Mercandati anticipates Verdi with “I Briganti”

Saverio Mercandante has been characterized as the bridge between Rossini and Verdi — and I Briganti demonstrates why. Completed in 1836, “I Briganti” was written partially in response to Bellini’s “I Puritani.”

This bel canto opera eschews self-contained arias for music that is more fully integrated into the drama. At the same time, it provides plenty of opportunities for singers to show what they’re made of — as is the case in this performance.

This world premier recordings captures the 2012 Rossini in Wildsad Festival production, with all pros and cons of live recording. The pros include the singing of the three principals, tenor Maxim Mironov (Ermano), baritone Vittorio Prato (Corrado), and soprano Petya Ivanova (Amelia). All three sing with confidence and energy, producing warm, rounded tones.

The cons include some occasional pitch problems in the chorus, and the overall recorded sound. The sound stage seems a little cramped, and the music sounded to my ears somewhat soft around the edges.

Nevertheless, Mercandante’s music works its magic and I soon forgot my quibbles with the recording. Highly recommended for lovers of Italian opera. And if you can, listen to I Briganti and then Verdi’s “I Masnadieri,” a setting of the same story. Mercandante’s opera compares quite favorably, particularly in dramatic structure and pacing.

Saverio Mercandante: I Briganti
Maxim Mironov; Petya Ivanova; Vittorio Prato; Bruno Pratico; Camerata Bach Choir, Poznan; Virtuosi Brunensis; Antonio Fogliani, conductor
Naxos

More Recent Posts

  • Andrew Collins Trio stop by WTJU, April 29

    The Andrew Collins Trio will stop by WTJU on Sunday afternoon, April 29, around 1:30 (edt) for a live session.  Later that evening they will put on a concert at C’Ville Coffee presented by The Prism Coffeehouse and WTJU. The mercurial, 5x JUNO (Canada’s Grammy) nominee/7x Canadian Folk Music Award winning mando maestro Andrew Collins […]

  • Viktor Ullman – A Voice That Won’t Be Silenced

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    Cappricio’s first Viktor Ullman release featured two symphonies, with the Gürzenich-Orchester and James Conlon. This time the focus is on Ullman’s piano music, ably played by Moritz Ernst. Ullman himself was an outstanding pianist. His writing for the instrument is in many ways, his most personal form of expression. Ullman’s Piano Concerto, Op. 25 was […]

  • The East Pointers head to WTJU, April 21

    The East Pointers will stop by WTJU this Saturday afternoon, at 4 (edt) for a live session ahead of their Prism Coffeehouse & WTJU Presents concert over at C’Ville Coffee.  You can catch them the following week at both Merlefest and Jazz Fest! There’s a reason, beyond their dazzling musicianship and wildly entertaining live shows, […]

  • New Jazz Adds – 4/17/2018

    New Jazz Adds – 4/17/2018 Sharel Cassity & Elektra – Evolve (Self-produced): Veteran multi-reed player Sharel Cassity (soprano, alto and tenor sax, flute) has played with numerous top level musicians over her years in NYC and has recently moved to Chicago. She composed seven of the nine songs on this set, which also has the […]

  • New Blues News – 4/17/2018

    New Blues News – 4/17/2018 Marcia Ball – Shine Bright (Alligator): Journey-woman Marcia Ball cuts loose with one of her best releases ever! She composed or co-wrote eight of the songs on the disc and she draws her covers from Ray Charles, Ernie K-Doe, Shelley King, and Jesse Winchester. She also collected a wide range […]