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Mazzoni : Antigono Live
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Description du produit
Antigono - an opera thought to be lost forever during an earthquake back in 1755, and not played for over 255 years, has been put together in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. A world premiere recording of its music will now be released on CD by DYNAMIC, so that it won't be missed again.
'The 2011 singers rise to the challenge with bravura performances' **** --Graham Lock, Early Music Today, June 14
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Antonio Maria Mazzoni (1717 – 1785) is the composer. He was prominent in the music life of Bologna in his time, being principe dell'Accademia Filarmonica no less than five times, in 1757, 1761, 1771, 1773 and 1784. He spent 3 years in Lisbon, from 1753 to 1755 as the assistant of David Pérez.
Unfortunately for Mazzoni, he was thus in Lisbon when the 1755 earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake, occurred. On Saturday, November 1st, 1755, the holiday of All Saints' Day, at around 09:40 local time, the Azores–Gibraltar Transform Fault, which marks the boundary between the African (Nubian) and the Eurasian continental plates slipped. Seismologists today estimate the Lisbon earthquake had a magnitude in the range 8.5–9.0 on the moment magnitude scale, with its epicenter in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 km (120 mi) west-southwest of Cape St. Vincent.
Based on various historical data that survived, the death toll in Lisbon alone was between 10,000 and 100,000 people, making it one of the deadliest earthquakes in history. Contemporary reports state that the earthquake lasted between three and a half and six minutes, causing fissures 5 meters (15 feet) wide to open in the city center. Survivors rushed to the open space of the docks for safety and watched as the water receded, revealing a sea floor littered with lost cargo and shipwrecks. Approximately 40 minutes after the earthquake, a tsunami engulfed the harbor and downtown area, rushing up the Tagus river, "so fast that several people riding on horseback ... were forced to gallop as fast as possible to the upper grounds for fear of being carried away." It was followed by two more waves. In the areas unaffected by the tsunami fire quickly broke out, and flames raged for five days. This could have been a good time to put on Boito's or Mascagni's "Nerone" had they been born yet, but that was, alas, not the case.
Since Antigono was first performed in Lisbon in 1755, I think we can safely assume that its performance antedates November 1st. Furthermore, Mazzoni must have had the good fortune be taking a morning stroll in the hills above Lisbon or something to that effect, since he survived unharmed and made his way to Madrid by1756, where he performed another of his operas, before returning to Bologna (otherwise wits in his home town would probably have put down his name as "A. Mazzatoni" in the church records posthumously [or would saying "postaquaeously" be more apt for this reference?]). Anyway, he was to stay there for the rest of his life, presumably attending church often and thanking his maker for his lucky escape and promising that he would never ever leave Bologna again.
I would strongly suggest that those who consider buying this disc and who have a trained musical ear listen to the mp3 samples before doing so. First off, the music is delightful - it's in the early classical style of the 1750's - 60's and very reminiscent of J.C. Bach. The singers are generally excellent, as is the orchestral playing, but the reason I suggest you listen to the samples before buying the CD's is due to Martin Oro's singing in the role of Alessandro.
Judge for yourselves, gentle readers, since I must plead ignorance for legal reasons. Suffice it to say that Oro's voice gives the term "bargain counter tenor" a whole new basement. It's a pity, really, for this could have been a delightful performance of some very delightful music.