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Hyperion Records

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The Gondala, Venice, with Santa Maria della Salute in the Distance (1865) by James Holland (1799-1870)
Copyright Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, Lancashire, England / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67647
Recording details: April 2007
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: June 2008
Total duration: 9 minutes 45 seconds

'Rossini's writing for the piano is highly idiosyncratic. It requires a first-rate technique, a sure sense of style and an ability to bring off insouciance all manner of hair's-breadth effects. Mr Vignoles has the measure of all this and more' (Gramophone)

'Salon music at its most sophisticated and highly wrought. Gently elegiac bel canto arias jostle with popular dance rhythms, from a yodelling Tyrolean waltz to the snap and swagger of the bolero and fandango … the three singers give virtually unalloyed pleasure' (The Daily Telegraph)

'All four musicians make a positive contribution to this charming, entertaining disc—a surprise venture into a still under-explored area of art-song by the ever-enterprising Hyperion' (International Record Review)

'It's hard for any disc of Rossini's Paris salon songs not to speed by in a wink of delight. And it's impossible with Miah Persson's bright soprano and the sensitive accompaniments of Roger Vignoles' (The Times)

'Rossini's salon works are witty, charming, tuneful and downright silly, complete with florid vocal lines. Lovely performances' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Joyous music-making that is perfect for a summer's evening' (Daily Mail)

'There isn't a low point on the entire disc. Roger Vignoles plays with all his characteristic intelligence and subtlety. Miah Persson is enchanting in the opening La promessa, and playfully dazzling in La pastorella dell'Alpi. Stella Doufexis' pure, rich voice gives perfect expression to L’orpheline du Tyrol, and the two women's voices meld together magically when paired in duets such as La pesca. Meanwhile, Bruce Ford is technically brilliant and dramatically engaging in the drinking song, L'orgia, and smoothly leads the mood from light to darkness with L'esule, the first of the Péchés de vieillesse. If Rossini's songs are the cake and the performers the icing, the recording itself is the unexpected cherry on top. The acoustic of Potton Hall in Suffolk immediately transports you to the intimate space of Rossini's salon, candles flickering, guests listening intently, adding a further dimension to this already wonderful disc' (bbc.co.uk)

La regata veneziana 'Tre canzonette'
composer
probably composed in 1858; Péchés de vieillesse Vol i (Album italiano) Nos 8-10
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Volume 1 of Péchés de vieillesse, ‘Album italiano’, contains three canzonettas grouped together as La regata veneziana which were first performed at one of Rossini’s celebrated soirées. Written in Venetian dialect for mezzo-soprano, each song has a different mood, and describes through the eyes of a young woman the regatta which Momolo, her lover, eventually wins. After his triumph he presents her with the red flag of victory, and she returns the gift with a kiss. The songs were probably written in 1858.

from notes by Richard Stokes © 2008

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