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Peter Seiffert - Italian Opera Arias


Release Date: 05/18/2007 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 55010   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Gaetano DonizettiGiacomo PucciniUmberto GiordanoFrancesco Cilèa,   ... 
Performer:  Peter Seiffert
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Competition is formidable in this repertoire but Seiffert stands up well against many of his rivals. His nuanced, tasteful and well considered readings are attractive.

Peter Seiffert has behind him a career of more than 25 years by now and during the last decade he has been increasingly associated with Wagner roles. He started as a lyrical tenor and in 1993 when this recital was recorded, he still refused to be pigeonholed as a Mozart tenor or a Wagner tenor. He wanted to sing both and anything in between. He sang Lohengrin, Ottavio and Tamino “in rapid succession” at the Munich Opera Festival and his Wagner profited from the lyrical qualities of his Mozart. He has been singing operetta too and here we have him in a
Read more baker’s dozen of Italian arias, spanning from the light lyrical, almost tenorino role of Ernesto in Don Pasquale to spinto roles like Manrico, Andrea Chenier, Radames and Calaf.

It is his lyrical singing that impresses most. He starts the recital with a slow Amor ti vieta, lyrical but still with some strain. Then follows his Ernesto with chorus, and here he adopts a scaled-down, light and beautiful tone in the Schipa or Valletti mould but the singer he reminds me most of is Gösta Winbergh. I had been listening to his Ernesto only hours before playing this disc and he was a singer with the same development from Mozart singer to one of the important Lohengrins and Walthers and Parsifals while retaining the ability to sing lyrical roles with the same ease as before. Both singers also had/have good taste and created their characters with insight and intelligence. In Seiffert’s case his Ernesto aria is marred by a too forceful and strained end, where he should have contented himself with something more elegant. Una furtiva lagrima is also well conceived. One hears that it is a large voice that is being pared down but he has good runs and the end is fine: a crescendo followed by a diminuendo down to a soft pianissimo in one long phrase.

He is a lively and virile Rinuccio in the aria from Gianni Schicchi, but tends to force towards the end. On the other hand the two arias from Adriana Lecouvreur are splendidly sung, again in a lyrical vein but with glow. His Di quella pira is vigorous and more nuanced than most spinto tenors can manage, but at this stage of his development it seems a number too large for him and he has to slide up to the final note. Cielo e mar! has a soft and lyrical opening and here he stays within his natural boundaries, making this one of the most satisfying numbers. In the aria from Andrea Chenier Giovanni Martinelli’s acoustic recording has long been my benchmark for its razor sharp intensity but Seiffert is not far behind. Radames might have been too heavy a part for him back in 1993 but it is another lyrical and well conceived reading, miles apart from the bawling Mario Del Monaco that I heard the other day. More heavyweight fare comes up in the shape of Nessun dorma but he has the measure of this aria too and he follows up the Puccini stakes with a tasteful Che gelida manina. It is only the high C that sticks out, being insufficiently integrated in the dynamic process. Finally he delivers a vibrant Mamma, quell vino è generoso from Cavalleria rusticana, that is charged with emotion. This is definitely one of the very best offerings on this recital.

Ralf Weikert leads his Berlin forces safely but with no special insights and the recording is fine. As an extra bonus – nowadays – the booklet contains not only a biography on the soloist but also the sung texts with translations in German, English and French. Full marks for that!

All the arias are well-known and every tenor of any importance has recorded most of them. In other words: competition is formidable. In spite of some reservations I think that Peter Seiffert stands up well against many of his rivals and his nuanced, tasteful and well considered readings should be attractive to many readers, even though the playing time is parsimonious.

-- Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Una furtiva lagrima by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Language: Italian 
2.
La Bohème: Che gelida manina by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Language: Italian 
3.
Fedora: Amor ti vieta by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Italy 
Language: Italian 
4.
Adriana Lecouvreur: La dolcissima effigie by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Language: Italian 
5.
Adriana Lecouvreur: L'anima ho stanca by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Language: Italian 
6.
Il trovatore: Di quella pira by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Language: Italian 
7.
Turandot: Nessun dorma! by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
Language: Italian 
8.
La Gioconda: Cielo e mar by Amilcare Ponchielli
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Written: 1876 
Language: Italian 
9.
Aida: Celeste Aida by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Language: Italian 
10.
Gianni Schicchi: Firenze è come un albero fiorito by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Avete torto..." 
11.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Mamma, quel vino è generoso "Addio" by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Language: Italian 
12.
Don Pasquale: Com' è gentil by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Italy 
Language: Italian 
13.
Andrea Chénier: Un dì all' azzuro spazio "Improvviso" by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Peter Seiffert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ralf Weikert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Language: Italian 

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