WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Roman Heroes - Placido Domingo


Release Date: 07/23/2007 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 54053   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric HandelVincenzo BelliniGasparo SpontiniRichard Wagner,   ... 
Performer:  Placido DomingoPlacido Domingo Jr.
Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic OrchestraAmbrosian Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 53 Mins. 

This title is currently unavailable.



This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

''This is an interesting record'' wrote Andrew Porter, reviewing an LP recital on RCA in June 1969 (nla) by a new tenor who sang in four languages and ranged from Handel (Giulio Cesare) to Mascagni (Iris), from Mozart (''Il mio tesoro'') to Halevy (''Rachel, quand du Seigneur''), taking in Verdi and Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Puccini, on the way. ''As tenors go today, Placido Domingo strikes me as among the best,'' the reviewer continued; and a month later Desmond Shawe-Taylor in his ''Quarterly Retrospect'' prophesied that ''he could go far''.

By this time we know just how far he has gone, and now there comes this very comparable recital, given, not by one of several ''promising young tenors'' listed by AP in 1969 (the others
Read more were Cecchele, Prevedi, Pavarotti and Merighi) but by an artist at the very summit of his profession with more than 20 years behind him during which he has been one of the two most sought-after tenors in the world. So the record has a special place in the Domingo discography: that much one can say from the start, without having heard a note of it.

Let's also say at once that he sings magnificently and that in his journey across this varied terrain he falls into none of the traps that generally catch the unwary or ill-equipped—at least, as far as the sheer vocalism is concerned. Tiresome, however, is the recorded sound, with orchestra and chorus in distant relationship with the voice, which in turn has a resonant acoustic increasing the feeling of unnatural balance. It is a great pity that anything of this sort should deflect attention away from the tenor's achievement and the refreshingly novel programme.

The title itself probably invites a further diversion, for the first of the 'heroes' to appear is none other than Nero, and the aria from Handel's Ezio is sung by Massimo, the villain. That also probes Domingo's principal weakness, for not even the mildest of personality-disorders seems to characterize this Nero, and in the Handel there is no suggestion of greed or cunning in the repeated ''tu regnerai per me'' by which the ambitious man seeks to tempt his daughter towards a throne gained by murder. By contrast, Pollione in Norma is well portrayed, the expressiveness particularly sensitive and responsive to the words in ''Meco all'altar''. Benvenuto Cellini and Mario Cavaradossi also emerge as men of fine feeling, fond of something other than the mere sound of their own voice.

On the other hand, the listener's chief pleasure lies exactly in that: the sound of this voice, still of such rich, unspoiled quality, firm and ample, used with such consummate skill and sure judgement. The Handel arias test the fluency of production (an excellent cadenza, with some accomplished decorative work and even a few trills in the Giulio Cesare); Berlioz tests the range and stamina, Wagner the legato. ''Sheer force, excitement, glory of the sound'' were means of conquest which the reviewer in 1969 doubted whether Domingo possessed; they were not apparent, he thought, on that record. Well, they certainly have a place on this, together with a quality which most singers acquire, if at all, only with the years: nobility.

-- Gramophone [11/1990]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: Svegliatevi nel core by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2. Ezio, HWV 29: Tergi l'inguiste lagrime by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1732; London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3. Norma: Meco all' altar di Venere...Me protegge by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Placido Domingo Jr. (Tenor), Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Length: 8 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with the recitative "Svanir le voci". 
4. La Vestale: Ah! no, ch'io vivo ancora by Gasparo Spontini
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1807; Paris, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins "Ohimè! che vegg'io mai?...". 
5. Rienzi: Allmächt'ger Vater, blick herab by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840-1843; Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: German 
6. Attila: Ella in poter del barbaro...Cara patria by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Italy 
Length: 7 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with the recitative "Oh, tutto di navicelle..." 
7. Nerone: Quando al soave anelito by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1935; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins "Vergini Muse...". 
8. Benvenuto Cellini: La gloire était ma seule idole by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834-1837; France 
Length: 6 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection begins with the recitative "Une heure encore". 
9. Tosca: E lucevan le stelle by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook