The present recording of Vivaldi’s opera Farnace is the first complete recording, including all the arias and choruses from the 1731 version, as well as restoring Tamiri’s recitativo accompagnato from the 1738 version. For historical and conceptual reasons, each of the three acts is preceded by different examples from Corselli’s version of the opera, which was presented in Madrid in 1738. The entire version is built around a selection of the best interpretations from the last two performances recorded live at Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, on 26 and 28 October, 2001. It should therefore be pointed out that any differences of sound or mood which may occasionally seem to affect the singing, or give the impression of the singers being further away, are due to the singers’ position on the stage. Any small inconvenience arising from the recording of a live stage performance is amply compensated for by the great spontaneity of the Recitatives and the sincerity of feeling in the Arias, in which the singers truly improvise some ornamentations in the da capo sections of the Arias in question.
An opera is always an all-round spectacle, in which text, declamation, music, song, dance and theatre enter into a dialogue and are united in their one common objective: to invite us to dream by drawing us into a Utopian world, one which is always full of magic, beauty and emotion.
Madrid, October, 2001
Furio Zanasi, baryton (Farnace) – Sara Mingardo, contralto (Tamiri) – Adriana Fernández, soprano (Berenice) – Gloria Banditelli, soprano / contralto (Selinda) – Cinzia Forte, soprano (Gilade) – Fulvio Bettini, mezzo-soprano (Aquilio) – Sonia Prina, mezzo-soprano (Pompeo)Chœur du Teatro de la ZarzuelaLe Concert des NationsDirección : Jordi Savall
Farnace, dramma per musica en 3 actes composé à Venise en 1727, revu par Francesco Corselli à Madrid en 1739 sur un livret de Antonio Maria LucchiniExtraits :Acte I / Sinfonia – Air (Farnace) : “Ricordati che sei” – Ch¦ur : “Dell’Eusino con aura seconda” – Air (Bérénice) : “Da quel ferro che ha svenato” – Ch¦ur : “Su campioni, su guerrieri” – Air (Aquilio) : “Penso che qu’ begl’occhi” – Récitatif (Pompée) : “Come ben fa veder” – Air (Pompée) : “Come ben fa veder” – Air (Pompée) : “Sorge l’irato nembo”Acte II / Récitatif (Tamiri & Farnace) : “Pupille o voi sognate” – Air (Farnace) : “Gelido in ogni vena” – Récitatif (Tamiri) : “Dite che v’ho fatt’io” – Air (Tamiri) : “Arsa da rai concenti”Acte III / Récitatif (Selinda & Gilade) : “Gilade, il tuo pensiero” – Air (Gilade) : “Scherza l’aura lusinghiera” – Récitatif (Selinda & Aquilio) : “Aquilio, il braccio forte” – Air (Selinda) : “Ti vantasti mio guerriero” – Récitatif (Pompée, Bérénice & Farnace) : “Regina, in costui riconosci” – Récitatif (Tamiri & Farnace) : “Oh, Dio fermati i colpi” – Quatuor (Bérénice, Pompée, Tamiri, Farnace) : “Io crudel ?” – Récitatif (Gilade, Pompée, Selinda, Bérénice, Farnace, Tamiri) : “Berenice morrà” – Ch¦ur final : “Coronata di gigli e di rose” Extraits de l’album 3 CD AV9822A/C
Farnaces, King of Pontus, son and successor to Mithridates, the great enemy of the Roman Empire, has been defeated and driven out of Heraclea, the capital of the Pontian kingdom. The pleas of his wife Tamiri are powerless to dissuade him from seeking vengeance and, faced with the doubtful possibility of victory, he orders her to slay their son and then kill herself rather than fall into the hands of the enemy. Enter Berenice, Queen of Cappadocia and mother of Tamiri. Her hatred of Farnaces has made her an ally of Pompey, the head of the conquering Roman troops, with whom she has agreed to kill the defeated king. Selinda, the sister of Farnaces, who has been taken prisoner by the Roman prefect Aquilius, manages to seduce both him and Gilades, Berenice’s captain, in order to set the two at loggerheads and thus help her brother’s cause. Meanwhile, Tamiri decides to save her son by hiding him inside a pyramid, the tomb of the kings of Pontus. Just as she is about to kill herself with the dagger given to her by her husband, she is prevented from doing so by the entry of Berenice. Mother and daughter argue. The arrival of Pompey with his entourage intensifies the atmosphere of hatred.
Selinda’s proposed choice between Gilades and Aquilius as her lover is beginning to prove a useful part of her strategy, and she pretends to reject them both. Berenice, who has ordered the search for both Farnaces and his son, clashes with her captain. Meanwhile, Farnaces, in despair, tries to commit suicide, but Tamiri’s entry stops him, and he starts insulting her for her disobedience, although Tamiri makes her husband believe that she has carried out his orders regarding their son. Berenice bursts in –while Farnaces remains hidden– ordering the destruction of the mausoleum. Tamiri therefore brings the boy out of hiding and shows Berenice her grandson, imploring her mercy, but Berenice rejects her daughter and takes the boy away. In the royal apartments, Selinda begs Gilades to save her nephew. She offers Farnaces, who has secretly entered the palace, the assistance of Gilades and Aquilius, but Farnaces rejects their help. Both captains plead before Berenice for the life of the child and heir, whose custody has been entrusted to Aquilius by Pompey.
Berenice and Gilades have met with Pompey on the plains of Heraclea, and Aquilius has gathered the Roman troops. She demands that Pompey kill the son of Farnaces, since he cannot kill the King of Pontus himself. In exchange, she offers him half her kingdom. Tamiri also begs the General to spare her son’s life. Selinda forces Gilades to promise to kill Berenice, while she convinces Aquilius to murder Pompey. Farnaces arrives just as Aquilius and Gilades are preparing to kill the Roman General. The action fails and Pompey interrogates the warrior without suspecting that he is the king. Berenice arrives and discloses Farnaces’s identity. The latter is put in chains, but is finally released by Gilades and Aquilius, who at the same time attempt to kill Berenice. Pompey spares the life of Berenice, Queen of Cappadocia and, in a display of clemency, pardons her and succeeds in persuading her to put aside her hatred of Farnaces, with whom she is reconciled and embraces as a son.
Julián García León