Paisiello, Giovanni - Serva Padrona (La) - Cremonesi, Attilio

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Cinzia Forte - soprano
Antonio Abete - bass
La Cetra / Attilio Cremonesi

La Serva Padrona by the Napolitan composer Giovanni Paisiello is a delightful little gem. Written in 1781 while the composer was in the service of the court in St Petersburg, the opera was written to celebrate the wedding anniversary of the Grand Duke Alexander. Best described as a "chamber opera" there are only two soloists, Serpina (sung by soprano Cinzia Forte) and Uberto (sung by bass Antonio Abete).

The first of the work's two parts launches directly into a bass aria, after an overture. Here it is the music that constitutes the principal driving force, even if the vocal writing in La serva padrona remains simple, with arias that are easy to sing and to remember. Uberto, the 'padrone', complains that he is always poorly served by his maid Serpina, whom he took into his house as a young girl. The leitmotif of this intermezzo, in the comic mode, is the inversion of hierarchies: a potent theme in the eighteenth century. Here, a cunning ruse enables Serpina to marry Uberto.

Giovanni Paisiello quickly built up a reputation in Naples comparable to those of Piccinni and Cimarosa. In 1776, Empress Catherine II of Russia invited him to be her maestro di cappella, a post he held for nine years. After a few months in Vienna in 1785, he returned to Naples as maestro di cappella to Ferdinand IV. When the Revolution led to the overthrow of the Bourbons, Paisiello followed Bonaparte to Paris where he stayed two years. His subsequent return to Naples was a triumph, and Joseph Bonaparte (the new King of Naples) granted him a pension for life. However, the restoration of the Bourbons marked the end of Paisiello's career. He died in 1816.

In this recording made at the Théâtre de Poissy in May 2006, Attilio Cremonesi's cast consists of the excellent bass Antonio Abete as Uberto and the charming Cintia Forte as Serpina.

Attilio Cremonesi was for a long time musical assistant to René Jacobs. Over the past few years he has become a much sought-after opera conductor.

La Cetra has found its style, proved its outstanding instrumental qualities, and made a genuine reputation for itself. The group often appears without a conductor, under the direction of its leader David Plantier. After a first CD of music by Brescianello, unanimously acclaimed by the critics (Diapason Découverte, 10R), and Sartorio's opera Giulio Cesare (Diapason Découverte), it now records for Zig-Zag Territoires (Venturini: Choc du Monde de la Musique).
Artikelnummer ZZT070102
Streckkod 3760009291300
Utgivningsdatum 2007-02-28
Kategori Opera
Skivbolag ZIG-ZAG Territoires
Enhet CD
Antal enheter 1
Artister Cremonesi, Attilio
Dirigenter Cremonesi, Attilio
Kompositörer Paisiello, Giovanni
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