Centenary Issues: Wayne Gooding Reviews Some of the Recordings Released to Mark the Verdi Anniversary. (Wayne Gooding)

By Gooding, Wayne | Opera Canada, Winter 2001 | Go to article overview

Centenary Issues: Wayne Gooding Reviews Some of the Recordings Released to Mark the Verdi Anniversary. (Wayne Gooding)


Gooding, Wayne, Opera Canada


Verdi lived long enough to see in the age of the gramophone, though not quite long enough to hear the blossoming of opera recordings in the early years of the 20th century But he's been a mainstay of the catalogue almost from the beginning, in part because of the enduring popularity of his music and in part because the works lend themselves to extract and recital. This anniversary year saw some interesting celebratory activity on the part of the record companies, with exciting new entries and estimable re-releases.

Philips has a splendid back catalogue of early Verdi, and this year released two additions in Alzira (464 6282) and Aroldo (462 512-2). First performed in 1845, Alzira is Verdi's seventh opera, and, despite its exotic setting in South America, is thin stuff. Even Verdi himself took a pretty dim view of it in retrospect, though his emerging musical imprint is clearly present Herein lies the major interest for the listener. This recording, with Marina Mescheriakova, Ramon Vargas and Paolo Gavanelli under the direction of Fabio Luisi, gets as much out of the work as is likely possible. Aroldo is much more arresting musically, and here is strongly sung by Neil Shicoff, Carol Vaness, Anthony Michaels-Moore and Roberto Scandiuzzi, again under the direction of Luisi. Dating from 1857, this is unknown rather than early Verdi, being a dramatic reworking of Stiffelio--though a less successful one. The work came after Rigoletto, La Traviata and Simon Boccanegra, and just precedes Un Ballo in Maschera. But what the opera lacks in dramatic coherence is more than compensated for by the splendid music.

The centenary year brought two new recordings of Verdi's final opera, Falstaff, one conducted by John Eliot Gardiner (Philips 462 503-2), the other by Claudio Abbado (DGG 471 194-2). The Gardiner is of interest for its use of period instruments, which makes for somewhat warmer and darker-hued orchestral coloring than we are accustomed to. Nonetheless, I prefer the Abbado. Bryn Terfel is simply more Falstaffian than the low-keyed Jean-Phillipe Lafont. Falstaff, as a Shakespeare scholar famously put it, represents "our Saturday selves." As Lafont sings--and, I think, as Gardiner conducts--it's more the embodiment of our Sunday best In ensemble, to be sure, both casts are strong (the DGG also features Canadian Adrienne Pieczonka as Alice Ford), but the work surely needs Abbado's street brio more than Gardiner's classical good manners. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Centenary Issues: Wayne Gooding Reviews Some of the Recordings Released to Mark the Verdi Anniversary. (Wayne Gooding)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.