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Roberto Alagna - Nessun Dorma


Release Date: 07/04/2006 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 000686502   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Giacomo PucciniUmberto GiordanoAlfredo CatalaniRiccardo Zandonai,   ... 
Performer:  Roberto Alagna
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden OrchestraLondon Voices
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

After recital discs devoted to bel canto, French opera, and Berlioz, Roberto Alagna here tries to put an individual stamp on some very familiar tenor arias and a few not-so-familiar, all from Italian "verismo" operas. The danger is oversinging; these operas, particularly those by Mascagni, require a type of exclamation that almost implies shouting. For the most part, Alagna is successful--mostly brilliantly so.

The voice is in superb shape, with little of the pinching at the top that occasionally has crept into his work, and he continues to be a "thinking" tenor, approaching even the very famous works with a fresh eye. Even the opening "Nessun dorma" reflects a musical intelligence (this aria also
Read more closes the CD, in a version "in context"--that is, with chorus, as it is performed in the opera). It begins hushed, as if neither we nor Calaf know that it is a whopping show-stopper, and builds as an internal monologue. He takes a fine diminuendo on the word "splendera", as most tenors do, but he doesn't breathe right before it announcing an "occasion". Rather, it is more organic. Similarly, in his reading of "Cielo e mar" we can sense Enzo gazing outward from his ship; it's beautifully, sensitively phrased, without the odd rallentandos most tenors add for emphasis. It makes you like the aria again after so many years of hearing it yelped.

An aria from Zandonai's Giulietta e Romeo is just heartbreaking, with Romeo caressing thoughts of his (not quite) dead Giulietta, and he exhibits fine passion, only resorting to a bit of yelling once or twice, in Chenier's two arias. The Brindisi from Cavalleria is energetic and macho (with chorus and Lola, no less); the "Addio" is heartfelt, although Alagna flies so sharp on the big B-flat in the "na" syllable in "tornassi" that you have to wonder if he misread it as a B-natural. You might chalk that up to overexcitement with the situation, but he hits both Gs sharp in the softer-hued "Amor ti vieta" as well; singing sharp apparently is an unfortunate predisposition.

A song from Wolf-Ferrari's Sly is biting and colorful, and we get a terrific picture of this drunken poet. Oddities from Leoncavallo's I Zingari and Chatterton make us want to hear more of these operas. In all, this is a very persuasive, varied, and beautiful recital, in which four-fifths of the time Alagna never sacrifices the lyrical line and always keeps an eye on the dynamics of an aria. Under and around the needed bravura are the morbidezza and class of Carlo Bergonzi. Mark Elder and the tenor have clearly thought this recital through and the accompaniments are excellent, as are the sonics. And the tendency to sing sharp? Maybe we'll just have to live with it.

-- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Turandot: Nessun dorma! by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Voices
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection is performed twice on this disc. 
2.
Andrea Chénier: Un dì all' azzuro spazio "Improvviso" by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins "Colpito qui m'avete..." 
3.
Andrea Chénier: Come un bel dì di maggio by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
4.
La Wally: Quando à Sölden by Alfredo Catalani
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Language: Italian 
5.
Giulietta e Romeo: Giulietta! son io by Riccardo Zandonai
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
6.
La Bohème: Io non ho che una povera stanzetta by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Non parlate così..." 
7.
La Bohème: Musette! O gioia della mia dimora... Testa adorato by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Musetta! O gioia della mia gimora!" 
8.
La Gioconda: Cielo e mar by Amilcare Ponchielli
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Written: 1876 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Language: Italian 
9.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Viva il vino spumeggiante "Brindisi" by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Voices
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Comare Lola..." 
10.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Mamma, quel vino è generoso "Addio" by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
11.
Adriana Lecouvreur: La dolcissima effigie by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
12.
Adriana Lecouvreur: L'anima ho stanca by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
13.
Zingari: Dammi un amore by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
14.
Chatterton: Tu sola a me rimani by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1876; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins "Che piu mi resta!" 
15.
Zazà: E un riso gentil by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Language: Italian 
16.
Zazà: Mai più, Zazà by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Language: Italian 
17.
La cena delle beffe: Tornato è maggio by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
18.
Fedora: Amor ti vieta by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
19.
Sly: Un orso in musoliera by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Voices
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; Milan, Italy 
Date of Recording: 2003 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

Sound Samples

Sly
Turandot
Giulietta e Romeo
Andrea Chénier
Andrea Chénier
La Wally
La Bohème
La Bohème
La Gioconda
Cavalleria rusticana: "Viva il vino spumeggiante"
Cavalleria Rusticana
Adriana Lecouvreur / Act 1: La dolcissima effigie sorridente
Adriana Lecouvreur
I zingari
Chatterton
Zaza
Zaza
La Cena delle beffe
Fedora / Act 2: "Amor ti vieta"
Turandot: Questa notte...Nessun dorma... O sole!

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