- Performer: Alessandro Scarlatti, Nino Sanzogno, Mirella Freni, Luigi Alva, Sesto Bruscantini, et al.
- Audio CD (August 7, 2001)
- Parental Advisory ed. edition
- Number of Discs: 2
- Label: Opera D'oro
- ASIN: B00005NNDQ
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,052 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Scarlatti - La Griselda / Mirella Freni · Nino Sanzogno
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
The music throughout is first-rate and revelatory. Themes start one way and then go off in directions that were not anticipated. The orchestration is rich and interesting. And there are an unusual, for baroque opera, number of ensembles; duets, a trio, and a quartet.
This performance under Rene Jacobs is superb. All the singers acquit themselves well and sing with style and sensitivity. Roschman and Fink are particularly fine, but there are really no weak links. Orchestra is clear, crisp, and virtuosic. Recorded sound, packaging, booklet, all truly excellent. One of the best things to come out this year.
It is surprising to me that with all the recent interest in Baroque opera this recording has not become better-known. The entire cast (and Mirella Freni in particular) do a tremendous job, proving that La Griselda, Scarlatti's last and finest opera, really does deserve a place in the permanent repetoire. The entire work overflows with moments of breath-stopping beauty and resplendant melody (as in the aria da capo form that Scarlatti helped to popularize).
There are a few negatives, of course. Notably, the plot lacks a certain sense of dramatic motion (which is probably Scarlatti's biggest flaw in general), but this is typical of almost all Baroque operas. Also, the recording quality isn't too great. However, it does manage to capture the beauty and warmth of the singers, which is after all (in this opera at least) what's most important.
Really, at Opera d'Oro's low low price, I guarantee you will find this CD worth your money and time. Help bring this recording the attention it deserves.
'Griselda' was first performed in Rome in 1721, the last of Alessandro Scarlatti's seventy or so operas. The cast consisted of five castrati and a tenor; on this recording the five castrati are replaced with two sopranos, two mezzo sopranos and a countertenor.
Apostolo Zeno fashioned the subject of Griselda into an opera libretto in 1701. Briefly, the plot is as follows: The King of Sicily (Gualtiero portrayed by Lawrence Zazzo-countertenor) marries Griselda (portrayed by Dorthea Roschmann-soprano)much to the chagrin of the people, because she is below his station. Consequently, they will not recognize their offspring as heir to the throne. Gualtiero goes back and forth between supporting his wife, then testing her by taking their one child away and leaving one with her. With his pretended acts of cruelty, he is no longer fighting for his own convenience as a husband, but (so to speak )battling alongside his unsuspecting wife for their recognition in society and the preservation of the couple's happiness. Another "test" is when he tells her that she must marry Ottone(a courtier portrayed by Silvia Tro Santafe) and she refuses,at which point he hopefully will have convinced his people that she is a worthy and virtuous woman. There are so many twists and turns in this plot that I leave it to you to listen to the opera and you will understand it all.
Jacob's cast is ideal! Dorothea Roschman's Griselda is always noble, belying this character's humble origins. Her voice is beautiful. Lawrence Zazzo (Gualitiero-countertenor), while on one hand seeming cynical and insensitive, in his 'asides' he must convince us of his inherent goodness, and he does!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is little I can add to what my fellow enthusiasts have so well stated here, but this live 1970 recording is an absolute gem. Read morePublished on March 1, 2013 by Lindon Andrew Sjolander
The opera «Griselda» (1721) by Alessandro Scarlatti is a great example of the real life about the struggle between the love and the social origins and how the virtue overcomes... Read morePublished on September 18, 2010 by Omar Alvarez Pereira