LABELS: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi
ALBUM TITLE: Salieri
WORKS: La scuola de’ gelosi
PERFORMER: Emiliano d’Aguanno, Roberta Mameli, Francesca Mazzulli Lombardi, Federico Sacchi , Florian Götz; L’Arte del Mondo/Werner Ehrhardt
CATALOGUE NO: 88985332282
Salieri composed La scuola de’ gelosi – during the course of which two of its central characters learn not to be jealous – for Venice in 1779. He revised it for Vienna in 1783, when it was chosen to launch the new Italian company at the Burgtheater for which Mozart and Da Ponte subsequently wrote Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte: Da Ponte had the job of revising the text – originally by his patron Caterino Mazzolà – on this occasion.
The result was one of Salieri’s most successful works, widely performed in his lifetime, including in London in 1786, when one critic described it as a ‘masterly composition’. It may not come up to Mozart’s exalted standards, but it’s a fluent and capable piece of writing, one of whose numbers clearly impacted on Susanna’s serenade ‘Deh vieni, non tardar’ in the last act of Figaro. The libretto is also a highly sophisticated piece of work that comes close to suggesting that married couples ought to maintain open relationships to make their long-term commitments work.
In this live performance, drawing on elements of both the Venetian and Viennese versions of this opera, Werner Ehrhardt elicits an accomplished account from his period-instrument ensemble and a strong. well-matched team of principals. Querulous merchant and jealous husband Blasio is nicely sketched by bass Federico Sacchi, soprano Roberta Mameli ensuring that his wife Ernestina gives as good as she gets. Tenor Emiliano d’Aguanno is the philandering Count and soprano Francesca Mazzulli Lombardi the long-suffering Countess.