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Grand Tier - Verdi: Falstaff / De Sabata, Stabile, Tebaldi, Et Al

Release Date: 05/08/2007 
Label:  Opera D'oro   Catalog #: 7041   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Renata TebaldiPaolo SilveriMariano StabileSilvio Maionica,   ... 
Conductor:  Victor De Sabata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala OrchestraMilan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Verdi’s last opera, written when he was approaching eighty, was only the second comedy of his long career, following the ill-fated Un giorno di regno of fifty years before. His friend and collaborator Arrigo Boito, who had with some difficulty talked him into composing Otello several years earlier, now had an easier time convincing him to crown his glory with one more tribute to his beloved Shakespeare. The three principals are all famous portrayers of their roles, aided by an outstanding supporting cast. Mariano Stabile was a veteran Italian basso buffo who had the role of Falstaff in his belly, if not his bones. Renata Tebaldi was the most famous Italian lyric soprano of her era and she remains, along with Maria Callas, the most loved Read more soprano of recent years. Cesare Valletti was a tenore di grazia, a tenor with a light, flexible head voice of exquisite beauty. Live performance, Milan, May 26, 1951.

R E V I E W:

"Verdi's Falstaff turned 100 years old last February, but continues to sparkle, even in this dim-sounding aircheck. Despite the problematic sound—marred by transmission hum, congestion that too often makes it hard to tell just what the orchestra is doing (the amount of detail that does emerge is testimony to de Sabata's extraordinary comprehension and quicksilver conducting of the score), and the fact that the voices are so often hard to hear—listening to this 1951 Scala production is a consistently invigorating experience. Two weeks after his sixty-third birthday, Mariano Stabile (who can also be heard in a 1937 Salzburg aircheck under Toscanini) remains unfailingly sensitive to Falstaff s every word and gesture, bringing the title character consistently to life from one moment to the next, with a spectacular sense of connection to everything going on around him. At the same time, this is a real ensemble performance, as Falstaff needs to be; it probably doesn't hurt that this is an all-Italian cast. Too bad there's no way to recapture the stage business that so audibly and frequently delights the audience; for example, I'd give anything to see, as well as hear, Stabile's delivery of Falstaff's “Lo so“ (“I know“) when Quickly praises his seductive powers in their second-act exchange. Unfortunately, I must reiterate that the sound is a real problem: this can really be recommended only to collectors. But then again,there are also things the likes of which you won't hear elsewhere, like de Sabata's way with the string accents and portamentos in the final exchange between Falstaff and Ford at the end of act II, scene i. So weigh the pluses and minuses for yourself; you probably won't be disappointed. "

-- Marc Mandel, Fanfare [11/1993]
Reviewing earlier release of this recording, Memories 4500

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Works on This Recording

Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Renata Tebaldi (Soprano), Paolo Silveri (Baritone), Mariano Stabile (Baritone),
Silvio Maionica (Baritone), Giuseppe Nessi (Tenor), Mariano Caruso (Tenor),
Alda Noni (Soprano), Cloe Elmo (Mezzo Soprano), Anna Maria Canali (Mezzo Soprano),
Cesare Valletti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Victor De Sabata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/26/1951 
Venue:  Live  Milan, Italy 
Language: Italian 

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