Day 54: I Know What to Say

HaydnCD54I didn’t know what to say yesterday for Part I of Haydn’s opera La Fedelta Premiata.

But I know what to say today.


Way too much talking in Italian. Not enough singing and orchestration.

For me, the only redeeming aspect of La Fedelta Premiata is that this CD was recorded before a live audience. So there’s clapping and laughing, presumably at appropriate times.

I didn’t include the opera as a link to YouTube yesterday. I didn’t want you listening ahead. But I don’t care if you do or not today. Here it is, the very same performance to which I’ve been listening for two days:

As you’ll see, the singers are fantastic. The orchestration is first rate. And I’m sure the audience is comprised of a bunch of really nice folks.

But this is one of my least favorite Haydn operas. I don’t know why. It just is.

Day 53: I Have No Idea What to Say

HaydnCD53La Fedelta Premiata is an opera in three acts composed by Franz Joseph Haydn “first performed at Eszterháza on 25 February 1781 to celebrate the reopening of the court theatre after a fire. It was revised for a new version first performed in 1782,” according to its entry on Wikipedia. It was composed in 1780. Haydn was 48.

I liked it from the first few bars of the Overture.

That’s probably because I love orchestral music, played allegro con spirito – and Haydn’s Overture to La Fedelta Premiata is very spirited, indeed.

So is the Introduction, when the voices first appear (as a chorus).

The cast:

Amaranta: Ellen van Haaren soprano
Nerina: Maja Roodveldt soprano
Diana: Ester Beens soprano
Celia: Xenia Meijer alto
Fileno: Patrick Henckens tenor
Lindoro: Frank Fritschy tenor
Perruchetto: Tom Sol baritone
Melibeo: Julian Hartman bass

The performers:

Esterhazy Chorus & Orchestra
Frank van Koten

The plot:

The people of Cumae worship Diana, goddess of hunting and chastity. Their rites however have been defiled by a nymph whose treachery has brought a curse on them. To propitiate the angry goddess, two faithful lovers must be sacrificed each year to a lake monster until a faithful lover can be found to offer his own life. Fidelity, therefore, is at a premium in Cumae, and victims are hard to find.

The plot is “part thriller about lovers being sacrificed to a monster, part burlesque sending up pseudo-classical and early romantic emotions”.

Once again, today’s CD (par for the course in the Brilliant Classics Haydn Edition) features a high-quality recording of an inspired performance at Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Castle, Eisenstadt, Austria. It must be Continue reading

Day 21: a.k.a. Three Weeks

HaydnCD21You know the old saying that times flies when you’re having fun?

Well, it’s not true.

Time flies whether you’re having fun or not, usually when you’re busy as hell and it becomes, as the late MacDonald Carey used to say at the start of each Days of Our Lives episode, “like sands through the hourglass.”

The older we get, the more those sands fall to the bottom of said hourglass.

I type that because three weeks have already passed since I started this three-year project. I have no idea where those 21 days went. Tell you what, though, if I could stick my finger in that little narrow tube between the top of the hourglass and its bottom I most definitely would. (Hmm, the words “stick my finger in” and “its bottom” in the same sentence don’t necessarily enhance the appeal of this morning’s Asiago bagel. But you know what I mean. )

Symphony No. 70 in D is another delightful composition, one that grabbed me from Continue reading