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Raff: Benedetto Marcello
By Joachim Raff

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Composed by Joachim Raff. Classical, Opera. Classical. CD. Naxos #CDO1123. Published by Naxos (NX.CDO1123).

Item Number: NX.CDO1123

This new release features a recording from the world premiere performance of the opera in Metzingen Stadthalle, Bad Urach, Germany, October 4th, 2002. The opera is set in Venice in 1727. In the house of Marcello, a musician and poet, two of his pupils Rosana and Faustina wait for their teacher who is late for their singing lesson. Marcello at last arrives, apologizes, and announces that instead of their lessons he wants them to sing for a guest of his, the famous composer Adolph Hasse, from Germany. Rosana sings first: a sad song about unrequited love. Hasse praises her warmly for singing from the heart, whereas Marcello is just puzzled by her sudden ability to find the correct tone. Faustina immediately recognizes that Rosana is singing about her love for Marcello and is irritated that he cannot see it himself. She then sings a joyful song about a nightingale, which leaves both Hasse and Marcello captivated. Hasse expresses his profound admiration for Marcello and she invites him to accompany her to a party that evening. Faustina is preparing for the evening and her thoughts turn to Hasse, and she realizes that she loves him. Hasse has quietly arrived and, overhearing her soliloquy, immediately tells Faustina that he has fallen in love with her too. Marcello, masked, arrives and stands outside Faustina's rooms, consumed with love for her and intending to sing her a serenade. He hears the gondola bearing Faustina and Hasse approaching, and jealously listens to their loving conversation. Hiding while they enter her apartment, he vows revenge on Hasse. Marcello wants to pick a quarrel and both men draw their swords. Faustina, who has heard the commotion outside, opens her balcony window, sees the events below and collapses with a scream. Hasse leaves, telling Marcello that he may keep his life as a pledge of their friendship...

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