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Verdi: Great Operas From La Scala [21 CDs]

Release Date: 06/30/2009 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 4778121   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Piero de PalmaDietrich Fischer-DieskauCarlo BergonziVirgilio Carbonari,   ... 
Conductor:  Rafael KubelikTullio SerafinAntonino VottoGianandrea Gavazzeni,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala OrchestraMilan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Number of Discs: 21 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Verdi box set of the year! Eight great operas—including popular favorites Rigoletto, Trovatore, Traviata and Aïda— recorded between 1961 and 1981 by Deutsche Grammophon at La Scala, Milan, the spiritual home of Italian opera. Claudio Abbado, who conducts Macbeth, Simon Boccanegra and Aïda, completes the set with the Requiem.

Singers include: Carlo Bergonzi (Duke of Mantua, Manrico), Piero Cappuccilli (Macbeth, Simon), Plácido Domingo (Ramadès, Macduff), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Rigoletto), Mirella Freni (Maria Boccanegra), Gianni Raimondi (Alfredo), Katia Ricciarelli (Aida), Renata Scotto (Violetta, Gilda) and Shirley Verrett (Lady Macbeth).

The conductors are Claudio Abbado (see
Read more above), Gianandrea Gavazzeni (Un ballo in maschera), Rafael Kubelik (Rigoletto), Tullio Serafin (Trovatore), Gabriele Santini (Don Carlo) and Antonino Votto (Traviata).

This limited edition set is attractively priced and packaged in a classic capbox. Also includes a 70 page booklet with short synopses in English, German and French.


"One of the best places to test a conductor's fitness for Rigoletto is the Duke's solo "E il sol dell'anima", and Kubelik passes with flying colours. Anybody can set the fire going and make the big noises; but to accompany the vocal line with orchestral parts that look on paper to be so utterly devoid of interest a conductor has to have a true feeling for the traditions of Italian opera. Kubelik and Bergonzi here are at one, fine exponents of the tradition and a pleasure to hear." -- Gramophone [10/1984] (review of Rigoletto LP reissue)

"There are potent reasons for enjoying this [Trovatore]. They are Serafin's right-minded conducting, Bergonzi's stylistically correct, often fiery Manrico and Cossotto's vigorous, vivid Azucena." -- Gramophone [10/1985] (review of Il Trovatore LP reissue)

"Ettore Bastianini has to my ear the right voice for the quintessential Verdian "wronged party" baritone; and suitably for one called Ettore, with a touch of hectoring quality in it. He sings both his big solos with injured nobility, hanging on to top notes a little too long in the second one, but making the Verdian effect, the all important effeto, in a secure and by no means unimaginative manner." -- Gramophone [9/1961] (review of Un Ballo In Maschera LP)

"Abbado’s conducting is idiomatic and vibrant and sets a theatrical benchmark for his soloists. As the queen, Shirley Verrett is smoky-toned and musically correct, perhaps lacking a little of the vocal wildness that Verdi had in mind and specified for the role. Cappuccilli as Macbeth is characterful and expressive, just the odd moment of dry tone intruding. Ghiaurov’s bass is a rock-solid tower of strength whilst Domingo as Macduff sings an eloquent lament for his lost family in a vocally commanding performance." -- MusicWeb International (review of Macbeth CD reissue)

"Cappuccilli's Boccanegra derives its authority and dignity from his longsighted and extraordinarily powerful phrasing, just as the poignancy of insecurity in the inky depths of Ghiaurov's Fiesco seems to foretell the tragedy of their relationship.
For Carreras, there is barely a moment of strain, as his carefully nourished lyrical lines are strengthened by the precision of their pointing, while van Dam manages to convey the full extent of Paolo's desire for "oro, possanza, onore" within the opening seconds of a deeply perceptive performance. At the risk of making the whole thing sound quite improbably outstanding, it must be added that new technology has revealed an untarnished radiance in Mirella Freni's top register: she, above anyone else, uses Verdi's writing with vivid assurance to convey every flicker of pulse in Amelia's shifting emotions. -- Gramophone [9/1986] (review of Simon Boccanegra CD reissue)

"What [one] should enjoy in Abbado's approach are speeds that throughout seem not only sane but correctly regulated one with another, and in general a special care over orchestral detail, as in the wonderful conjuring up of the heat and the water at the start of Act 3, or the Sense of terror and exasperation in that searing passage as Amneris leaves the stage at the end of the first scene of Act 4...Abbado creates a feeling of a personal tragedy within the context of public affairs; nowhere is that more keenly understood than in the huge concertato section of the triumphal scene where the individual voices, projecting their conflicting emotions, stand out from the general air of rejoicing, all splendidly caught by the DG digital recording." -- Gramophone [12/1982] (review of original Aida recording)

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Works on This Recording

Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Piero de Palma (Tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), Carlo Bergonzi (Tenor),
Virgilio Carbonari (Bass), Mirella Fiorentini (Mezzo Soprano), Alfredo Giacomotti (Bass),
Caterina Alda (Mezzo Soprano), Renata Scotto (Soprano), Ettore Bastianini (Baritone),
Fiorenza Cossotto (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Il trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Angelo Mercuriali (Tenor), Ivo Vinco (Bass), Giuseppe Morresi (Bass Baritone),
Carlo Bergonzi (Tenor), Fiorenza Cossotto (Mezzo Soprano), Ettore Bastianini (Baritone),
Armanda Bonato (Mezzo Soprano), Antonietta Stella (Soprano), Franco Ricciardi (Tenor)
Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Angelo Mercuriali (Tenor), Armanda Bonato (Mezzo Soprano), Franco Ricciardi (Tenor),
Gianni Raimondi (Tenor), Renata Scotto (Soprano), Giuseppe Morresi (Bass Baritone),
Giuliana Tavolaccini (Soprano), Silvio Maionica (Bass), Virgilio Carbonari (Bass),
Ettore Bastianini (Baritone)
Conductor:  Antonino Votto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Un ballo in maschera by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Antonietta Stella (Soprano), Adriana Lazzarini (Mezzo Soprano), Silvio Maionica (Bass),
Giuliana Tavolaccini (Soprano), Alessandra Gavazzeni (Soprano), Antonio Cassinelli (Bass),
Gianni Poggi (Tenor), Angelo Mercuriali (Tenor), Ettore Bastianini (Baritone),
Giuseppe Morresi (Bass Baritone), Enzo Guagni (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Italy 
Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Pierre Palla (Organ), Alessandro Maddalena (Bass), Franco Piva (Tenor),
Aurora Cattelani (Soprano), Flaviano Labò (Tenor), Ettore Bastianini (Baritone),
Fiorenza Cossotto (Mezzo Soprano), Boris Christoff (Bass), Antonietta Stella (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gabriele Santini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867/1886 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Composition written: Paris, France (03/11/1867).
Composition revised: Naples, Italy (1872).
Composition revised: La Scala Opera House, Milan, Italy (01/10/1884). 
Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Maria Fausta Gallamini (Treble), Alfredo Mariotti (Bass), Antonio Savastano (Tenor),
Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone), Placido Domingo (Tenor), Shirley Verrett (Mezzo Soprano),
Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass), Giovanni Foiani (Bass), Stefania Malagú (Mezzo Soprano),
Shirley Verrett (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847/1865; Italy 
Simon Boccanegra by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Giovanni Foiani (Bass), Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass),
Mirella Freni (Soprano), José Carreras (Tenor), José Van Dam (Bass Baritone),
Antonio Savastano (Tenor)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; Italy 
Aida by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Piero de Palma (Tenor), Elena Obraztsova (Mezzo Soprano), Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano),
Placido Domingo (Tenor), Ruggero Raimondi (Bass), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass),
Leo Nucci (Baritone)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Requiem Mass by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano), Shirley Verrett (Mezzo Soprano), Placido Domingo (Tenor),
Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Italy 

Featured Sound Samples

Simon Boccanegra: Act I: "Propizio ei giunge!"
Macbeth: Act I: "Or tutti sorgete"
Il Trovatore: Act II: "Stride la vampa!"
Aida: Act IV: "Già i Sacerdoti adunansi"

Sound Samples

Rigoletto / Act 1: Preludio
Rigoletto / Act 1: Della mia bella incognita borghese (Duca, Borsa)
Rigoletto / Act 1: "Questa o quella" - "Partite? ... Crudele" - "In testa che avete, Signor di Ceprano?" - "Gran nuova! Gran nuova!" - "Ah, più di Ceprano"
Rigoletto / Act 1: Ch'io gli parli (Monterone, Duca, Borsa, Rigoletto, Marullo, Ceprano, Coro)
Rigoletto / Act 1: Duetto. "Quel vecchio maledivami!" (Rigoletto, Sparafucile)
Rigoletto / Act 1: Recitativo e Duetto. "Pari siamo!... io la lingua"(Rigoletto)
Rigoletto / Act 1: "Figlia!" / "Mio padre!" (Rigoletto, Gilda)
Rigoletto / Act 1: "Già da tre lune son qui venuta" - "Olá?"/"Signor?" - Ah! veglia, o donna, questo fiore
Rigoletto / Act 1: Scena e Duetto. "Giovanna, ho dei rimorsi" (Gilda, Giovanna, Duca)
Rigoletto / Act 1: "E il sol dell'anima"
Rigoletto / Act 2: "Poiché fosti invano da me maledetto" - "Sì, vendetta"/"O mio padre"
Rigoletto / Act 1: "Che m'ami, deh! ripetimi" - "Addio... speranza ed anima" (Duca, Gilda, Ceprano, Borsa, Giovanna)
Rigoletto / Act 3: "E l'ami?" / "Sempre" (Rigoletto, Gilda, Duca, Sparafucile)
Rigoletto / Act 1: "Gualtier Maldè...Caro nome che il mio cor" - "È là"/"Miratela"
Rigoletto / Act 3: "La donna è mobile" - "E là il vostr'uomo" (Duca / Sparafucile, Rigoletto)
Rigoletto / Act 1: Scena e Coro - Finale I. "Riedo!... perché?" / "Silencio...all'opra" (Rigoletto, Borsa, Ceprano, Marullo)
Rigoletto / Act 3: Quartetto. "Un dì, se ben rammentomi" (Duca, Gilda, Maddalena, Rigoletto)
Rigoletto / Act 1: Zitti, zitti, muoviamo a vendetta (Borsa, Marullo, Ceprano, Gilda, Rigoletto, Coro)
Rigoletto / Act 3: Bella figlia dell'amore (Duca, Maddalena, Gilda, Rigoletto)
Rigoletto / Act 3: "M'odi, ritorna a casa" - "Venti scudi, hai tu detto?" (Rigoletto, Gilda / Rigoletto, Sparafucile)
Rigoletto / Act 3: "Maddalena?" / "Aspettate" (Duca, Maddalena, Sparafucile)
Rigoletto / Act 3: È amabile invero cotal giovinotto (Maddalena, Sparafucile, Gilda)
Rigoletto / Act 3: Della vendetta alfin giunge l'istante (Rigoletto, Sparafucile, Duca)
Rigoletto / Act 3: Chi è mai, chi è qui in sua vece? (Rigoletto, Gilda)
Rigoletto / Act 2: Ella mi fu rapita! (Duca)
Rigoletto / Act 2: Parmi veder le lagrime (Duca)
Rigoletto / Act 2: Scena con coro: "Duca,duca!"/"Ebben?" (Tutti, Duca)
Rigoletto / Act 2: Possente amor mi chiama (Duca, Borsa, Marullo, Ceprano, Coro)
Rigoletto / Act 2: Scena ed Coro: "Povero Rigoletto!" (Marullo, Rigoletto, Borsa, Ceprano, Paggio, Coro)
Rigoletto / Act 2: Cortigiani, vil razza dannata (Rigoletto)
Rigoletto / Act 2: Scena e Duetto: "Mio padre!" / "Dio! Mia Gilda!" (Gilda, Rigoletto, Borsa, Marullo, Ceprano, Coro)
Rigoletto / Act 2: Tutte le feste al tempio (Gilda, Rigoletto)
Rigoletto / Act 2: "Ah! solo per me l'infamia" - "Ah! Piangi, fanciulla"/"Padre, in voi parla un angelo" - Schiudete ...ire al carcere
Rigoletto / Act 3: "V'ho ingannato"

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