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Grand Tier - Verdi: Nabucco / Gavazzeni, Guelfi, Suliotis, Ghiaurov


Release Date: 03/20/2007 
Label:  Opera D'oro   Catalog #: 7031   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella FiorentiniElena SuliotisNicolai GhiaurovGianni Raimondi,   ... 
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala OrchestraMilan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Produced in March 1842, Nabucco was Verdi’s first triumph with the public and (most) critics, establishing him as a great composer. The audience at the premiere went mad with enthusiasm and demanded an encore of the chorus “Va, pensiero.” “Va, pensiero” was musically beautiful, but as an expression of the longing of the Hebrew slaves for freedom it also struck a powerful political chord. Soon it was being sung in the streets, and many years later was reverently hymned at Verdi’s public funeral. For much of the twentieth century Nabucco was neglected as an immature early work by Verdi, but nowadays has taken its place again with great success as a repertory piece. Grand Tier presents the most popular titles from the budget Opera d’Oro Read more catalogue at mid-price with complete newly translated librettos, stimulating essays by eminent music writers, and deluxe packaging with striking artwork commissioned from Rafal Olbinski. Live performance, Milan, 1966.

R E V I E W:

"Suliotis's is a classic case of “Too much, too soon“ in the sense of a singer taking on a role for which (s)he lacks either the vocal technique, maturity or both. Abigaille is undoubtedly the most difficult and demanding soprano lead in the Verdi canon, but one sure to raise an audience to fever pitch if done at all well, so one can certainly not blame any soprano who thinks she can handle it for wanting to do so. But for Suliotis at twenty-three, its assumption bespeaks a dangerous combination of unwarranted bravery and lack of discipline. She is not the only soprano to have come to grief attempting it. Parutto, Cerquetti, Rysanek, and Bumbry come most immediately to mind but there are others including, perhaps, Giuseppina Strepponi, who created the role. Suliotis, during her all-too-brief career, was a highly committed performer, but not, as it turns out, a particularly prudent one and was soon sung out. (A colleague in whose presence 1 first heard her London complete of this work on OSA 1382 opposite Gobbi gasped during one of its more brilliant moments, “[Expletive deleted]! She's leaving half her vocal chords in those grooves.“)

She obviously had enough left over for the performance at hand which preserves the opening night of the 1966-67 La Scala season, and it is, if anything, even more exciting: not surprising since the singer who does not so respond to an appreciative live audience is rare indeed. Venom galore can be discerned in her bright, gleaming voice in the recitative which introduces her second-act scena, and she takes the two-octave downward leap at its end firmly in stride, but she is also able to command a sweet lyricism for the andante section (“Anch'io dischiuso un giorno“). The performing edition accords her but one verse of the cabaletta which follows the intervening dialog with Bel's High Priest, but she does interpolate a thrillingly ringing high C at its conclusion.

She gets excellent support from her colleagues both on- and off-stage. Gavazzeni is at least the equal of Gardelli, who conducts the London set, in molding the score to the specifications of vigor and vulgarity which are the hallmarks of the composer's earliest works, and knows how to build the second-act finale to a rousing climax. Guelfi's Babylonian king is not the towering impersonation Gobbi gives us (he lacks the latter's sense of textual nuance, for one), but his voice is, to my mind, more beautiful, has the right heft and quality, and he uses it well. Ghiaurov, here captured in his youthful prime, is a most impressive Zaccaria. Raimondi, if not quite Domingo's match on DG's recording with Dimitrova and Cappuccini under Sinopoli, is one of the most musical and mellifluous Ismaeles I have ever heard, and Lane does what is asked of her well enough in the equally smallish role of Fenena. Giovanni Foiani is a better-than-average High Priest of Bel, and the remaining comprimarii are commendable."

FANFARE: Anthony Coggi [5/1989]
Reviewing earlier release of this recording, Nuova Era 2222]

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Works on This Recording

1.
Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella Fiorentini (Mezzo Soprano), Elena Suliotis (Soprano), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass),
Gianni Raimondi (Tenor), Gloria Lane (Mezzo Soprano), Giovanni Foiani (Bass),
Piero de Palma (Tenor), Giangiacomo Guelfi (Baritone)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/07/1966 
Venue:  Live  Milan, Italy 
Length: 120 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

Sound Samples

Nabucco: Overture
Nabucco: Part I "Jerusalem", "Gli arredi festivi giù cadano infranti" (Chorus)
Nabucco: Part I "Jerusalem", "Sperate, o figli!" (Zaccaria, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part I "Jerusalem", "D'Egitto là sui lidi" (Zaccaria, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part I "Jerusalem", "Qual rumore?" (Chorus, Ismaele, Zaccaria)
Nabucco: Part I "Jerusalem", "Come notte a sol fulgente" (Zaccaria, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part I "Jerusalem", "Fenena! O mia diletta!" (Ismaele, Fenena)
Nabucco: Part I "Jerusalem", "Guerrieri, è preso il tempio!" (Abigaille, Fenena, Ismaele)
Nabucco: Part I "Jerusalem", "Io t'mava!" (Abigaille, Ismaele, Fenena)
Nabucco: Part I "Jerusalem", "Lo vedeste?" (Anna, Chorus, Zaccaria)
Nabucco: Part I "Jerusalem", "Viva Nabucco!" (Abigaille, Chorus, Zaccaria, Ismaele, Nabucco)
Nabucco: Part I "Jerusalem", "Si finga, e l'ira mia" (Nabucco, Fenena, Ismaele, Abigaille, Anna, Zaccaria, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part I "Jerusalem", "O vinti, il capo a terra!" (Nabucco, Zaccaria, Ismaele, Abigaille, Anna, Fenena, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part Two "The Wicked Man", "Ben io, t'invenni, o fatal scritto!" (Abigaille)
Nabucco: Part Two "The Wicked Man", "Anch'io dischiuso un giorno" (Abigaille)
Nabucco: Part Two "The Wicked Man", "Chi s'avanza?" (Abigaille, High Priest of Baal, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part Two "The Wicked Man", "Salgo già del trono aurato" (Abigaille, High Priest of Baal, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part Two "The Wicked Man", "Vieni, o Levita!" (Zaccaria)
Nabucco: Part Two "The Wicked Man", "Che si vuol?" (Chorus, Ismaele)
Nabucco: Part Two "The Wicked Man", "Deh, fratelli, perdonate!" (Anna, Chorus, Zaccaria, Fenena, Ismaele, Abdallo, High Priest of Baal, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part Two "The Wicked Man", "S'appressan gl'istanti" (Nabucco, Abigaille, Ismaele, Fenena, Zaccaria, Anna, Abdallo, High Priest of Baal, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part Two "The Wicked Man", "S'oda or me!" (Nabucco, Fenena, High Priest of Baal, Zaccaria, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part Two "The Wicked Man", "Chi mi toglie il regio scettro?" (Nabucco, Zaccaria, Abigaille)
Nabucco: Part III "The Prophecy", "È l'Assiria una regina" (Chorus)
Nabucco: Part III "The Prophecy", "Eccelsa donna, che d'Assiria il fato reggi" (High Priest of Baal, Abigaille, Nabucco, Abdallo)
Nabucco: Part III "The Prophecy", "Donna, chi sei?" (Nabucco, Abigaille)
Nabucco: Part III "The Prophecy", "Oh di qual onta aggravesi" (Nabucco, Abigaille)
Nabucco: Part III "The Prophecy", "Oh qual suon!" (Nabucco, Abigaille)
Nabucco: Part III "The Prophecy", "Deh perdona, deh perdona" (Nabucco, Abigaille)
Nabucco: Part III "The Prophecy", Introduction (Orchestra)
Nabucco: Part III "The Prophecy", "Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate" (Chorus)
Nabucco: Part III "The Prophecy", "Oh chi piange?" (Zaccaria, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part IV "The Shattered Idol", Introduction (Orchestra)
Nabucco: Part IV "The Shattered Idol", "Son pur queste mie membra?" (Nabucco, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part IV "The Shattered Idol", "Dio di Giuda!" (Nabucco, Abdallo, Chorus)
Nabucco: Part IV "The Shattered Idol", "Cadran, cadranno i perfidi" (Abdallo, Chorus, Nabucco)
Nabucco: Part IV "The Shattered Idol", "Va! La palma del martirio" (Zaccaria)
Nabucco: Part IV "The Shattered Idol", "Oh dischiuso è il firmamento!" (Fenena, Chorus, Anna, Ismaele, Zaccaria, High Priest of Baal, Nabucco, Abdallo)
Nabucco: Part IV "The Shattered Idol", "Immenso Jeovha" (Chorus, Fenena, Ismaele, Nabucco, Zaccaria)
Nabucco: Part IV "The Shattered Idol", "Oh chi veggo'io?" (Nabucco, Chorus, Abigaille, Zaccaria)
Nabucco: Part IV "The Shattered Idol", "Su me...morente...esanime...discenda..." (Abigaille, Chorus, Zaccaria)

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