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Donald Macleod discovers how Paisiello and his comic operas were received after the composer was appointed music director at the court of Catherine the Great.

When Catherine the Great invited Paisiello to become musical director of her court in St Petersburg he must have jumped at the chance. It was his first official appointment and with it came both security and prestige. Paisiello quickly became a favourite of the court, thanks to the steady stream of comic operas he produced there. Donald Macleod introduces two of them: 'I filosofi immaginari' - a great favourite of Catherine's, and 'La serva padrona', which recycled the libretto famously set by Pergolesi 50 years earlier.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Giovanni Paisiello

    Divertimento no.1 in A – Allegro

    Performer: Members of the Moscow Academy of Ancient Music (Tatiana Grinkenko, Violin)

    • Opus OPS30180.
  • Giovanni Paisiello

    I filosofi immaginari

    Performer: Act I – Aria: ‘Salve tu Domine’ to end of act Performer: Giancarlo Montanaro (Guiliano) Performer: Teodoro Rovetta (Petronio) Performer: Carmen Lavani (Clarice) Performer: Angela Vercelli (Cassandra) Performer: Chorus and Orchestra of Swiss Italian Radio Performer: Conductor, Bruno Rigacci

    • Nuovo Era 232586.
  • Giovanni Paisiello

    Sinfonia from Alcide al bivio (hpschd transcription)

    Performer: Olivier Baumont (harpsichord)

    • Erato 3984 21665-2.
  • Giovanni Paisiello

    La serva padrona

    Performer: Act II Aria: Donne vaghe Performer: Act II: from aria ‘A Serpina penserete to end Performer: Cinzia Forte (Serpina) Performer: Antonio Abete (Uberto) Performer: La Cetra Performer: Director, Attilio Cremonesi

    • Zigzag ZZT070102.

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