Continuing the One a Day thread honoring Giuseppe Verdi's bi
|La Scala, Milan|
I Lombardi all prima crociata The Lombards in the First Crusade 1843
Temistocle Solera La Scala, Milan 1843
Aprile Millo, Carlo Bergonzi, Paul Plishka. Opera Orch of New York/Eve Queler, January 1986
Another hit on the heels of Nabucco, I've always enjoyed I Lombardi without being moved my much of it. The plot is so convoluted, I have to close my eyes and listen. Lombardi has Verdi's first wonderful tenor aria, Le mie letizie infondere. The great trio Qual volutta trascorere had an extended violin solo, an innovation for such a young composer. The finale withs its musical glimpses of Jerusalem is theatrical and effective. Verdi was quickly becoming a real theater geek. I Lombardi is an opera for artists, not only singers.
Francesco Maria Piave Teatro Fenice Veince 1844
Leontyne Price, Carlo Bergonzi, Cornell MacNeil, Giorgio Tozzi/Thomas Schippers. Metropolitan Opera broadcast, April 1962
It's taken me a while to savor Ernani. The distillation of Victor Hugo's massive Hernani seems clumsy. Verdi himself admonished librettist Piave: "Brevity!" Listening again and paying attention I realize Ernani is the first Verdi opera to create believable characters. The situations may be bizzare, but Carlo's torment is convincing, as is Ernani's nobility and Elvira's grandeur. Don Silva actually moves us with Infelice! E tu credevi? Who is the real villain in this piece? Not easy to say. Rosa Ponselle called this "the baritone's opera". He is absent for the Act IV trio which to me is the most exciting part of the score.
I due Foscari The Two Foscari
Francesco Maria Piave Teatro Argentina, Rome 1844
Katia Ricciarelli, Jose Carreras, Piero Cappucilli, Samuel Ramey/Lamberto Gardelli
|Francesco Maria Piave|