Thursday’s Something Else on Monday (Paisiello)

tseIs this a comedy?

I actually listened to most of Nina, o sia La pazza per amore last Wednesday but then real life kept intruding. Anyway, it’s of its time and if you like that time chances are good you will like it. It’s sung by Bartoli, JK (you know you always wanted to hear him supported by… bagpipes) and Laszlo Polgar = the singing is good. By that and by their good quality choir you can also tell it’s from Zurich. That the recits are spoken (to good effect) is another sure sign. In fact there are recits but there is also spoken dialogue in the libretto.

Those of us who enjoy those knighly Tancredi/Ginevra di Scozia choruses have something else to rejoice by. They were also of this time (1789).

Those of us who find Paisiello occasionally ponderous have to sit through a few of Nina’s very (very) long ariosos, one of which reminds me of Sesto’s lament at the end of act I of Tito (and since Bartoli’s Sesto happened within memory it feels just like that – except Nina isn’t about to stab anyone, she’s merely hyperventilating over Lindoro (there’s always a Lindoro in Italian buffa)). Upon further investigation this turns out to be… an interpolated Mozart aria. As you do.

The ariosos are actually rather interesting but did I mention long? Ok, Nina has a point, because the entire opera is based on her denial of the fact that Lindoro is, in fact, dead. These days we wouldn’t be laughing at situations like these, so the question is, is this really a comedy in 2016?

…only Lindoro is not dead after all. Yes, dear reader, we’re meant to (?) laugh at this poor woman’s breakdown only to find out that her lover, whom she (thought she?) saw being killed, is alive after all. Relieved laughter ensues. But we get to hear a lyric singer get all dramatic within their fach’s comfortable limitations so not all is lost.


About dehggial

Mozart/Baroque loving red dragon

Posted on June 13, 2016, in audio only, classical period, mezzos & contraltos, thursday's something else and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. So did Paisiello actually write that part for Scottish bagpipes? I’m guessing not.

    • when I heard the bagpipes I just about shat myself. At least they didn’t accompany a very high soprano… so the answer is I’m trying to put the whole unfortunate moment out of my mind, regardless of who wrote it.

      • Yeah, I’m just wondering if it would sound less kinda horrific if they had actually used some species of Italian pipes – probably zampogna, if Paisiello was hanging around Naples and wanted it to sound echt shepherdy.

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