Customary Beatrice di Tenda on Bellini’s birthday
the journalistic storm over Beatrice di Tenda [which evolved] into the bitterest, most convoluted, and—at our distance from it—most amusing polemic in the annals of early nineteenth-century Italian opera (Herbert Weinstock)
Bellini: whose fault is that? that of my usual and original poet, the God of Sloth!
Romani: my melodramma was touched up in a thousand ways, in order to make it acceptable to the Milords of the Thames [who] await him…
When I first started this blog I marked Vincenzo Bellini’s birthday with a quip about Romani’s libretto for Beatrice di Tenda. Seems fitting to be talking again about this opera on his birthday.
After having not listened to it in ages I was reminded about it when I went to see Nucci. Finally, I gave it a spin (literally, I played a CD for once!) yesterday. Well, hello there gorgeous – it’s more beautiful that I remembered it. You can also feel his maturity here, in spite of its overly complicated birthing process it’s still good stuff. It sounds a bit like a patchwork of his favourite chord progressions – nicely put together. I’m enjoying it so much I find it hard to tear myself away! There’s something very attractive about it I can’t put in words yet (less flourish than usual in this repertoire?), after so much Baroque and so little belcanto. Here’s a good taster: