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Paisiello - Il divertimento dei numi (2002)

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Paisiello - Il divertimento dei numi (2002)

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1	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Overture 			
2	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Coro. Di Giove agli ardori 			
3	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Recitativo. Vernia, non chiů 			
4	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Recitativo accompagnato. Crudel, ti amo ancor'io 	
5	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Aria. I sospiri che intorno 			
6	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Recitativo. Stelle, che faccio 			
7	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Coro. Or che Marte Ciprigna vezzeggia 		
8	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Aria. Piccioncino innamorato 			
9	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Recitativo. Venere, mio tesoro 			
10	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Coro. Or che Marte Ciprigna vezzeggia 		
11	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Recitativo. Mia cara, non parli 			
12	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Aria. Ah! che in un tempo istesso 			
13	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Recitativo. Ma tu parli fra' denti 			
14	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Coro. Animo, Giove 			
15	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Recitativo accompagnato. Misera, quale orror 		
16	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Aria. No, non mi chiamo 			
17	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Recitativo. Consolati, mia Dea 			
18	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Doppio coro. Animo, Giove 			
19	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Recitativo. Ah! Mamma mia 			
20	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Coro. Viva Giove il grande 			
21	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Recitativo accompagnato. Basta cosě 			
22	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Recitativo. Cattera! Giove parla 			
23	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Terzetto. Giove caro 			
24	Il Divertimento dei numi, opera: Finale. Viva Giove

Venere - Claudia Marchi 
Marte - Alessandro Calamai 
Giove - Gian Paolo Fiocchi 
Il vero Giove - Patrizio Saudelli

Coro del Teatro Sociale di Rovigo
Orchestra Filarmonia Veneta "G.F. Malipiero"
Franco Piva – conductor

 

Paisiello composed music from 1764 to 1808, with more than 80 operas to his credit. This little 72-minute “scherzo” (as it’s referred to in the accompanying notes) concerns a bored Jupiter, who kidnaps three mortals, lifts them to the Elysian Fields, knocks them out, and dresses them as the gods Mars, Venus, and himself. Soon Mars and Jupiter (both basses) begin bickering and competing for Venus (soprano) who first plays one against the other and then tries to reason with them. Tensions escalate until Mars hits Jupiter on the head and he passes out. When he revives, Jupiter sets fire to his throne and the real Jupiter (tenor) has to intercede. When he returns the mortals to their true selves he tells them they will be punished for their behavior, but after they implore him, he mercifully allows them to hang around the Elysian Fields. The libretto is actually very funny.

There are choruses of followers of Mars and Jupiter, each mock-god has an aria and takes part in many verbal confrontations, Venus has two arias, and there’s a terzetto near the end. It’s a clever divertissement, and had I been in Naples in 1774 I would have been happy to attend. The scoring is for a full orchestra, with a few interesting moments in which the bassoon is given prominence.

Listening to this on CD you have to work hard to picture the rambunctiousness, and this performance, taped live in Rovigo in November, 2000, should be closely followed with the libretto (which isn’t exactly in sync with what’s performed) for full effect. The numbers are brief. Mars is a braggart and bass Alessandro Calamai is the more buffo of the two basses; the false Jupiter, Giampaolo Fiocchi, has a more ingratiating sound and characteristically sings with less silly emphasis. Claudia Marchi as Venus sounds more like a mezzo (the role lies low), but she’s sincere and “plays” well. The real Jupiter is an okay tenor who tries to sound authoritative in his accompanied recitatives. In other words, they all sing well, without any great distinction. The chorus–often interjected with soloists–is good without being spectacular. I wish the conductor had led the singers and band to embellish their lines and had ensured that attacks and tempos were more fierce and snappy, but it’s a good enough performance of a rarity that we’ll otherwise probably never hear. A diversion, as the title says. --- Robert Levine, classicstoday.com

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