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Acide


Acide
World premiere recording of Haydn’s first opera (1762)
    • Overture: Sinfonia Hob. XXVIII:1
  1. Allegro molto 2'15
  2. Andante grazioso 2'47
  3. Finale. Presto 1'33
  4. Aria: La beltà Acide Hob. XXVIII:1 10'26
  5. Aria (Fragment, 1773): Troppo felice Galatea Hob. XXVIII:1 2'16
  6. Aria: Perché stupisci Glauce Hob. XXVIII:1 6'57
  7. Aria: Se me gentile Polifemo Hob. XXVIII:1 6'45
  8. Recitativo accompagnato: Misero! Che ascolto? Acide Hob. XXVIII:1 5'02
  9. Entr´acte Symphony No.12, second movement Hob. XXVIII:1 3'58
  10. Recitativo accompagnato (1773): Guisti Dei Galatea Hob. XXVIII:1 5'37
  11. Entr´acte Symphony No.12, first movement Hob. XXVIII:1 2'30
  12. Aria (1773): Tergi i vezzosi Nettuno Hob. XXVIII:1 5'31
  13. Aria: Tergi i vezzosi Tetide Hob. XXVIII:1 7'52
  14. Quartetto: Ah vedrai Galatea, Acide, Glauce, Tetide Hob. XXVIII:1 4'51

We often think of Haydn as a composer of symphonies, string quartets and piano sonatas – that is, of instrumental music in various forms. But in fact, he probably wrote as much vocal music, in a variety of genres.

The late, great oratorios are still justly famous – The Creation and The Seasons – but he also composed twelve large-scale Masses, a number of cantatas and other sacred works, as well as songs, concert arias and as many as 21 operas and Singspiele. Some of these have been lost, but the majority still exist in more or less complete form.

The earliest of these is Acide, the fragment of an opera composed for the celebrations of the wedding of Count Anton Esterházy and Countess Maria Theresia Erdödy, and performed at the Esterházy residence at Eisenstadt on 11th January 1763. The Italian libretto, by G. A. Migliavacca, retells the well-known episode from Ovid’s Metamorphoses in which the nymph Galatea witnesses the death of her lover Acis (Acide) at the hands of the cyclops Polyphemus, and his subsequent transformation into a river-god: a tale of undying love fit for the circumstances of the performance.

Four arias and most of the recitatives from the original 1763 version of Acide have been lost, but complementing the remaining numbers are two arias and a recitative composed by Haydn for a planned second production in 1773, a project which in the end came to nothing.

The research into the different versions of the work has been made by Manfred Huss, director of Haydn Sinfonietta Wien, who has also assembled a cast of eminent singers to perform this ‘festa teatrale’ in a recording which took place in May 2008.

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Awards


Music Web International

"It is obvious from first to last that great care was put into bringing Haydn´s fragmented opera to life. This is an insightful, detailed performance, lovingly played on period instruments. The Sinfonietta and Huss are Haydn experts and can certainly be counted among the best, possibly even the best, in terms of authenticity and insightful understanding of the composer’s intentions and creative powers [...] an excellent recording of rarely heard music by Haydn."
Margarida Mota-Bull
July 2009


Gramophone

"Long a champion of Haydn rarities, Manfred Huss directs his trim period band with style, zest and a sharp ear for instrumental colour. [...] Yet Haydn aficionados will welcome this fine premiere recording of a fragmentary work that [...] contains much delightful, spirited music."
Richard Wigmore
August 2009


American Record Review

"Huss has a sure feeling for Haydn's music, capturing its robustness without slipping into the rawness or vulgarity that some Viennese musicians have risked. Huss's excellent booklet notes precede full texts and translations [...] it is good news that BIS has taken up Huss's work, with a 6-CD set of chamber-ensemble novelties and this release."
Barker
August 2009