Arias for Marietta Marcolini
Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
Fabio Biondi, conductor
The name of Marietta Marcolini is still familiar to music lovers especially for her collaborations with young Gioacchino Rossini, for whom she created the roles of Ernestina in L’equivoco stravagante (1811), of Ciro in Ciro in Babilonia, of Clarice in La pietra del paragone (both composed in 1812), of Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri (1813) and of the title role in Sigismondo (1814), as well as for her performances of Tancredi. Except for these famous heroes and heroines, the rest of the singer’s repertoire is almost unknown today and the proof is that the four arias not written by Rossini included in this album are world premiere recordings: Sol di morte from Giovanni Simone Mayr’s Il sacrifizio d’Ifigenia, Dille che in lei rispetto from Joseph Weigl’s L’imboscata, Io morrò from Ferdinando Paer’s L’eroismo in amore and Tu mi stringi from Carlo Coccia’s La donna selvaggia.
An exceptional singer like Ann Hallenberg is the ideal ambassador for this repertoire, thanks to her perfect mastery of coloratura, homogeneous voice and dark and brilliant timbre. The Marcolini roles suit perfectly to her. If the unpublished arias allow the listener to know a brilliant repertoire that unfortunately the passage of time has forced to leave aside, in Rossini’s arias we find many surprises in precious variations (perhaps written especially to make this part less monotonous?). Generally, the mezzosoprano is lively and witty (remember «un colpetto e dei cascar» in L’italiana in Algeri) or sentimental and sweet. Every detail, either musical or psychological, is not left to itself, but is painstaking and elaborated with a delicacy echoed by the orchestra, which Fabio Biondi leads with awareness and elegance. This is really a recording that deserves to be listened to over and over again.