music to “start” Apr 10

start is the right word; no matter what i try, it seems 4pm is the natural clock.

i’ve been quite stuck on this live “Clemenza di Tito” recording from Madrid for the last 2 weeks or so now. call it bias, but the mezzo got my attention every single time, from the moment she entered with the recitative (5:37 – 06:08). Must admit Alexandrina Pendatchanska’s voice is not entirely my favorite (sadly i kept getting headaches listening) but LOVE the tension she and the harpsichord created beginning at 06:52. Anywho, I realllly love this clip, the tempo, the suspense in the overture (always feels like a pendulum, pull + release), the footsteps at the end of overture, the entrance of Kasarova’s Sesto in “come ti piace imponi” at 06:11, the harpsichord entrance precisely at 06:51.5, and the duet. JUST how I would order it to start an opera :-).

There’re scattered clips of this performance on Youtube, nicely gathered here for your convenience. (Couldn’t find clip of Pendatchanska’s “Deh se piacer mi vuoi” though. if there’s request i can post, she sounded razor sharp–befitting of Vitelia, you do not wish not to be Sesto.)

ps- i quite looking forward to first ever live performance of this this weekend, concert version, more reason to see the orchestra too!


About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

7 Responses to music to “start” Apr 10

  1. Eyesometric says:

    Isn’t it funny how much difference the treatment of the harpsichord part makes? I agree about the fine balance within the orchestra but I do prefer the recit. to have a ‘cello in there as well – this one feels over-ornamented and rather brittle but maybe I need to do as much listening as you!
    Hope you enjoy Saturday’s performance. Write-up to follow?

  2. earwormopera says:

    I never noticed that pendulum quality to the overture before: you’re right – that’s a good way to describe it.

    I ended up rewinding this back to 6.50 or so several times to hear it over 🙂 You can hear the violins (the little short runs upward) in that section really clearly – I like it.

  3. thả diều says:

    oh Eyes, where do you hear the cello (which recording)? I’ve *never* picked it out, perhaps the live performance will tell :-). Cellos are also quite dark and well hidden no? But this is the first time i hear so prominently the harpsichord, both in the overture and interacting so well with the voice. will let you know how it goes.

    Charlotte: must have been the email change, wp asked me to approve comment! 6.50… let me go listening what’s going on there 🙂 (but before i go, actually this is the first recording i hear so well the various instruments and dynamics, quite cool!)

    Edit: back, like! must be selective hearing, i always hear the tension building between strings (much lower notes, those are cellos no?) and harpsichord and voice, but never picked out that high string sections before, it goes on for a while too.

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