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Alfredo Catalani – Edmea (1995)

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Alfredo Catalani – Edmea (1995)

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CD1
1. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act I: Sinfonia
2. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act I: Coro; 'La ruota gira'
3. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act I: Aria; 'Allor che il raggio' play
4. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act I: Duetto; 'Angelo mio!... Riverderti'
5. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act I: Scena e aria; 'Egli parte... Divora le tue lagrime'
6. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act I: Scena; 'Ulmo, rimani. Appressati'
7. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act I: Finale atto primo; 'Edmea, ti arrendi'
8. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act II: Scena; 'Son zingari o briganti?'
9. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act II: Scena; 'Chi mi sa dir?'
10. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act II: Coro; 'Nel vino, nel gioco'
11. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act II: Scena e aria; 'E' vano! E' vano!... Forse in quell'astro’

CD2
1. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act II: Scena; 'Lo vedete'
2. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act II: Scena; 'Io son dell'Elba la pallida fata'
3. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act II: Sestetto; 'Osserva là - non vedi tu?'
4. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act II: Finale atto secondo; 'Il lago riprendiamo'
5. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act III: Preludio
6. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act III: Scena; 'Torniamo all'arcolaio'
7. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act III: Scena e aria; 'E poss'io dubitar... O bel sogno d;amor'
8. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act III: Duetto; 'Tu sei qui... sul mio cor' play
9. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act III: Seguito; 'Ti sovvieni!... fu là'
10. Edmea, opera in 3 acts: Act III: Finale; 'Ah!... Tu a me innanzi'

Il conte di Leitmeritz - Graziano del Vivo
Oberto - Maurizio Frusoni
Ulmo - Marco Chingari
Edmea - Maria Noro Sokolinska
Fritz - Pierre Lefebvre

Orch Lirico-Sinfonica Del Teatro Del Giglio Di Lucca
Massimo de Bernart, 1989

 

Alfredo Catalani's tombstone describes him as the composer of four operas: "Dejanice," "Edmea," "Loreley," and "La Wally." (The earlier "Elda" was revised as "Loreley.") Of these there can be little doubt that "Edmea," the middle work of Catalani's tragically short career, has been the most neglected. A shame, as Jay Nicolaisen, author of one of the best studies of post-Verdian Italian opera, was surely right to state that "'Edmea', with 'La Wally', may be considered Catalani's most characteristic opera." In other words, anyone who likes Catalani on the basis of "La Wally" ought to enjoy "Edmea." They are easily recognisable as by the same hand, but "Edmea" represents promise, "Wally" glorious fulfillment. Nicolaisen describes "Edmea" as "an introverted, poetic work" and that succinctly sums up its attraction and its weaknesses. It's easy to see why it was swept into oblivion by the verismo explosion, yet it has a tender poetry about it that composers like Mascagni and Leoncavallo could never match. Perhaps it's better suited for the recording studio than the theatre, like Delius's operas. The music is constantly beautiful, and there are many pre-echoes of the stormy restlessness of "La Wally."

This is the only recording. Indeed, as far as I am aware, there is no other recording even of extracts. It is far from perfect--it is cut, it is live, at times there is intrusive stage noise, and the recording balance has not always been worked out satisfactorily. But the performance is more than competant, and the recording good enough for the listener to thoroughly enjoy the work. Again, for anyone who likes "La Wally" this should be a must-have. –David Chandler

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