MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848)
Rita, ou Le mari battu (1841)
Rita - Priscille Laplace
Peppe - Aldo Caputo
Gaspar - Alberto Rinaldi
Orchestra of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie/Claudio Scimone
Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera (director)
rec. live, Palai Opéra de Liège, May 2010
Region Code: 0, Aspect Ratio: 16:9, LPCN: 2.0 Stereo
DYNAMIC 33741 [54:00]

Rita is a one-act farce, about 50 minutes long. In many ways it’s the opposite of what we might expect from a romantic comedy. It dates from 1841 and the height of Donizetti’s Parisian success. The subject matter concerns a love triangle where both men are trying to lose the woman. The waspish cafe-owner Rita beats her meek husband Peppe because she in turn was beaten up by her first husband, Gaspar. Gaspar then turns up - he didn’t die in a shipwreck, as she at first believed - but he is engaged to another fiancée in Greenland. Various contorted ensembles later, Rita agrees to destroy their marriage certificate. Gaspar goes off to his fiancée and Peppe decides to be more assertive. It’s far from a light-hearted tale, but its fairly nasty strain of domestic violence is not taken in the least bit seriously by its composer. Instead he delivers a series of musical numbers that exude light-hearted fizz, from the bustling overture through to the two trios that close the work.
This is the first ever recording of the original French version and it’s good to have it but, truth be told, the performance isn’t very good. Priscille Laplace and Aldo Caputo both sing well enough, though she is rather too shrill on the ear; this may be in keeping with her character but it gets wearing after a while. The finest moment is Caputo’s singing of the tenor aria when he thinks he has successfully lost his wife. He has a sunny, Italianate voice that fits the music well. Alberto Rinaldi’s voice is gruff and unpleasant, though, and he seems to bark his way through most of his music. Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera stages it in a simple, effective set, with an attractive cafe facade and tables, but the camera direction is very amateurish, with lots of unnecessary angles thrusting the viewer into places he doesn’t want to be. More seriously, the microphone balance puts the voices much too far forward, and at times you can hear the on-stage effects, such as the slamming of a door, more loudly than the orchestra. The orchestra itself play very well, though, and Claudio Scimone, whose idea this project must surely have been, directs them with affection and bounce. Still, this is probably a DVD for die-hard Donizetti completists only, despite its brief running time.
Simon Thompson