“The works selected for this CD were written during Wolf-Ferrari’s very early years. Right after finishing his studies in Munich, the composer returned to Italy to devote himself to an intensive personal study of Italian early music – Monteverdi, Palestrina, Pergolesi, Paisiello and Galuppi.
The a capella works that this study inspired are without exaggeration a jewel among choral works and do belong among the most beautiful works penned by the composer. Their counterpoint, which is profoundly inspired and never academic, their grace, bucolic melancholy, humour and elegant touches of irony, testify to his consummate ability to portray characters.”
Before he sprang to international fame as an operatic composer,
Wolf-Ferrari had embarked on an important sequence of choral works. The very early Otto cori, Op. 2, set to Italian and German texts, contain some of the most beautiful music he ever wrote, revealing his love of Italian Renaissance music through grace, bucolic melancholy, humorous wit and sublime characterisation. In Talitha Kumi!, Op. 3, the title derived from an Aramaic quotation from Mark’s Gospel, the voice of an Evangelist carries the biblical narrative of Jesus bringing the daughter of Jairus back to life against a rich orchestral backdrop.
Listen to an extract from 8 Cori, Op. 2: Madrigale
About the Artists
Friedrich Haider, an Austrian conductor with Italian ancestry, was trained at the Vienna Music Academy. At the age of 29 he was appointed music director of the Strasbourg Opéra National du Rhin. From 2004 to 2010 he was principal conductor of the Oviedo Filarmonía and in 2017 was appointed chief conductor of the Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense, Poland’s most renowned period instruments orchestra. Friedrich Haider is an ardent champion of the music of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari.
The distinguished tenor Rainer Trost has sung at the world's leading opera-houses, including the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Opéra Bastille, the Bavarian and Hamburg State Operas, the Palais Garnier and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, as well as the Salzburg and Bregenz Festivals. His recordings for Naxos include Vol. 28 of the Complete Schubert Lieder series (8.557567) and Mayr’s Samuele (8.572721-22).
Joan Martín-Royo’s honours include third prize at the 2003 Francisco Viñas Competition, and the ‘Preisträger’ at Salzburg’s Mozarteum. He has performed many principal baritone opera roles and is a noted oratorio and Lieder singer. He has sung with renowned orchestras such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre du Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, and the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, and has performed at major concert venues and opera houses in Europe.
Founded 20 years ago, Coro El León de Oro has since developed a distinguished reputation, revered in Spain and abroad for its high standards, endorsed by multiple awards and critical acclaim. Recognised for their sonorous beauty, purity of tone, and a wide repertoire ranging from the Renaissance-Baroque to the contemporary, the choir won first prize at the 2014 London International A Cappella Choir Competition.
The Oviedo Filarmonía is the resident orchestra at the Spanish Lyric Theatre Festival, the Auditorium Concert Cycle and the Luis G. Iberni Piano Season. From 2004 to 2011 its chief conductor was Friedrich Haider, who put Oviedo Filarmonía both on the national and international map. Together they have recorded Verdi’s Otello for Naxos, as well as a series of works by the Italian-German composer Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, including the opera Il segreto di Susanna and the complete orchestral works.
“Friedrich Haider’s account of this truly attractive opera is stylish and vivid … since it is the first official recording of the opera, every opera fan should be eager to discover the music.”
Listen to an extract from Act I: Festa grande, gran baldoria
Listen to an extract from Act II: So schau'er sich um
8.660225-26 2.110234-35 [DVD] WOLF-FERRARI, E.:
La vedova scaltra
(La Fenice, 2007) Sollied • Muraro • D’Aguanno
Milhofer • Zanellato • Rossi • Esposito
Zancopè • Favaron • Casagrande
Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro La Fenice, Venice • Martin
“The pleasure I have had from listening to the CD version of this production of La vedova scaltra makes me keen to see the companion DVD.”
– MusicWeb International
Listen to an extract from Act II: Questa parrucca pero