Elisabetta Dessi, Franco Calabretto & Eddi de Nadai (pianos)
CD - 2 discs
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.
When one speaks of Donizetti, it is usually with reference to his operas: as a leading figure of the ‘bel canto’ tradition, he composed what are today some of the most popular and widely performed dramas in opera houses around the world – La fille du Regiment, L’Elisir d’Amore and Lucia di Lammermoor immediately spring to mind.
This 2CD compilation, however, is dedicated to a little-known area of his output: his solo piano and piano duet works. One shouldn’t forget that around the time Donizetti was maturing as a composer, the piano was fast becoming established as the entertainment centre in middleclass 19th-century homes: like those written by Wagner, Rossini, Offenbach and a string of other famous operatic figures, Donizetti intended his piano works for domestic use.
There’s everything to delight the listener in these digital recordings. While idiomatic in terms of keyboard layout and textural effect, they still manage to incorporate Donizetti’s infectious tune spinning together with such operatic devices as chordal introductions, long tremolos and the occasional dramatic silence. With the ambience of the theatre thus prevailing, this release presents a fine opportunity to become better acquainted with an area of Donizetti’s repertoire that deserves to be better known.
New booklet note by piano music specialist Jed Distler.
“You can take Donizetti out of the opera house but you can't take the opera house out of Donizetti. The Waltzes outstay their welcome, but the Sonatas and Sinfonias are scintillating.”
“On the evidence of these discs, Donizetti was a pianist with an intelligent understanding of idiom, imbuing his works with a sense of spaciousness, approachability and variety...the result is a double CD of great geniality that should appeal to music-lovers of all persuasions.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.