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CD Review

Gaetano Donizetti

L'Elisir d'Amore

  • Adina - Mariella Devia
  • Nemorino - Roberto Alagna
  • Belcore - Pietro Spagñoli
  • Doctor Dulcamara - Bruno Pratico
  • Giannetta - Francesca Provvisionato
Tallis Chamber Choir and English Chamber Orchestra/Marcello Viotti
Erato 4509-91701-2 (Warner Reissue 4509-98483-2) 2CDs; October 1992
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"Performing or recording a work as well-known as L'Elisir d'Amore, the artist clearly faces a serious problem in having to choose between the traditional approach (giving the audience or viewers what they want to hear), and that of the musical scholar, offering the same public an interpretation more faithful to the original text.

For this recording, while we have respected the performing tradition in part, we have also included - especially for the musical production - the alterations arising in the critical edition." - program notes page 24

I really could not tell the difference between this recording and others available on the market. Whatever additions or what have you were not readily deciphered. This aside, as Adina, Mariella Devia possesses the perfect soprano for the part. Her notes came strongly and cleanly. She exhibited wonderful control at all dynamic levels and ranges as well. Roberto Alagna's reading was pretty much straight forward. I found him to be lacking in humor especially after his first act duet with Dulcamara. He just didn't sound care-free and tipsy. His voice is very pleasant and at times takes on a Pavarotti-like quality. In fact, the first day I had this recording, I thought I had mixed this and Pavarotti's up. Bruno Pratico makes a solid Dulcamara. His patter is great - just look at that last name. His voice blended well with the others as they in turn also. The tempi choosen were on the money, although at times they did dray a little. The chorus and orchestra were excellent.

Copyright © 1996, Stephen L. Parker