneas's vacillation as he prepares to leave Carthage for ever, to found a new Troy in Italy. He has a rival in Iarba, the Moorish king, who is after Dido as well as her kingdom. Dido pretends to love Iarba, in order to provoke Aeneas's jealousy and force him to stay. Osmida betrays his queen by offering to plead Iarba's suit in return for the throne. Araspe, Iarba's confidant, behaves honourably, refusing to murder Aeneas, but he later seeks him out for a duel. Araspe is in love with Selene, Dido's sister, who only has eyes for Aeneas. Iarba sets fire to the city and Dido, abandoned or betrayed by everyone and cursing the gods, perishes in the flames.

The music is mainly in the light Neapolitan style that was to become popular across Europe. Carlo Ipata is credited with 'Musical Revision'. There's no indication of what this entails: as presented, the scoring is for strings, with or without oboes. The opening Sinfonia features the horns, in Brandenburg No 1 mode; they return for Aeneas's last aria, while it's trumpets that sound for Iarba's vengeful 'Cadra fra poco in cenere'. …

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