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Haydn: Il Mondo Della Luna / Harnoncourt, Henschel, Richter [2 DVD]

Album Summary

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Il mondo della luna
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

An ideal constellation: 2009 marked Haydn's anniversary year as well as Nikolaus Harnoncourt's 80th birthday. For this occasion the maestro chose 'Il Mondo della Luna', a delicious mixture of satire, comedy and science fiction based on a popular comedy by Carlo Goldoni. Haydn's music unleashes a display of fireworks performed with irresistible energy by Harnoncourt and his ensemble. Renowned actor and director Tobias Moretti relates the story as a magical fairy tale infused with slapstick and fantasy costumes.

"After the 1777 premiere, an Esterházy family friend dismissed Il mondo della luna as "Une farce pour la populace et pour les enfants". Perhaps he was echoing the opera-mad Prince Nicolaus's own view: unusually, it was never revived at Eszterháza. Today, though, Haydn's lunar fantasy is probably his least neglected opera, with good reason. Others may contain richer music. But Goldoni's satire on human folly and gullibility, centring on the manipulative "astronomer" Ecclitico and the credulous booby Buonafede, is delightfully absurd, while Haydn's piquant score meshes perfectly with character and action. Amid the farcical silliness, too, are moments of lyrical enchantment that might surprise the unwary: say, the aria "Se la mia stella" for Flaminia, or the voluptuous nocturnal love duet for Ecclitico and Clarice.

DreamStrikes
This 2009 production of Haydn's Il Mondo della Luna for the Theater an der Wien... is a treat for anyone interested in seeing rarely performed opera of quality and distinction, and seeing this particular 'dramma giocoso' done playfully and intelligently with respect and understanding for the material... the drama and singing are low key, with no grand exhibitions of vocal virtuosity, the performances rather delicate, modest, playful and charming... The staging is modern and just a bit too glittery, but it uses technology well without ever contradicting the libretto or the intentions of the drama. The craft of the staging is impressive, a revolving stage, imaginative props and some minor acrobatics keeping the action fluid and always interesting.

Fanfare
One must be patient with Il mondo della luna, as all the goodies come in its final 40 minutes. The first two hours could have been pared down by shortening recitatives and eliminating some da capo repeats, which would make the comedy funnier. That was done, with much success, in a recent live performance in New York. We are prisoners of today's performance fashion: completeness at all costs. Nevertheless, this is a great improvement over the first commercial Haydn opera DVD: Orlando Paladino.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 193 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM 2.0, DTS 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: Italian, English, German, French, Spanish



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Works Details

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Il mondo della luna
  • Performers: Markus Schäfer (Tenor); Bernard Richter (Tenor); Christina Landshamer (Soprano); Dietrich Henschel (Bass); Vivica Genaux (Contralto); Maité Beaumont (Mezzo Soprano); Anja Bahrmann (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
  • Ensemble: Concentus Musicus Wien
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1777