Mercadante: Don Chisciotte (Naxos: 8.660312-13) (Domenico Colaianni/ Laura Catrani/ Riccardo Mirabelli/ Coro del Conservatorio di San Pietro a Majella Naples/ Antonino Fogliani)
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A contemporary of Rossini and Donizetti, Saverio Mercadante was one of Italy's most productive 19th century operatic composers. Don Chisciotte alle nozze di Gamaccio
was written during the composer's stay in Spain, and is based on a chapter of Cervante's Don Quixote
in which the hero prevents the forced marriage of a poor farm girl to the wealthy Camacho. Magnificently entertaining and dramatically innovative, Don Chisciotte
combines fashionable Neapolitan style with Spanish folk music elements in an unforgettable melodramma giocoso. It is heard on this recording in its first modern performance.