OP0137. PARISINA (Mascagni), Live Performance, 22 July, 1999, w.Diemecke Cond. Montpellier Languedoc-Roussilion Ensemble; Denia Mazzola, Vitali Taraschhenko, Vladimir Vaneev, Valery Ivanov, etc. (France) 3-Actes Sud 34103, in Deluxe QUAD FOLD Digipak, w.Elaborate Libretto-Brochure. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 3298490341032
“Pietro Mascagni is best known for CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA and his verismo approach to opera. His greatest triumph was this first opera, actually a competition entry, which scored a palpable hit in 1890. Unfortunately he never really quite lived up to it thereafter, despite the fifteen operas which followed it to 1934, although many of them seemed popular with the public at first hearing but then went on to have short shelf lives. That leaves them ripe for revivals, and PARISINA had one under Gianandrea Gavazzeni in 1952, and it now receives its first CD recording from two live performances in Montpellier.
The great disappointment is the undernourished and overtaxed voice of the tenor Vitali Taraschenko singing the role of Ugo, quite the wrong sound lacking any Italianate blade, a weak link in an otherwise strong cast and luscious orchestral sound (and Mascagni was a master of orchestral sound painting), with a fine chorus (except for flat ladies-in-waiting), all of them under the masterful pacing of Enrique Diemecke. I commend the horn sections (both on and offstage) in the hunting chorus scene. As the spurned and vengeful wife Tea Demurishvili infuses her role (which is confined to the first act only) with dramatically lustrous mezzo quality worthy of any Azucena, whilst Denia Mazzola in the title role has just the right spinto sound for the style and Vladimir Vaneev brings authority to the role of the troubled Nicolo d’Este. Full of engaging music, good sound quality, all worth having for its rarity - pity about the tenor though.”
Christopher Fifield, musicweb-international