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Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, June 2020

SPONTINI, G.: Fernand Cortez, ou La conquête du Mexique [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2019) (NTSC) DYN-37868
SPONTINI, G.: Fernand Cortez, ou La conquête du Mexique [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2019) (Blu-ray, HD) DYN-57868

A truly rediscovered opera is this 1809 historical epic about the infamous Spanish explorer Cortez, who cut swaths of discovery and destruction throughout the new world, and Gaspar Spontini—an early 19th century Italian composer—found interesting musical and dramatic ideas to make his story stageworthy. Cecilia Ligorio’s 2019 production in Florence, Italy, is clearly and impressively thought-out, with fine musical contributions from orchestra and chorus as well as stand-out turns as Cortez and his Aztec princess love by, respectively, Dario Schmunck and Alexia Voulgaridou. The hi-def image and sound are impeccable. © 2020 The Flip Side




Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, April 2020

SPONTINI, G.: Fernand Cortez, ou La conquête du Mexique [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2019) (NTSC) DYN-37868
SPONTINI, G.: Fernand Cortez, ou La conquête du Mexique [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2019) (Blu-ray, HD) DYN-57868
SPONTINI, G.: Fernando Cortez, ou La conquête du Mexique [Opera] (Schmunck, Voulgaridou, Fiorentino Maggio Musicale Chorus and Orchestra, Tingaud) CDS7868.03

Spontini did not hesitate to create big effects with the orchestra and chorus never heard before in an opera house, thus the comparison to Les Troyens and Aïda is quite apt. The only old-fashioned element still prevalent here is that of sung recitative, but in this opera Spontini accompanied it with the orchestra and, as he had done with La Vestale, tied all the parts of each act into a unified whole. In one fell swoop, Spontini created the genre of Grand Opéra, which had never really existed before him.

…Very fine is baritone Gianluca Margheri as Moralez, a singer who presents the best of both worlds, having both an excellent, unstrained voice and a good interpretation of the character. © 2020 The Arts Music Lounge Read complete review





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