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Gaetano Donizetti - Gemma di Vergy (1976/2017)

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Gaetano Donizetti - Gemma di Vergy (1976/2017)

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Disk 1 

1.Sinfonia
2.Act I : Scene 1 - Qual guerriero su bruno destriero
3.Scene 2 - Questo sacro augusto stemma
4.Scene 2 - Nella stanza, che romita al dolor dischiude il cielo, languira quest'avvilita
5.Scene 2 - Una preghiera unanime per Gemma
6.Scene 2 - Mi toglieste a un sole ardente
7.Scene 2 - Lascia, Guido, ch'io possa vendicare l'oltraggio
8.Scene 3 - Nuove contese?... Oh cielo! Un ferro sguainato!
9.Scene 3 - Una voce al cor d'intorno
10.Scene 3 - Nessun sogno a te predisse ch'oggi torna il tuo Signore?
11.Scene 3 - Egli riede? oh lieto istante!
12.Scene 3 - Ite - festeggi ognuno del mio sposo l'arrivo!
13.Scene 3 - O vergogna! me infelice!
14.Scene 3 - Dio possente! tu nol sai quanto amai lo sconoscente!
15.Scene 3 - E il Conte? Il mio consorte? - Dei scordarlo
16.Scene 3 - Perche il Conte scacciami? Perche?
17.Scene 4 - Dritto al segno vibrasti, io l'ho ferito la dov'ei mi colpi
18.Scene 5 - Lode al forte guerriero
19.Scene 6 - Qui un pugnale! Chi 'l confisse a segnal di ria vendetta?
20.Scene 6 - Ah! nel cuor mi suona un grido
21.Scene 7 - Guido! Io tremo!... Questo sangue? Dimmi, Gemma e morta?
22.Scene 7 - Un fatal presentimento in quel sangue io veggo iscritto
23.Scene 8 - Assassino, che il ferro immergesti
24.Scene 9 - S'avanzi il reo infido Saraceno
25.Scene 9 - Tigre uscito dai deserti
26.Scene 9 - Sia quel reo sospeso al laccio
27.Scene 10 - Un suo sguardo, ed un suo detto questo braccio disarmo
28.Scene 10 - Mio signor, non piu mio sposo: se la morte a me giurasti, una vittima ti basti
29.Scene 10 - Di' ch'io vada in Palestina
30.Scene 10 - Basta, o Gemma... ah! ch'io non posso... Parla... dimmi... Sei commosso?
31.Scene 10 - Fui tradita, ah disleale!

Disk 2

1.Act II : Scene 1 - Mi suonan pianto cosi mesti accenti
2.Scene 2 - Congiunti, cavalier, qui senza fasto all'imeneo novello testimoni vi chiesi
3.Scene 3 - Ecco il pegno ch'io le porsi!
4.Scene 3 - Ti renda il ciel propizio padre di cara prole
5.Scene 3 - Questa soave immagine calma i miei spirti
6.Scene 4 - Vieni, o bella
7.Scene 4 - A voi grata pur son, dilette amiche
8.Scene 5 - D'Arles tu piu non rammenti
9.Scene 6 - E dessa in mio potere, e in questa mano e morte
10.Scene 6 - Odi me, iniquo
11.Scene 7 - Quella man che disarmasti ti die' vita, o schiavo ingrato
12.Scene 9 - Tutto tace d'intorno
13.Scene 10 - Non e ver, non e quel tempio schiuso a rito nuziale
14.Scene 10 - Qual consigio! - Un solo! - E quale?
15.Scene 11 - Eccomi sola alfine
16.Scene 11 - Da quel tempio fuggite, angioli tutti
17.Scene 11 - Ecco, tutto e finito
18.Scene 11 - Un altare ed una benda fian mia cura insino a morte
19.Scene 11 - O giusto Dio! che sento? Suono di pianto a me trasporta il vento
20.Scene 13 - Ah! Chi mi accusa, chi mi grida moglie infame, parricida?

Gemma - Montserrat Caballé
Ida - Natalya Chudy
Tamas - Luis Lima
Conte di Vergy - Louis Quilico
Guido - Paul Plishka
Rolando – Mark Munkittrick

Schola Cantorum
New York Opera Orchestra
Eve Queler – conductor

 

The opera Gemma di Vergy was written to showcase the incredible voice of Giuseppina Ronzi. The sopranos Ronzi and Malibran had a going feud in those days, in which each competed for the affections and adulation of the opera going public. Bellini and Donizetti helped fuel the rivalry by showcasing their voices: Malibran was Bellini's favored prima donna, and Donizetti composed music to suit the talents and vocal prowess of Ronzi. Gemma is a character out of sixteenth-century French history and legend. She is the central figure in a highly melodramatic plot, in which she gets rejected and her husband murdered. The music Donizetti wrote for her is difficult in the extreme, both in its demand on the vocalist's technical virtuosity, and in its demands on her emotional stamina. She is the main character throughout the story, and the opera's success both musically and dramatically relies on the successful portrayal of her character alone.

"Mi toglieste a un sole ardente," for the tenor voice of Tamas in the opera, became one of those numbers which aroused political demonstrations on the part of Italian opera goers. In later years it was used as a popular concert piece by vocalists. In the 1830s, Donizetti became interested in expanding the dramatic vocabulary of formal operatic conventions of early nineteenth-century opera. He was frustrated by the many conventions handed down to composers and singers from eighteenth-century practices, which audiences expected in their operas, but which were often anti-dramatic. One of these conventions was the mid-opera finale. Here he alters the construction to help build the intensity of the ending. His Act I finale is built of two large and intense slower units, which climax in a furious stretta for Gemma.

The opera premiered on December 26, 1834, opening the winter carnivale season of Milan's La Scala theater. It was a successful opera as long as there were sopranos who could sing the difficult role, and enjoyed a great deal of popularity with audiences almost until the end of the century. But although there is much beautiful music in Gemma di Vergy, there are obvious weaknesses also. The plot is lame, and none of the characters really elicit human sympathy. The libretto was written by Giovanni Emanuele Bidera after a play by Alexandre Dumas. ---Rita Laurance, allmusic.com

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