Sunday, February 14, 2016

Antonio Salieri opera on Spotify - Better than Mozart?

To my surprise, the recovery of the lost collaboration by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, the cantata “Per la ricuperata salute di Ofelia”, hardly made any world news. The cantata, mentioned in several sources and even with an own KV number, KV477a, was discovered in a library in Prague, as the Mozarteum announced January 19th of this year. 
In 1785 Antonio Salieri eclipsed Mozart as most popular opera composer in Vienna. His two act opera comica “La Grotta di Trofonio”, with the same soprano in the leading female role as KV477a, Nancy Storace, was the succes of the decade. 

What caught my eye was that present-day English newspaper the Spector called the opera “Better than Mozart”. But then again the Spectator says more silly things ;-) No, it may be not in the same league as Mozart, but it certainly is a very fine opera, that deserves more attention. 

Tim Ashley, from the Guardian wrote about this piece:
"Antonio Salieri, as everyone knows, was one of Mozart's great rivals and La Grotta di Trofonio, first performed in Vienna in 1785, has certain similarities to Cosi Fan Tutte, which was premiered five years later. Both operas deal with the sexual uncertainties of two sisters when faced with lovers who are in some sense transformed - in Salieri's case by the magician Trofonio, in whose eponymous grotto the two men magically exchange personalities." 

|in 2005 Christophe Rousset recorded the opera with a fine ensemble of voices and it gives us the opportunity to hear the drive and admirable feeling for orchestration Salieri had in this period.
Hope you will enjoy this opera as much as I did on Spotify…! 

Antonio Salieri  (1750-1825)
La Grotta di Trofonio (1785)
Dori: Marie Arnet, soprano; 
Ofelia: Raffaella Milanesi, soprano; 
Trofonio: Carlo Lepore, bass; 
Artemidoro: Nikolaï Schukoff, tenor; 
Aristone: Olivier Lallouette, baritone; 
Plistene: Tobias Rapp, tenor
Les Talens Lyriques
Christophe Rousset, conductor
(HTTP link)

Nancy Storace

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