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ClassicsOnline Home » PICCINNI, N.: Cecchina (La) [Opera] (Campanella)
Better known in Italy under its alternative title of 'La Buona Figliuola' ('The Good Girl'), this three act opera to a libretto by Goldoni is based on Samuel Richardson's novel 'Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded' (often cited as the 'first English novel'). First produced in Rome in 1760, it has been called Niccolo Piccini's greatest success; and has been occasionally revived in Italy since World War II.
Such revivals notwithstanding, Piccini's name is more frequently encountered in books on operatic history than in the theatre; and it has to be said, on the basis of this album, such practical neglect may be understandable. However listening to it does bring the rewards of virtue to those who like to step outside the hackneyed repertoire and explore the earlier development of opera. It does not perhaps bring quite the delightful historical surprises to equal those of say Traetta's 'Ippolito ed Aricia' or Carnicer's 'Elena e Constantino' (also in ClassicsOnline's list).
Nonetheless by the end of the first act the performance, which had started somewhat woodenly, has begun to take fire: try the act finale (track 12) as a sampler. Despite the cover picture mentioning a booklet, not so much as a cast list is provided with the download, so who is pure guess-work: there is at least one very good soprano or so out of the four; and both baritone and bass can play buffa roles with zest - though the baritone's tone is less than ingratiating in arie.
Whatever else, any widening of our knowledge of this strange, complicated and fascinating art is to be welcomed.more....
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PICCINNI, N.: Cecchina (La) [Opera] (Campanella)