|Verdi circa 1848|
My comments are just a bit of 'gut reaction'
This continues to be a wonderful journey!
Listening to and reading about these works beats any vitamins for me, although chocolate could run anything a close race.
Macbeth 1847 Florence revised 1865 Paris
Francesco Maria Piave
Peter Glossop, Rita Hunter, Joh Tomlinson, Kenneth Collins/John Matheson BBC Broadcast 1847 version
Piero Cappucilli, Shirley Verrett, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Franco Tagliavini/Claudio Abbado La Scala 1976 1865 version
"He is the poet I revere above all others" wrote Verdi about Shakespeare. The composer knew the plays inMacbeth needs a formidable conductor, who is not tempted to play the witches for comedy. I'm riveted by the Act 1 duet, 'Fatal mia donna!' and by the Brindisi in Act II...the entire scene with the vision of Banquo's Ghost. Once past Act 1, Macbeth 's grows in power. The third act vision scene and duet for the Macbeths, and the sleepwalking scene are first class Verdi.
Carlo Bergonzi, Montserrat Caballe, Piero Cappucilli, Ruggero Raimondi/Lambero Gardelli
Based on Schiller's Die Rauber , written for London and soprano Jenny Lind. Ernani. No problem with that certainly, but we are absent any convincing love music. My least favorite Verdi thus far. But I'd rather sit through my least favorite Verdi than the best of many another composer.
Jersualem 1847 Paris in French
Alphonse Royer, Gustave Vaez
Marina Mescheriakova, Marcello Giordani, Roberto Scandiuzzi/Fabio Luisi Geneva
I love I Lombardi. Jersualem is a French language revision done for Paris. The Paris Opera had money, stagecraft, orchestra, set designers and an audience demanding huge spectacles with lots of pretty girls. Verdi was plodded by Ricordi to get on board. Jersualem is dramatically tighter and musically more polite. The French language gives the score an elegance lacking in I Lombardi. I think Jersualem is still considered a revision rather than a separate opera. It plays faster, and I enjoyed it.