This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Gobbi's Boccanegra is one of the definitive interpretations of our time and whatever the forthcoming recording from DG brings us—it is based on the La Scala production that so excited musical London a year or so ago—his achievement will be in no way nullified. He portrays unforgettably the Doge's changes of character, so wonderfully delineated by Verdi himself, from rough pirate to commanding ruler to loving father and eventually, after the poisoning, to tragic hero, the sadness and weariness expressed in the final scene reaching classic proportions in tender inflexions. At the time the set was made, about twenty years ago, Gobbi was also at the height of his vocal powers, so that the often high tessitura seems to bother him hardly at
He is surrounded by several other portraits of stature. Los Angeles, as JBS has pointed Out, seems to have had her top notes, even at that stage in her career "on loan": in other words they sometimes sound strained. Otherwise her singing of the gentle Amelia has just the vulnerability, the elegiac quality it needs. Her passion for Gabriele and her love for her father are expressed in the most plangent legato, the most sensitive contrd of words, the downward runs in the final ensemble being perhaps the most eloquent of all: a performance, in sum, to treasure.
Christoff may not have the warmth of tone of Pinza, but his always pungent, crisply articulated singing is ideally suited to the implacable Fiesco, and his singing shades into a deeply felt remorse in the last act. It is a formidable portrayal, one with plenty of vocal presence. Campora's Gabriele is likeable: it is sung with admirable firmness in a full, forward tone, but with not all the intensity of a singer like Martinelli. The support is variable.
Santini's conducting is too bland, too anonymous, rather like Gavazzeni's in the disappointing RCA set (SER5696-8, 2/74). He does not grip the score or the audience as did Abbado at Covent Garden, or make nearly as much of the peculiarly distinctive orchestration Verdi uses to give this score its individual colour. He is not more than adequately supported by the Rome orchestra and the recording is rather murky even for its time. None of that should stop one acquiring a set that is rightly famous for its vocal contributions.
-- Gramophone [8/1977]
review of earlier LP reissue, HMV SLS 5090
Works on This Recording
Simon Boccanegra by Giuseppe Verdi
Tito Gobbi (Baritone),
Victoria de los Angeles (Soprano),
Boris Christoff (Bass),
Giuseppe Campora (Tenor),
Walter Monachesi (Baritone),
Paolo Dari (Bass),
Paolo Caroli (Tenor),
Silvia Bertona (Soprano)
Rome Opera House Orchestra,
Rome Opera House Chorus
Written: 1857; Italy
Date of Recording: 1957
Venue: Opera Theater, Rome, Italy
Length: 139 Minutes 9 Secs.
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