The ninety-fifth classical recording: #275 Vincenzo Bellini - I Puritani
My day today is dominated, as far as listening is concerned, by a three hour opera, in Italian of course, about the English Civil War. Of course, with my focus on the music rather than the visuals, a lot of this does tend to escape me, but often musically a lot comes through.
While other operas can be fairly jubilant in places, with a tendency to 'go big', it feels like here there's more of a focus on the solos and the smaller, personal sounds, often dropping music to let the vocalists stand, with a violin punctuating it instead. The lack of the chorus in those places really makes them feel more personal, even more when the soloists get the focus over the more complex interplay, and it feels more of a case of the music supporting the text than you would see in other operas. It's a great piece from that perspective - feeling unique without really losing your interest during the three hours.