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The Very Best Of Nicolai Gedda


Release Date: 09/02/2003 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 85090   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Jules MassenetCharles GounodHector BerliozJacques Offenbach,   ... 
Performer:  Nicolai GeddaAndré MallabreraErnest BlancMirella Freni,   ... 
Conductor:  Alceo GallieraGeorges PrêtreAndré CluytensPierre Dervaux,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraORTF Philharmonic OrchestraRené Duclos Chorus,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: n/a 
Length: 2 Hours 38 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Hands down, Nicolai Gedda was the classiest lyric tenor of the 1950s and '60s (and very early '70s). For the most part he wisely kept away from the after-1860 Italian repertoire: his voice lacked the necessary juice, and with Björling, Bergonzi, Corelli, and del Monaco around, why bother? These CDs offer two hours and 35 minutes of singing--and interpreting--that never tire the ear and never bore.


"Ach so fromm" is ravishing in its intimacy (by its close, it's normally shouted); Lohengrin's Narrative may lack heft, but it's a model of lyricism and Gedda darkens his tone enough to give it authortity; an aria from Goldmark's The Queen of Sheba closes on an unearthly head-voiced high-C that's matched only
Read more by a similar feat in Bizet's Pearl Fishers (a performance notable for its great breath control and legato as well); Hoffman's tale of Kleinzach is a riveting, snappy story, filled with just the schizophrenia the role requires; the Dmitri/Marina duet from Boris is energetic and filled with smoldering undercurrent; three Tchaikovsky songs become little dramas; Beethoven's "Adelaide" and Schubert's "Ständchen" are models of Lieder singing; selections by Gounod and Massenet exhibit his impeccable French diction and style; the high-D at the close of Adam's "Postman" aria and repeated Cs in William Tell's would be the envy of any tenor; and his bel canto style in a duet from Sonnambula (with Mirella Freni) is ideal. Yes, this is the very best of Nicolai Gedda. [1/17/2004]
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Werther: Pourquoi me réveiller? by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Alceo Galliera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; France 
Language: French 
2. Manon: Instant charmant...En fermant les yeux "Dream of des Grieux" by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Alceo Galliera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Instant charmant..." 
3. Roméo et Juliette: Ah! lève-toi, soleil by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Alceo Galliera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; France 
Language: French 
4. Benvenuto Cellini: La gloire était ma seule idole by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834-1837; France 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Une heure encore..." 
5. Les contes d'Hoffmann: Il était une fois "Kleinzach Legend" by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), André Mallabrera (Tenor)
Conductor:  André Cluytens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  René Duclos Chorus,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Paris, France 
Language: French 
6. Les pêcheurs de perles: Au fond du temple saint by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Ernest Blanc (Baritone), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opéra Comique Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; France 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Zurga, quand tous deux..." 
7. Les pêcheurs de perles: Je crois entendre encore by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opéra Comique Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; France 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "A cette voix..." 
8. Carmen: La fleur que tu m'avais jetée "Flower song" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1873 - 1874). 
9. Le postillon de Lonjumeau: Mes amis, écoutez l'histoire by Adolphe Adam
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1836; France 
Language: French 
10. Mignon: Elle ne croyait pas by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; France 
Language: French 
11. L'Elisir d'Amore: Quanto è bella! Quanto è cara! by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Language: Italian 
12. L'Elisir d'Amore: Una furtiva lagrima by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Language: Italian 
13. Lucia di Lammermoor: Fra poco a me ricovero by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Edward Downes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Language: Italian 
14. La sonnambula: Prendi, l'anell' ti dono by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Edward Downes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Language: Italian 
15. Un ballo in maschera: Di' tu se fedele by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Italy 
Language: Italian 
16. Rigoletto: La donna è mobile by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Language: Italian 
17. Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
Language: Italian 
18. Don Giovanni, K 527: Il mio tesoro intanto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  André Cluytens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
Language: Italian 
19. Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  André Cluytens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
20. Martha: Ach, so fromm by Friedrich von Flotow
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Alceo Galliera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
Language: German 
21. Lohengrin: In fernem Land by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Heinrich Bender
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Germany 
Language: German 
22. Die Königin von Saba, Op. 27: Magische Töne by Karl Goldmark
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Heinrich Bender
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1875; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
23. Eugene Onegin, Op. 24: Lensky's aria by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Alceo Galliera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Written: 1879 
Language: Russian 
24. Boris Godunov: Dmitri Tsarevich!...At my heels again by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Eugenia Zareska (Mezzo Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Issay Dobrowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra,  Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Paris Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Language: Russian 
25. I Recall a Wonderful Moment by Mikhail Glinka
Performer:  Jan Eyron (Piano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Russia 
Language: Russian 
26. Songs (6), Op. 38: no 3, Amid the din of the ball by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Jan Eyron (Piano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Russia 
Language: Russian 
27. Songs (6), Op. 38: no 1, Don Juan's serenade by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Jan Eyron (Piano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Russia 
Language: Russian 
28. Songs (6), Op. 73: no 3, In this moonlight by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Jan Eyron (Piano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Language: Russian 
29. Adelaide, Op. 46 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jan Eyron (Piano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1794-1795; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
30. Songs (6), Op. 4: no 4, Sing not to me, beautiful maiden by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Gerald Moore (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Language: Russian 
31. Songs (12), Op. 21: no 7, How fair this spot by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Gerald Moore (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
Language: Russian 
32. Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 3, Heimliche Aufforderung by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Gerald Moore (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
Language: German 
33. Lieder (6), Op. 17: no 2, Ständchen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Gerald Moore (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885-1887; Germany 
Language: German 
34. Der Zigeunerbaron: Ja, alles auf Ehr' by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Franz Allers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich State Opera Chorus,  Munich State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Al flotter Geist..." 
35. Paganini: Gern hab' ich die Frau'n geküsst by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1925; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
36. Das Land des Lächelns: Dein ist mein ganzes Herz by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1929; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
37. Guillaume Tell: Asil héréditaire by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Italy 
Language: French 

Sound Samples

Werther (2000 Digital Remaster): Pourquoi me réveiller? (Act 3)
Manon - Instant charmant...En ferment les yeux (Act 2I) (2000 Digital Remaster)
Roméo et Juliette (2000 Digital Remaster): L'amour, l'amour...Ah! leve-toi, soleil (Act 2)
Benvenuto Cellini (2000 Digital Remaster): Une heure encore ... La gloire était ma seule (Act 2)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann (1989 Digital Remaster), PREMIER ACTE/ACT ONE/ERSTER AKT: Chanson et scène: Va pour Kleinzach! (Légende de Kleinzach: Hoffmann/Choeurs/Nathanaël)
Les Pêcheurs de perles (1893 version) (1989 Digital Remaster): Zurga, quand tous deux....Au fond du temple saint (Nadir, Zurga)
A cette voix...Je crois entendre encore (1988 Digital Remaster)
Carmen (1985 Digital Remaster), Act Two (Conclusion): Air de Fleur: "La fleur que tu ma'avais jetee"
Le Postillon de Lonjumeau (2001 Digital Remaster): Mes amis, écoutez l'histoire (Act 1)
Mignon, Act 3 (1995 Digital Remaster): Elle ne croyait pas dans sa candeur naive
Guillaume Tell (1988 Digital Remaster): Asile héréditaire
L'Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love' (1988 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Quanto è bella
L'Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love' (1988 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Una furtiva lagrima
Lucia di Lammermoor (2000 Digital Remaster): Fra poco a me ricovero
La Sonnambula (2000 Digital Remaster): Prendi! L'anel ti dono (Act 1)
Un ballo in maschera (1990 Digital Remaster): Di' tu se fedele (Act I)
Rigoletto (1988 Digital Remaster), Act III: La donna è mobile (Duke)
Manon Lescaut (1995 Digital Remaster): Donna non vidi mai (Act 1)
Don Giovanni K527 (2000 Digital Remaster): Il mio tesoro (Act 1)
Die Zauberflote (2000 Digital Remaster): Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön (Act 1)
Martha (2000 Digital Remaster): Ach so fromm (Act 3)
Lohengrin (2000 Digital Remaster): In fernem Land (Act 3)
Die Königin von Saba Op. 27 (2000 Digital Remaster): Magische Töne, berauschender Duft (Act 2)
Eugene Onegin (2000 Digital Remaster): Faint echo of my youth (Act 3)
Boris Godunov (1994 Digital Remaster): Dimitri! Tsaryévich! Dimitri!
Ich erinnere mich (Souvenir) (1995 Digital Remaster)
O du mondhelle Nacht (O moonlight night) (1995 Digital Remaster)
6 Songs Op. 38 (1995 Digital Remaster): Auf dem Ball (At the ball) (wds. Tolstoy)
6 Songs Op. 38 (1995 Digital Remaster): Don Juan's Serenade (wds. Tolstoy)
O cease thy singing, maiden fair (1995 Digital Remaster)
12 Songs Op. 21 (1995 Digital Remaster): How fair this spot (wds. Galina)
Adelaide Op. 46 (1995 Digital Remaster)
4 Lieder Op. 27 (1995 Digital Remaster): Heimliche Aufforderung (Mackay)
6 Lieder Op. 17 (1995 Digital Remaster): Ständchen
Der Zigeunerbaron (1988 Digital Remaster), 1st Act: Als flotter Geist - Ja, das alles auf Ehr
Paganini (1996 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Gern hab' ich die Frau'n geküßt
Das Land Des Lächelns (1995 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Dein ist mein ganzes Herz! (Sou-Chong)

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