In this recording Riccardo Chailly directs Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera for the first time in his function as General Music Director of the Leipzig Oper on the 2nd of November 2005. Un ballo in maschera is as exciting as a thriller, but with a passion that can only be experienced in a Verdi opera. It stands to reason that only a man of equal passion would have the ability of bringing this spectacle to the stage adequately.
Passion, loyalty and political conspiracy are the three pillars of Un ballo in maschera (1859), the most operatic of all operas . Set in XIX century Boston, Mario Martone s athmospheric production for the Teatro Real in Madrid brings out all the innate theatricality and drama of Verdi s work. World famous Argentinean tenor Marcelo Álvarez in the role of Riccardo leads a fabulous cast including Lithuanian soprano Violeta Urmana as his love Amelia and Elena Zaremba playing the witch Ulrica. Jesús López Cobos conducts the Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a performance that shows the lyricism and grandeur of this beautiful work, which marries grand opera and opera comique features with Verdi's classical Italian opera tradition.
This set was recorded in 1970, first appeared in 1971, and now is re-issued on CD as Decca - London ,there is just SOMETHING about the freedom and vocal ease of the 35-year-old Pavarotti (pre-beard!). The high notes shine and soar and he just seems to be the young, impetuous King. Milnes shows us why he was the logical American baritone successor to Tibbett, Warren, Weede, Merrill and MacNeil in the great Verdi roles .Grand Dame Renata Tebaldi as Amelia and Regina Resnik as Ulrica–both at the end of their best years; don't forget, their careers started in the mid-1940s ,the ladies acquit themselves well enough vocally and also add involved characterizations of their roles.
Betrayal and forgiveness are the themes of this complex opera: Amelia's betrayal of her husband, Renato (she is having an affair with Riccardo. governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony), and the betrayal and assassination of Riccardo by a group of conspirators. The libretto is better integrated than most of Verdi's operas written before Otello and Falstaff. It was originally about an historic incident, the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden, but Roman censors, nervous about royal assassinations, forced the absurd relocation of the opera to colonial Boston. The music is prime middle-period Verdi, less spectacular than Il Trovatore, Rigoletto or La Forza del Destino, but it is warmly, richly expressive. It requires and rewards exceptionally good voices, and it gets them in this production. Outstanding work by Muti helps make this one of the best Verdi recordings ever made. –Joe McLellan
Between 1960 and 1981, the music label Deutsche Grammophon recorded the eight greatest operas composed by Verdi at La Scala in Milan, the home of Italian operas. World’s leading singers and conductors were involved in the recording. The result provides you with the best possible way to get familiar with Verdi’s operas...
Diego Fasolis' strong sense of rhythm coupled with the fluidity and virtuostic ease of Galfetti's playing render this cd irresistible. The Vivaldi Edition: a recording venture conceived by the Italian musicologist Alberto Basso and the independent label Naïve, is one of the most ambitious recording projects of the twenty-first century. Its principal objective is to record the massive collection of Vivaldi autograph manuscripts preserved today in the Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria in Turin, some 450 works in all. This treasure trove is none other than the private library of scores Vivaldi had at home at the time of his death in Vienna in 1741 and includes his extant operas, hundreds of concertos, sacred compositions and cantatas.