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

  • jazz adds may 20, 2015

     jesse cook.  one world.  eOne.    Spoiler alert:  i ♥nuevo flamenco;  ever since wtju jazz librarian david lee burned me my first jesse cook cd, and said  i bet you’ll like this.  yes, sir!   this  puppy is  gypsy kings with strings ( multiple violins, cello, viola)  plus musical playmates, mr. sitar and ms. djembe.  and […]

  • May 23 Gather Round: Jim Lauderdale at The Festy (2011)

    Gather ‘Round each Saturday night from 8-9 for WTJU Folk‘s concert series; both archived and live. There will be shows from The Prism Coffeehouse and VA Folklife archives mixed in with some from our announcers’ own libraries. And you never know when a live concert might pop up! Tonight’s concert features a Jim Lauderdale set […]

  • The Flaming Fire: Mary Queen of Scots and Her World

    Tenor and countertenor Ryland Angel and virginal player Dongsok Shin join the viol quartet Parthenia for a introspective look at the musical world of Mary, Queen of Scots. The well-balanced program includes selections native to 16th Century Scotland (both sacred and secular), music from the English court Mary may have heard during her imprisonment, and […]

  • WTJU Returns to Charlottesville City Market, May 23

    WTJU is delighted to announce that Atlantic Weekly returns to the all new and improved Charlottesville City Market this Saturday morning, May 23, between 8 am and noon.  Stop by and say hello!

  • Martin Fröst – Nordic Concertos

    Martin Fröst presents an interesting program of Nordic clarinet concertos that covers a lot of ground with just four works. The two contemporary works were composed for Fröst and differ greatly in style. The two older works call out important Nordic composers, and also differ in style. Anders Hillborg’s 1998 Clarinet Concerto (Peacock Tales) is a […]

  • WTJU Presents Pierre Bensusan at The Southern Cafe & Music Hall, May 28

    WTJU is delighted to present Pierre Bensusan at The Southern Cafe and Music Hall on Thursday, May 28th.  As a special treat, Pierre will also do a short acoustic set during the 6-8 pm happy hour.  The concert will start at 8 pm.  For additional details, visit TheSouthernCville.com, or of course wtju.net. “The way the […]