OP3374. LODOÏSKA (Cherubini), Live Performance, 1991, w.Riccardo Muti Cond. La Scala Ensemble; Mariella Devia, Bernard Lombardo, Thomas Moser, Alessandro Corbelli, etc. (Austria) 2-Sony S2K 47290. Boxed Set has Elaborate 179pp. Libretto-Brochure in French, Italian, German & English, plus archival photos. Long out of Print; Final copy! - 5099704729022
“Two hundred years ago, amid the rubble of the old regime in revolutionary France, the transplanted Italian composer Luigi Cherubini brought about another revolution, in the development of the opera. The nymphs and demigods of Rameau were banished in favor of a simpler, more naturalistic form of music drama.
LODOÏSKA, among the earliest of a genre that came to be known as the rescue opera, established the essential elements: an innocent maiden, immured in a tower by an evil prince, is rescued by her beloved. Using spoken dialogue, and characterized by an uninterrupted heroic tone, LODOÏSKA achieved great success in the years after its premiere, but as the Romantic opera began to proliferate throughout Europe, the piece disappeared from the repertory. Yet its influence was enormous, notably on Beethoven, whose lone opera, FIDELIO, written 14 years later, resembles it in many respects.
This premiere recording of the opera, taped live at La Scala, captures the noble idealism of the piece, but also reveals its fatal flaw: a dearth of memorable melodies, unforgivable in the dawning age of Rossini. Mr. Muti draws an inspired performance from the Scala orchestra, and his vocal soloists are, for the most part, well schooled and sensitive to every nuance of the score.”
- Jamie James, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 15 Dec., 1991