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

  • Mipso stop by Sunset Road on Road to Delfest, Apr 29

    Chapel Hill, NC quartet Mipso return to the WTJU studios this Friday afternoon, April 29, at 4 (edt) to kick off Sunset Road.  Later that evening you can catch them on The Road To Delfest with The Travelin’ McCourys at The Jefferson Theater in downtown Charlottesville (details).

  • Bayou Faux Pas on Lambeth Live, May 13

    Central Virginia’s premiere Cajun band, Bayou Faux Pas, will put on the May 13 edition of Lambeth Live (heard each Friday night from 8-9 on WTJU), and you are invited to be part of the studio audience for this FREE concert broadcast! 350 Emmet St N, Charlottesville on ye olde GPS will get you to […]

  • WTJU Presents Allison Miller and Boom Tic Boom May 3rd

    Picture taken by the Lincoln Center The star-studded jazz sextet Boom Tic Boom will perform in concert Tuesday May 3rd at The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church, sponsored by WTJU and The Charlottesville Jazz Society.  The group is on tour to promote their latest release, Otis Was a Polar Bear, which includes all original material composed […]

  • New Blues & Soul News – 4/25/2016

    New Blues & Soul News – 4/25/2016 New Blues Adds: Mike Eldred Trio – Baptist Town (Great Western): This is Eldred’s fourth release and it reaches for the roots that stoked the original fires at Sun Studio, where it was recorded. There are blues, gospel, country proto-rock influences all over it. The sound ranges from […]

  • jazz adds april 25, 2016

    david murray+geri allen+terri lyne carrington.  perfection.  motema.  tribute to innovator ornette coleman from david murray, tenor +bass clarinet;  geri allen, queen of the piano;  and terri lyne carrington@drums.  quality material all around, especially folk song barbara allen which the late charlie haden (inspired by years with ornette)  brought to geri allen’s earlier trio ;  centerpiece, […]

  • The Sirens of Spring Tour on WTJU’s “Wild Women and Friends” May 12

    Baltimore Based Mama’s Black Sheep and Philadelphia based Christine Havrilla will stop by the WTJU studios on Thursday May 12th from 11am-12pm EST during their 4th annual SIRENS OF SPRING TOUR. The SIRENS OF SPRING TOUR is a 22-day, 14-city tour featuring female singer-songwriters. SIRENS OF SPRING started as a co-bill tour with Mama’s Black […]