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David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, August 2014

The works on this disc are unflaggingly entertaining. Omaggio a Bellini…is delightful—sort of the equivalent of a Liszt operatic piano fantasy, only for orchestra. The Seconda Sinfonia caratteristica napoletana is basically a vivacious tarantella…As with the Bellini homage, the arrangement is unfailingly well-made and not a note too long.

…these performances, well executed and decently enough recorded, even if the sonics are a mite studio-bound. Giammarco Casani plays the clarinet very attractively in the concerto, and the orchestral contribution, direct and gutsy if not the last word in finesse, suits the idiom. Keep it coming, Naxos! © 2014 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Elliot Fisch
American Record Guide, July 2014

La Vecchia leads committed performances, the orchestra plays like this music is in their blood, and the sound…is generally excellent. This is a very good introduction to Mercandante’s symphonic music… © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Richard A. Kaplan
Fanfare, May 2014

The Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma and its principal clarinetist, Giammarco Casani, play this music well. Recommended to those interested in obscure 19th-century Italian repertoire. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review



Geoffrey Norris
Gramophone, March 2014

The playing has the requisite dramatic punch and vitality, with the full-blooded Garibaldi of 1871 providing a finale of invigorating nationalist pomp, passion and gusto. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Byzantion
MusicWeb International, January 2014

Mercadante’s works are rendered even more attractive by the considerable skill and commitment of the Rome Symphony Orchestra under the expert guidance of La Vecchia, who has done so much over the years to promote Italian orchestral music.

Audio quality is impressive on this all-Italian disc…

…La Vecchia’s entertaining programme can expect to have, and merits, much wider currency. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2013

Unlike other major Italian opera composers of the early 19th century, Saverio Mercadante’s portfolio included a quantity of symphonic and chamber music. That said, you will go no further than the barnstorming Omaggio a Bellini…to realise that they were mostly opera orientated, the Second Sinfonia a tarantella that could have formed a fun scene in a comic opera where everyone is dashing around in frantic haste. The following Gran Sinfonia takes its thematic material from Rossini’s Stabat Mater…Opening with an operatic picture of doom, there follows passages of lyric beauty…before embarking on a fortified version of the big tenor aria. The most extended work is the two-movement Clarinet Concerto…this is a charming score offering the soloist plenty of scope to display virtuosity. Giammarco Casani is the very nimble clarinet soloist, the orchestra, particularly the brass, is in fine form…A disc that leaves you feeling happy. © 2013 David’s Review Corner





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