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Happy Birthday Giuseppe Verdi

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Swan of Busseto, La Cieca invites the cher public to share reminiscences of great Verdi performances—and YouTube clips, of course!

165 comments

  • drbarbaro says:

    Madame Crespin

  • Lady Abbado says:

    My views:

    Gheorghiu = best Violetta

    Cerquetti = best Amelia

    Dimitrova = best Abigaille

    Tebaldi = best Aida

    Caballe = best Leonora

    Males & mezzos…some other time…

  • zinka says:

    Galvany loves to fach around………..sadly..no low notes………….

    • antikitschychick says:

      FUUUUCK I completely forgot about this and started watching Eugene Onegin instead ughhh…luckily I went to the website and it seems its still available…hopefully I can still watch it tomorrow XP.

  • jacobelli says:

    Don’t know if she was mentioned already, but Mariella Devia gets my vote as one of the best Gildas of the last 25 years. Here she is at the Met in 1987 in a production that starred Sherrill Milnes. Hungarian tenor Denes Gulyas was the Duke. This was the first Rigoletto I ever saw live, and Devia blew me away and has been one of my favorites ever since.

    This is still the best “Caro Nome” I ever heard live.

    Leo Nucci hasn’t gotten much of a mention here. Surely he is one of the best Rigolettos of all time. Here he is in the final duet with Sutherland. This is at the Met in 1987 and is an excerpt from the televised gala, “An Evening With Sutherland and Pavarotti.” I watched it the night it aired and was thrilled to see Nucci. He was in the first opera I ever attended in 1985 (La Traviata) and he’s been my favorite baritone ever since.

    Speaking of Milnes, he is amazing here in “Ah, fu giusto il mio sospetto” from Luisa Miller. This is from the Met in 1979, when he was still in his prime.

    For me, the most thrilling tenor of all time is Richard Tucker. Here he is at the Met in 1963 with Nilsson singing the duet from Un Ballo in Maschera.

    It doesn’t get any better than this!

  • semira mide says:

    CSO and Muti are fantastic! The woman percussionist is absolutely fearsome.

    • Porgy Amor says:

      This is captivating! I mean, I am posting and chatting during it, so you might question me on that, but it is a thrilling account of the score, the articulation knife-edge-precise. As in 2009, I find the orchestra and chorus the most impressive participants. Ildar is the best of the soloists. Good sound.

      • Rackon says:

        Wow!

        SM: Indeed, that woman’s bass drum attacks raised the hairs on my head!

        OK. Good birthday present. Really enjoyed that, even through my phone and earbuds. (I’m at work.) Loved loved loved Muti’s conducting, love CSO when they are “on”, and I can imagine what it sounded like in Orchestra Hall -thrilling.

        Ain’t the internet grand?

        PA: Agree about the chorus and soloists, didn’t mind Serjan, liked Abdrazakov, but I really don’t like Zeffiri. (It doesn’t help that I spent my day off yesterday listening to the new Barenboim VR and Kaufmann’s Ingemisco and Hostias are still in my ears.) Zeffiri’s voice is the kind of voice I meant back in the day when I used to say I hated tenors.

        • Porgy Amor says:

          I sort of see, at times, why Muti might want and like Zeffiri for this, as he did both five years ago and now. There are some exposed moments such as the “Hostias” and the line near the end of “Quid sum miser” where it works, but not enough of them to make the strain in the rest of it unacceptable. In general he is far too light and heady, and he was taxed right out of the gate tonight. I know Verdi wanted an Aïda cast, but I don’t think he had in mind Aïda, Amneris, Ramfis, and the Messenger.

          On the whole, a great performance, though, and it is always a pleasure to watch Maestro at work, with his precise, eloquent gestures. I wonder if this is going to be CSO Resound’s venture into DVD/BluRay. They clearly spared no trouble with the camera setups, and even subtitled it.

          • Porgy Amor says:

            not enough of them to make the strain in the rest of it unacceptable.

            “Acceptable.”

            • Rackon says:

              “I know Verdi wanted an Aïda cast, but I don’t think he had in mind Aïda, Amneris, Ramfis, and the Messenger.” LOL, :-)

              Alas, Mr. Zeffiri’s reedy tenor did not please me in 2009 either, although he sounded more strained tonight. The VR can be hard on tenors, at least from my years of listening plus my lone experience in performance. Zeffiri’s probably a lovely fellow; it’s just not my kind of voice.

              I wondered too about a possible DVD-BD release as I was watching, very nicely produced concert with good sound (as far as I could tell via android), although I had some streaming problems late in second half. The info CSO supplied on their homepage was excellent too, with good notes, complete texts in Latin and English, CSO performance and recording history etc. Nicely done.

              I’m glad this will be available on the CSO website for awhile, since I want to see/hear this again for the orchestra and chorus, as well as for Muti’s marvelous conducting. I was listening to the Scotto/Kraus/Muti Traviata on the radio earlier this evening, and that recording reminded me again how distinctive and idiomatic Muti in Verdi.

            • Porgy Amor says:

              That Traviata is controversial, but it sounds better and better to me through the years, while some I used to like more have paled. I have a higher tolerance than most for late Scotto (and tolerance of late Scotto helps; she’s managing carefully), and she and Kraus have a terrific rapport. They really seem to be listening to each other, responding to each other; they are at one stylistically, and it adds a great deal to the drama. Muti’s conducting of this opera would mature, but here, already, much is impressive (e.g., the delicate little ribbons of rubato he gives Kraus in “Un dì, felice”).

          • Camille says:

            Sìsignore, il Mesaggero ed anche, magari, la Sacerdotessa!

            • tiger1dk says:

              Not only is Ms Scotto wonderful as Violetta and Muti’s conducting magical (just listen to the orchestral crescendo before each “Amami, Alfredo), Renato Bruson sings Di Provenza more beautiful than I have ever heard it sung.

            • Porgy Amor says:

              I found Bruson very moving in the Fleming/Villazón video version, even though he was 70 and the singing had lost ease in the decades since Muti’s recording. Some reviews just stopped at “Bruson is past his prime”; I felt they shorted a wonderful portrayal. I showed that DVD to a few friends who had never seen the opera and did not know singers. They all loved him (and the other singers), and one said, “He’s my favorite voice in this. He just seems so right.” I didn’t probe further, and “so right” can mean a lot of things, but I think this person, who had not been watching Italian operas for years, could tell anyway that Bruson had style to spare.

            • MontyNostry says:

              Bruson was absolutely the best thing in that DVD with Renaaay and Rolandoooh. A bit rusty -- but such authority.

  • meowiaclawas says:

    Sistah can sing the EFF out of the Lady! I wuv you, MARA ZAMPIERI!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npeBP7CPmZA

  • Camille says:

    And last of all and most of all, shall we remember Verdi’s greatest work, the Casa di Riposo in Milano….


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyOZ778oU3U&sns=em

    From the film “Il Bacio di Tosca”.

    Some laugh, some cry.

    We should all be grateful for this great genius. One of mankind’s great benefactors.
    Requiescat in pacem.

    • tiger1dk says:

      Camille, it was a lovely thing of Verdi to establish this home for elderly singers -- but, surely, calling is his greatest work is a bit overdone. I mean, lots of persons have done equally charitably things -- but who else could have written e.g. Otello?

  • FomalHaut says: