Andante e tema con variazioni
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Antonio Pappano, conductor
Warner Classics, 2014
After listening to the album dedicated to Gioacchino Rossini’s overtures by Antonio Pappano again and again, I have concluded that it is a good but not exciting recording: some disappointment plays an important role in my opinion, since I was waiting for something exceptional from Pappano and, instead, I simply had to find that here Rossini is Rossini, i.e. that interpretation does not betray his spirit, and that Overtures offers some wonderful moments thanks to a good conduction and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, that for its part plays with brilliance and fluidity, but I was never enthusiast.
Of course, in Overtures you can find some good aspects, also rather easily. Pappano is not at all a mediocre conductor, and, at his best, shows a magnificent control of dynamics and does not fail to present in a new way some very well known music like that of Il barbiere di Siviglia, or reveals a delicate irony, as in the case of Cenerentola. Still, I always felt that something was missing, and gradually I began to realize that there was no tension, not for negligence or ineptitude, but for a precise choice of Pappano, who gives lightness to music, as to make the sound “fly”. This is a legitimate choice and, if nothing else, a very personal one, but, from my point of view, it is unfortunate both in general and in particular. Good ideas (undoubtedly there are many of them) pass and I cannot remember them, as if the music could not remain impressed in my memory. This last point, of course, is very personal and depends on my sensibility; maybe some of you will be enchanted by this approach.