Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:
GRAMOPHONE (11/2011)
Pour s'abonner / Subscription information


Code-barres / Barcode: 709861305131


Reviewer: David Vickers

Between 1718 and 1720 Vivaldi worked in Mantua, where he was appointed maestro di cappella da camera to the Habsburg governor Prince Philip of Hessen-Darmstadt. On Christmas Day 1718 the prince announced his forthcoming marriage to the Princess Eleanora of Guastalla, and the next day the (premature) prenuptial celebrations included the premiere of Vivaldi’s Teuzzone. Frédéric Delaméa’s essay compares Teuzzone to Turandot because of its Chinese setting, but the dissimilar plot concerns the valiant title-hero’s quest to reclaim his rightful throne from the usurper Zidiana.

Apostolo Zeno’s libretto was already a dozen years old when Vivaldi set it for Mantua, and it is possible that a few arias were taken from previous settings by other composers, but Delaméa insists that Teuzzone ‘constitutes an authentically Vivaldian product’ and praises it as a ‘richly fascinating work, illustrating in all its plenitude the operatic language of its composer’s first creative period’.

Jordi Savall’s performance was recorded last June at the Opéra Royal in Versailles. Le Concert des Nations play with plenty of flair. Even if guitar strumming can be intrusive, gentler music, such as the emperor Troncone’s dignified death in the opening scene, is performed sweetly. Raffaella Milanesi’s seductive singing of Zidiana’s ‘Tu mio vezzoso’ gets an affectionate accompaniment (including intricate concertino strings) that Savall swings flirtatiously; the first act concludes with delicately played muted strings in Zelinda’s ‘Ti sento, sì ti sento’. As the title-hero, ‘sopranista’ Paolo Lopez is less screechy and histrionic than the worst soprano-range countertenors I’ve encountered but sometimes in slow music his timbre can seem anaemic. However, he unerringly navigates Vivaldi’s fiendish vocal passages in ‘Come fra turbini’ (Teuzzone’s bold sedition on hearing that he has been cheated of the crown), his heroic coloratura in the cavatina ‘Di trombe guerriere’ opens Act 2 with a bang (thanks also to brilliant oboes and splendid trumpets), his angry ‘Sì, ribelle anderò, morirò’ is a thrilling reaction to a trumped-up trial, and the hero also has a vividly doleful prison scene (‘Antri cupi, infausti orrori’). At the beginning of Act 3 Vivaldi portrays the minister Cino’s uneasy guilt at his treason in a simple continuo arioso (‘Quanto costi, al mio riposo’, sung flawlessly by soprano Roberta Mameli). In stark musical contrast, Teuzzone’s lover, Zelinda, urges Cino to repent his part in the coup in her spectacular trumpet aria ‘Con palme ed allori’ (performed valorously by Delphine Galou).

This accomplished recording is another distinguished chapter in Naïve’s epic Vivaldi Edition.

Fermer la fenêtre/Close window

Sélectionnez votre pays et votre devise en accédant au site de
Presto Classical
(Bouton en haut à droite)
Livraison mondiale

Pour acheter l'album
ou le télécharger

To purchase the CD
or to download it

Choose your country and curency
when reaching
Presto Classical
(Upper right corner of the page)
Worldwide delivery


Cliquez l'un ou l'autre bouton pour découvrir bien d'autres critiques de CD
 Click either button for many other reviews