Rossini: Armida / Scimone
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Rossini: Armida Cecilia Gasdia (Armida), Chris Merrit (Rinaldo), William Matteuzzi (Carlo/Goffredo), Charles Workman (Eustazio), Bruce Ford (Gernando/Ubaldo), Ferruccio Furlanetto (Idradote/Astarotte) Ambrosian Opera Chorus & I Solisti Veneti, Claudio Scimone
After its successful premiere, Rossini’s opera “Armida” was quickly forgotten, only to be triumphantly revived by Maria Callas in 1952, and ever since it is considered a masterpiece. This performance with primarily Italian forces, has all the wit, charm, beauty and sparkle that any Rossini opera can wish for. Some big names here: Cecilia Gasdia, Chris Merritt,William Matteuzzi and Ferruccio Furlanetto. Great addition to the Brilliant Classics Opera Collection. Armida is today considered one of Rossini’s greatest operas, but following its premier in Naples in 1817 it quickly faded from the standard operatic repertoire. Its plot of knightly duties, love and supernatural worlds (foreshadowing Weber in places) inspired the composer to write some of his most original and inimitable music, with unusual combinations of instruments and some beautiful extended solos for cello and violin.The love music is undeniably heartfelt and sincere; Rossini’s inspiration may have been assisted by his romantic involvement with the soprano Isabella Colbran, a major star of the time and the first to perform the title role. Armida was revived in 1952 with Maria Callas in the lead role, and this began a trajectory that saw the work rise back to its rightful place in the repertoire. It is now considered one of Rossini’s masterpieces.