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Alessandro nell'Indie

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Alessandro nell'Indie

Giovanni Pacini,

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The premiere of Alessandro nell’Indie in Naples in 1824 brought Pacini one of the most anxious evenings of his career. The audience sat on its hands, unwilling to approve or disapprove until it had... read more

BUY TRACKS
Song title Time Format Price
playstop01 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I: Sinfonia01:36
playstop02 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena I: Introduction: Nume propizio che all'India imperi 04:01
playstop03 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena II: Introduction: Al suon di mesti accenti 01:22
playstop04 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena II: Introduction: Se d'amor fra le ritorte 03:07
playstop05 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena II: Introduction: Se fosse a me vicino 04:08
playstop06 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena III: Introduction: E' perduta dell'India la speme 01:52
playstop07 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena III: Recitative: Giorno terribile di duol, d'affanno! 04:15
playstop08 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena III: Recitative: Deh! ritornate in campo - scena IV: Regina ? - scena V: Io vengo a te, Regina 04:39
playstop09 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena V: Duet: Piu tollerar non posso 03:47
playstop10 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena V: Duet: Se cangiar potessi in seno 04:13
playstop11 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena V: Duet: Ancor non m'assicuro 02:39
playstop12 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena VI: After the Duet: Regina, a te ritorna 03:56
playstop13 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena VII: After the Duet: Seguirla io vo' 01:47
playstop14 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena VII: Aria: Se possono tanto due luci vezzose 05:59
playstop15 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena VIII: Cavatina: Su le palme, su gli allori 03:38
playstop16 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena VIII: Cavatina: Omai sia tregua all'armi 03:25
playstop17 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena VIII: Cavatina: Perche, fra tanti affetti 03:19
playstop18 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena VIII: Recitative: Le disperse falangi 02:28
playstop19 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena VIII: Ella viene - scena IX: Real donna, dell'Asia splendor 03:06
playstop20 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena IX: Recitative and Duet: Cio ch'io t'offro, Alessandro 04:12
playstop21 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena IX: Recitative and Duet: Nel duolo in cui mi vedo 11:18
playstop22 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena X: Finale: Monarca, il duce Asbite - scena XI: Poro! 03:43
playstop23 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena XI: Finale: A que' detti posso/puossi appena 03:47
playstop24 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act I scena XI: Finale: A te piu dell'Idaspe 07:07
playstop25 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena I: Serva ad eroe si grande 02:15
playstop26 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena I: Signor, l'India festiva 01:28
playstop27 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena I: Serva ad eroe si grande 01:21
playstop28 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena I: Strepito d'armi! 01:13
playstop29 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena I: Battaglia01:36
playstop30 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena II: Quartet: Ma, per pieta, ben mio - scena III: T'arresta 05:48
playstop31 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena IV: Quartet: A sedar le greche schiere 03:50
playstop32 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena V: scena and Aria: Invan l'India s'affanna - scena VI: E' ver, tento svenarmi - scena VII: Per salvarti - scena 806:07
playstop33 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena VIII: scena and Aria: Oggetto si adorabile 02:30
playstop34 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena VIII: scena and Aria: S'e ver che t'accendi 02:45
playstop35 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena IX: scena and Aria: Chi sperava, o Gandarte 00:36
playstop36 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena X: scena and Aria: Che mai fu? ? Oh stelle! 03:08
playstop37 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena X: scena and Aria: Che mi giovo sull'are 01:17
playstop38 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena X: scena and Aria: Del caro mio consorte 05:35
playstop39 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena X: scena and Aria: A tanto martoro 00:35
playstop40 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena X: scena and Aria: Mio ben, mio tesoro 02:58
playstop41 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena XI: scena and Aria: Poro infelice! a che ti giovo mai - scena XII: Sei ti, mio Re! 01:58
playstop42 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena XIII: scena and Aria: Stupir mi fai 01:07
playstop43 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena XIV: Signor, fermati ? ascolta ? 01:31
playstop44 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena XIV: scena the Last: Dagli astri discendi 02:26
playstop45 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena XIV: scena the Last: Nell'odorata pira 02:45
playstop46 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena XIV: Finale: Risolver non oso 04:21
playstop47 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena XIV: Finale: Ah! si mora una volta 03:29
playstop48 Alessandro nell'Indie: Act II scena XIV: Finale: Su l'armi e su gli affetti 07:06

The premiere of Alessandro nell’Indie in Naples in 1824 brought Pacini one of the most anxious evenings of his career. The audience sat on its hands, unwilling to approve or disapprove until it had heard the music a second time. Indeed, at the end of the evening the balance appeared to be dipping in the composer’s disfavour, for ill-suppressed hissing circulated around the auditorium. The eventual success was owing to the personal intervention of King Ferdinand IV at the second performance. He led the applause, so ensuring a triumph that kept the opera on the boards for months and established Pacini as one of the city’s favourite composers. A re-handling of a libretto by the 18th-century dramatist Metastasio, Alessandro nell’Indie tells the story of Alexander the Great’s campaign in India, of his defeat of the Indian king Porus (Poro), and of his infatuation with an Indian queen, Cleophes (Cleofide). It is a vehicle for gorgeously over-the-top bravura singing as the characters confront each other, deceive each other, reproach each other, plead with each other. Seemingly inevitable tragedy is finally averted as they vie in displaying idealistic generosity, fidelity and magnanimity. Alessandro, determined not to be outdone, becomes the quintessential 18th century ‘benevolent despot’.

Booklet includes complete libretto with English translation.

'Bel canto fans wanting something new ought to snap this one up immediately' - Stephen Francis Vasta, Opera News

Bruce Ford (Alessandro), Jennifer Larmore (Poro), Laura Claycomb (Cleofide), Dean Robinson (Timagene), Mark Wilde (Gandarte), London Philharmonic Orchestra, David Parry – conductor

Alessandro (Alexander the Great), in his conquest of India, twice – Metastasio says several times – overcame Poro (Porus), one of the kings of the area.  On the first occasion he spared him, and gave him back his kingdom.  The opera opens after Poro, far from showing gratitude, has openly rebelled and again been defeated. 

During this campaign, Alessandro is also believed to have fallen in love with Cleofide (Cleophes), a queen of another part of the region, who, some believe, bore him a son.  Metastastio suppresses this last detail, and suggests instead that she was deeply committed to – in effect already married to – Poro.

Act I, Scene 1

In Cleofide’s palace, on the banks of the River Hydaspes, her followers pray to Vishnu to deliver them from the invading Greeks.  Cleofide herself tries to bolster their failing morale, but is deeply anxious regarding Poro’s fate.  Fleeing soldiers bring news that the Indian forces have been utterly defeated.  When asked about Poro, they simply say that he vanished in the thick of the fray.  Cleofide orders them to return to the battlefield to search for him.

Gandarte, Poro’s general, comes to reassure her that Poro has survived, and within moments the Indian king himself appears.  Highly suspicious and jealous by nature, he bitterly bids Cleofide rejoice, for Alessandro’s victory means that she will soon have all his Asian trophies laid at her feet.   Cleofide hastens to justify her conduct: if she has pretended to be flattered by Alessandro’s attentions, it has only been to protect Poro and to deflect Alessandro from invading his territories.  Poro, at least briefly persuaded of her sincerity, swears that he will never suspect her again.

Alessandro, with typical generosity, releases a group of his most illustrious prisoners, but when Cleofide responds by sending them back with the announcement that she herself will wait upon him to pay homage, Poro is once again consumed by his jealous suspicions.  He determines to follow her to the Greek camp.

Scene 2

 In his camp on the opposite bank of the Hydaspes, Alessandro welcomes a cessation of combat and confides in his friend Timagene that he has fallen in love with Cleofide.  Cleofide herself appears, bringing costly gifts.  Alessandro, however, brusquely rejects them.  If she comes as a subject, he asks no other homage than loyalty; if she comes as a friend, he exacts no price for his friendship.  Rebuked but undaunted, Cleofide at his request stays to converse with him, and they proceed to manoeuvre around each other, each trying to gain an advantage. 

Alessandro is fast succumbing to her charms when Timagene announces that a commander named Asbite wishes to speak to him in Poro’s name.  This proves, not surprisingly, to be Poro himself in false guise.  Cleofide sees all the progress she has been making rapidly undermined, for ‘Asbite’ declares that Poro utterly rejects any overtures of peace and challenges Alessandro to return to the field.  As if this is not provocation enough, ‘Asbite’ also advises that Cleofide should not be trusted, for, he claims, she is already guilty of betraying Poro.  The act ends with Cleofide suppressing her indignation, and Alessandro and all the fuming Greeks panting to do battle once more.  Cleofide declares that she no longer opposes Alessandro’s crossing the Hydaspes: he will be welcome upon her territory as her guest.

Act 2, Scene 1

On Cleofide’s side of the Hydaspes, where she has erected buildings and tents to accommodate Alessandro and his army. 

She greets Alessandro and the advance guard of his forces as they cross a bridge over the river, but their exchange of courtesies is interrupted by a clash of arms.  Poro’s forces, led by Gandarte, have attacked the column, and are trying to cut off the Greeks’ retreat.  The Greeks, however, retain the upper hand, and Gandarte, hard pressed, throws himself into the river. 

Poro, meanwhile, though still uncertain of Cleofide’s fidelity, once more allows himself to be won over by her protestations.  Their reconciliation is, however, interrupted by the approach of the Greeks.  Poro suggests that, rather than be taken prisoner, they should die together.  He seizes a dagger and is about to slay her, when Alessandro arrives in time to stay his hand.  To save her lover, Cleofide passes him off, not as Poro, but as Poro’s faithful agent, come to carry out his master’s instructions that she should die.  Alessandro, appalled at such barbarity, has Cleofide escorted away to safety, and Poro’s agent (i.e. Poro) taken into custody.

Scene 2

In Cleofide’s palace.  Gandarte has been rescued from drowning, and Cleofide urges him to flee: if he, too, should be taken prisoner, there will be no one left to lead the Indian resistance.  He has no time to do so – no opportunity to do anything but conceal himself  – before Alessandro appears. 

Alessandro informs Cleofide that the Greek army is clamouring for her blood, and proposes, as the only possible way of saving her, that he should marry her.  The marriage should, moreover, take place immediately.  This is too much for Gandarte, who bursts from cover, declaring that he is Poro, and that, since he is the one who has stirred up the Indians’ resistance to Alessandro, he, rather than Cleofide, is the one who should die.  Filled with admiration for this gallant gesture, and believing that he is talking with Poro, Alessandro reciprocates by relinquishing his claims upon Cleofide and delivering her back to this man whom he believes to be her lover.

Left with Gandarte, Cleofide is just beginning to thank him for his generous intervention when a procession of maidens appears.  They are in mourning, and announce Poro’s death: despite the shackles that weighed him down, he threw himself into the Hydaspes and was swept away by the current.  Cleofide, disconsolate, looks forward to death as a release from her sufferings and as a way of rejoining Poro.

Gandarte, left alone, is amazed to see Poro approaching, rescued from the river and still very much alive, though despairing to think that he has lost his kingdom yet again.  Gandarte seeks to console him by pointing out that he still has the loyalty of Cleofide and himself.

Alessandro is surprised to receive word from Cleofide that, now that Poro is dead, she is prepared to give him her hand.

Scene 3

A temple of Bacchus.  Gandarte and Poro have heard that Cleofide is to marry Alessandro, and Poro determines to slay her before she can do so.  He and Gandarte conceal themselves.

Alessandro and Cleofide arrive with all their followers, ostensibly to go through with the marriage ceremony, but Cleofide scores a veritable coup de théâtre when she declares that this is a time for death, not for love.  Indian custom demands that a faithful widow be burnt alive upon her husband’s funeral pyre, and she has come hither to immolate herself to the memory of Poro.  Poro, who had been on the very point of stabbing her, is overcome by such an irrefutable demonstration of her fidelity, and, stepping forward, proposes that they should die together.  Gandarte’s protests that this is some impostor – that he himself is Poro – are swept aside: Poro is now recognised as Poro by one and all.

Alessandro is so impressed by this excess of generous feeling in a people he had considered barbarian that, determined not to be outdone, he gives Poro back both wife and kingdom, and bestows upon Gandarte the kingship of certain lands he has conquered beyond the Ganges.   The opera ends as all celebrate and hymn his clemency and magnanimity.

 




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