Pizzetti: La Sacra Rappresentazione di Abramo e Isacco - Barbieri, Clabassi; Gavazzeni. Milano, 1968

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I am not sure if Ildebrando Pizzetti was the last torchbearer of the great Italian composers of the romantic era or an iconoclast interested in creating an entirely new voice for Italian opera. When I consider his music I hear a bit of both. His music has Italianate lyricism without sounding derivative, he is inventive with his orchestration without relying on gimmicks and he has an acute sense for the needs of the voice without letting pretty tones usurp story telling. Religion and mystical ritual seem to be a recurring theme in Pizzetti’s operas and this very biblical story benefits from Pizzetti’s skill for atmosphere. The cast is made up of some first-rate singers including Emilia Ravaglia and Fedora Barbieri. The sound is very good.

OD 10941-1

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