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The Rossini Bicentennial Birthday Gala

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The Rossini Bicentennial Birthday Gala
File:Rossini bicentennial birthday gala cd.jpg
EMI Records CD: 0777 7 54643 2 0
Live album by
Roger Norrington
Released1994
VenueAvery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City
GenreOpera and sacred music
Length78:31
LanguageFrench, Italian and Latin
The Rossini Bicentennial Birthday Gala
EMI Records Laserdisc: LDB491007-1
EMI Records Laserdisc: LDB491007-1

The Rossini Bicentennial Birthday Gala is a live album of operatic and sacred music by Giachino Rossini, performed by Rockwell Blake, Craig Estep, Maria Fortuna, Thomas Hampson, George Hogan, Marilyn Horne, Kathleen Kuhlmann, Mimi Lerner, Chris Merritt, Jan Opalach, Samuel Ramey, Henry Runey, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt, the Concert Chorale of New York and the Orchestra of St Luke's under the direction of Sir Roger Norrington. It was released in 1993 as a 119-minute video album and in 1994 as a 78-minute CD.

Background[edit | edit source]

In 1992, New York City's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts hosted two gala concerts commemorating the two hundredth anniversary of Rossini's birth.[1] The concerts were filmed for EMI Records, who edited the best of their footage into a video album that they released in 1993 on both VHS tape and twelve-inch Laserdisc.[2] The following year, EMI issued most of the contents of their video album (arranged in a different running order) on CD: the omissions were the Overture to La gazza ladra, the quartet "Cielo il mio labbro inspira" from Bianca e Falliero, the trio "Pappataci! Che mai sento" from L'italiana in Algeri and the duet "Perché mi guardi" from Zelmira.[2][1]

Recording[edit | edit source]

The album was compiled from recordings of concerts that took place on 29 February and 2 March 1992 in the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center, New York City.[1] The audio was recorded digitally.[1]

Packaging[edit | edit source]

The covers of video and audio-only versions of the album feature photographs taken during the concerts at which the recording was made.[1]

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

Barrymore Laurence Scherer reviewed one of the concerts from which the album derived in Gramophone in May 1992.[3] J. B. Steane reviewed the video version of the album in Gramophone in June 1993.[2] Richard Osborne reviewed the CD version of the album in Gramophone in December 1994.[4]

CD track listing[edit | edit source]

Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

Le siège de Corinthe (Paris, 1826), libretto by Luigi Balocchi and Alexandre Soumet

  • 1 (10:11) Coro e cavatina, Act 1: "La flamme rapide... La gloire et la fortune"
    • Samuel Ramey, Mahomet II
    • Concert Chorale of New York

La donna del lago (Naples, 1819), libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola after Walter Scott

  • 2 (10:16) Cavatina, Act 1: "Mura felici"
    • Marilyn Horne, Malcom, a rebel chieftain

La Cenerentola (Rome, 1817), libretto by Jacopo Ferretti

  • 3 (11:26) Coro, scena e rondò, Act 2: "Della Fortuna... Nacqui all'affanno... Non più mesta"
    • Frederica von Stade, Angelina (Cinderella)
    • Jan Opalach, Don Magnifico, Baron of Montefiascone, Angelina's stepfather
    • Craig Estep, Don Ramiro, Prince of Salerno
    • Maria Fortuna, Clorinda, elder daughter of Magnifico
    • Mimi Lerner, Tisbe, younger daughter of Magnifico
    • Henry Runey, Dandini, valet to the Prince
    • Concert Chorale of New York

Stabat Mater (Madrid, 1832; Bologna, 1841), text by Jacopone da Todi

  • 4 (4:49) "Inflammatus"
    • Deborah Voigt
    • Concert Chorale of New York

Guillaume Tell (Paris, 1829), libretto by Victor-Joseph Étienne de Jouy and L. F. Bis

  • 5 (10:55) Aria, Act 4: "Ne m'abandonne point... Asile hérédetaire"
    • Chris Merritt, Arnold Melchtal
    • Concert Chorale of New York

Petite messe solennelle (Paris, 1863; orchestration: Paris, 1867)

  • 6 (8:07) "Agnus Dei"
    • Kathleen Kuhlmann
    • Concert Chorale of New York

Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rome, 1816), libretto by Cesare Sterbini after Pierre Beaumarchais

  • 7 (4:52) Cavatina, Act 1: "La lan la lera... Largo al factotum"
    • Thomas Hampson, a barber

Zelmira (Naples, 1822), libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola

  • 8 (8:38) Coro e cavatina, Act 1: "Terra amica"
    • Rockwell Blake, Ilo, Prince of Troy
    • Concert Chorale of New York

Il viaggio a Reims (Paris, 1825), libretto by Luigi Balocchi

  • 9 (9:14) Gran pezzo concertato a 14 voci, Act 2: "A tal colpo aspettato"
    • Deborah Voigt, Madame Cortese, the Tyrolean hostess of a spa hotel
    • Maria Fortuna, the Contessa di Folleville, a fashionable young woman
    • Frederica von Stade, Corinna, a famous Roman poet
    • Marilyn Horne, the Marchesa Melibea, the Polish widow of an Italian general killed on his wedding night
    • Mimi Lerner, Della, a young Greek girl, Corinna's travelling companion
    • Kathleen Kuhlmann, Modestine, the Contessa di Folleville's chamber-maid
    • Chris Merritt, the Conte di Libenskof, a Russian general in love with the Marchesa Melibea
    • Rockwell Blake, the Cavaliere Belfiore, a handsome young French officer and amateur painter
    • Craig Estep, Zeffirino, a courier
    • Jan Opalach, the Barone di Trombonok, a German major and music lover
    • Thomas Hampson, Don Alvaro, a Spanish admiral in love with the Marchesa Melibea
    • Samuel Ramey, Lord Sidney, an English colonel secretly in love with Corinna
    • Henry Runey, Don Profondo, a scholar and antiquarian, a friend of Corinna
    • George Hogan, Don Prudenzio, a physician at the spa

Laserdisc chapter listing[edit | edit source]

Gioachino Rossini

La gazza ladra (Milan, 1817)

  • 1 (9:46) Sinfonia

La donna del lago

  • 2 (10:34) Cavatina, Act 1: "Mura felici"

Stabat Mater

  • 3 (5:15) "Inflammatus"

La Cenerentola

  • 4 (7:54) Coro, scena e rondò, Act 2: "Della Fortuna... Nacqui all'affanno... Non più mesta"

Zelmira

  • 5 (11:54) Coro e cavatina, Act 1: "Terra amica"

Bianca e Falliero (Milan, 1819), libretto by Felice Romani

  • 6 (13:25) Quartetto: "Cielo, il mio labbro ispira"
    • Maria Fortuna, Bianca, daughter of Contareno
    • Marilyn Horne, Falliero, a Venetian General
    • Chris Merritt, Contareno, a Venetian Senator
    • Henry Runey, Capellio, a Venetian Senator
    • Concert Chorale of New York

Guillaume Tell

  • 7 (13:58) Aria, Act 4: "Ne m'abandonne point... Asile hérédetaire"

Il barbiere di Siviglia

  • 8 (5:02) Cavatina, Act 1: "La lan la lera... Largo al factotum"

Petite messe solennelle

  • 9 (8:08) "Agnus Dei"

L'italiana in Algeri (Venice, 1813), libretto by Angelo Anelli

  • 10 (6:38) Terzetto: "Pappataci! Che mai sento"
    • Rockwell Blake, Lindoro, in love with Isabella
    • Thomas Hampson, Taddeo, an elderly Italian
    • Jan Opalach, Mustafà, the Bey of Algiers

Zelmira

  • 11 (6:01) Duettino: "Perché mi guardi, e piangi"
    • Deborah Voigt, Zelmira, daughter of Polidoro, King of Lesbos
    • Kathleen Kuhlmann, Emma, her confidant

Le siège de Corinthe

  • 12 (10:31) Coro e cavatina, Act 1: "La flamme rapide... La gloire et la fortune"

Il viaggio a Reims

  • 13 (9:40) Gran pezzo concertato a 14 voci, Act 2: "A tal colpo inaspettato"[5]

Personnel[edit | edit source]

Performers[edit | edit source]

Other[edit | edit source]

  • Matthew A. Epstein, artistic consultant
  • Philip Gossett, musical adviser
  • John Goberman, video producer
  • Kirk Browning, video director[2]

Release history[edit | edit source]

In 1993, EMI Records released a 119-minute, thirteen-item version of the album on VHS (UK catalogue number MVD491007-3) and Laserdisc (UK catalogue number LDB491007-1, US catalogue number 0777 7 40300-1 4).[2][5] Both issues provided 4:3 NTSC colour video and stereo sound. As of September 2019, the album had not been issued on DVD or Blu-ray.

In 1994, EMI Records issued a 78-minute, nine-item version of the album on CD (catalogue number 0777 7 54653 2 0 or CDC 7 54643 2).[4] The CD was accompanied by a 32-page insert booklet featuring an essay by the Rossini scholar Philip Gossett in English, French and German, texts in French, Italian and Latin and translations of those texts into English, French and German.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Rossini, Gioachino: The Rossini Bicentennial Birthday Gala, cond. Roger Norrington, EMI Records CD, 0777 7 54643 2 0, 1994
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Gramophone, June 1993, pp. 104-106
  3. Gramophone, May 1992, p. 16
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gramophone, December 1994, pp. 159-160
  5. 5.0 5.1 Rossini, Gioachino: The Rossini Bicentennial Birthday Gala, cond. Roger Norrington, EMI Records Laserdisc, 0777 7 40300-1 4, 1993


Others articles of the Topic Opera : Pelléas et Mélisande (Herbert von Karajan recording), Nora Sourouzian, Le nozze di Figaro (Georg Solti recording), Mozart & Rossini Arias, Il mondo della luna (Antal Doráti recording), Frederica von Stade chante Monteverdi & Cavalli (recording), Le nozze di Figaro (Herbert von Karajan recording)


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