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Umberto Giordano: La Cena Delle Beffe

By Marco Chingari

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By Marco Chingari, Fabio Armiliato, Rita Lantieri, Giovanna Manci, Maria Augusta Miceli, Gigliola Caputi, Patrizia Gentile, Alberto Carusi, Francesco Piccoli, Enrico Marini, Carlo Micalucci, Gabriele de Julis, Guido Mazzini, Piero Manghesi, and Orchestra Sinfoni. By Umberto Giordano (1867-1948). Country of Origin: Italy. Classical. 2 listening CDs. Bongiovanni #GB2068/69-2. Published by Bongiovanni (NX.GB2068-69-2).

Item Number: NX.GB2068-69-2

The "dramatic poem" La cena delle beffe by Sem Benelli perfectly suited the needs of Giordano's evolution and reflected the crisis between a confused search for something new and fondness for an old type of musical drama. This is an opera thought up for great singers/actors, able to combine a powerful throat with the histrionic strength of stage presence. Above all in the case of the two rivals: Giannetto, a tenor with Mascagni-style vocality who punctually underlines the key words of his plans for revenge by arching up high notes, and Neri, a boisterous, hammish post-Verdi baritone. The vocal parts of La Cena delle beffe incline to a pompous realist-style declamation, but do not renounce their traditional appointments with romances. But more than the impetuous vocality of the characters, it is the orchestral arrangement which arouses curiosity today, for the mobility of the rhythm, resulting in the relentless speed of the action, in certain grotesque, tone-deformated points which dismiss the realist models and sharply underline the Benelli theatre's sense of emptiness and senseless cruelty.

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