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Cat. No. CHAN 0705(2) Price: £0 No. of discs: 2
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CHAN 0705 - Piccinni: Le donne vendicate
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Available From: 09 February 2004
This ‘little farce’ – as it is identified in the dedication accompanying the libretto – consists of two intermezzi composed by Niccolò Piccinni to a text taken from Goldoni. The original text by the Venetian dramatist had already appeared in 1751 with music by another composer but even in projects that represented reworkings, Piccinni’s rapport with Goldoni is of fundamental importance in his output.

Le donne vendicate belongs to Piccinni’s early years in Rome, which saw his meteoric rise to fame. That the work was a notable success is evident from the number of scores which survived as far away as Austria, Germany, France and Poland. That success, in view of the clarity, effectiveness and purposefulness of the arias, the refined harmony and the masterly and dramatically apt handling of orchestral texture, can hardly be surprising.

The subject matter is an amusing battle of the sexes. Lindora and Aurelia are both in love with the vain and foppish Count Bellezza. His opinion that the female sex is hypocritical incenses the two women who seek vengeance for this insult. They urge Lindora’s uncle Ferramonte to challenge the Count, and though he is terrified at the prospect, he concurs, for he is secretly in love with Aurelia. The Count tries to re-endear himself by resuming his false flattery but to no avail, and the Count challenges him to a duel. The duel demonstrates the lack of courage and spirit that characterise the two combatants, so Aurelia bravely snatches Ferramonte’s sword and puts the terrified Count to flight. Lindora comforts him in his defeat and he proposes marriage to her after having promised to eat humble pie and ask pardon of the whole of the fairer sex. Aurelia accepts the Count’s apologies, and realises that Ferramonte ‘intends to avenge me / with the weapons of Love’ and at last accepts his offer of marriage.

'This recording uses a different critical edition (by Francesco Luisi; the Bongiovanni was by Lorenzo Tozzi) and adds a lot of music. It takes 34 minutes longer. It's also a better performance. A Gloriously bright, brisk overture - all earthy bounce and excitement - bodes well for the music to come. I Barocchisti (is that a real word?) is period instruments, including lute; their precise, slightly metallic sound rest well in the ear. The singers are generally better as well.'
American Record Guide

'This recording of an early Picinni inter-mezzo comes from Swiss Italian Radio, a source of previous welcome sets of 18th century operas.'
Early Music Review


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