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New Year's Concert 2004 / Maazel, Teatro La Fenice

Orch Del Teatro Fenice / Maazel / Bonfadelli
Release Date: 02/22/2005 
Label:  Tdk   Catalog #: NYC4V  
Composer:  Pietro MascagniGioachino RossiniAmilcare PonchielliGiuseppe Verdi
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A glorious programme of famous opera choruses and arias, ballet scenes and orchestral music greeted the New Year from the new theatre.

New Year's Concert 2004
From the reopened Teatro La Fenice - Venice
Stefania Bonfadelli, Roberto Aronica, Greta Hodgkinson, Roberto Bolle

Orchestra of La Teatro La Fenice, Lorin Maazel
Director: Patrizia Carmine

"To Venetians and opera lovers throughout the world, the 18th century theatre represents the soul of this unique lagoon city, and its resurrection from the ashes was cause for celebration across Italy." The Guardian

When a fire destroyed La Fenice in 1996, the sense of loss was felt around the world, far
Read more beyond arts and music circles, and many countries rallied to assist in its restoration to its former splendour. La Fenice literally means 'phoenix', and when it finally rose from the ashes again in 2003, its rebirth was celebrated with a series of concerts. One of the highlights was the 2004 New Year's Concert. A glorious programme of famous opera choruses and arias, ballet scenes and orchestral music greeted the New Year from the new theatre. Led by conductor Lorin Maazel, a star-studded cast of singers and dancers made this gala concert an unforgettable night that can now be enjoyed on DVD. Among the performers were Italian soprano Stefania Bonfadelli and Italian tenor Roberto Aronica who have recently risen to international fame on opera stages throughout the world. Adding to the glamour of the event were ballet stars Greta Hodgkinson and Roberto Bolle - two breathtakingly beautiful, amazingly flawless dancers.

Repertoire:
Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana - Symphonic Interlude
Rossini La gazza ladra - Sinfonia, Overture
Ponchielli La Gioconda - Danse of the Hours
Verdi Otello - Ballet Music; La Traviata - Prelude to Act III; Aida - Danse of the Little Moorish Slaves & Ballet
Rossini Il Barbiere di Siviglia - Overture
Verdi Nabucco - "Va pensiero"; La Traviata: "Libiamo, ne' lieti calici"

Picture Format: 4:3
Sound Format: LPCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Running Time: 59 Mins
Booklet Languages: GB, F, D
Recording Date: 1 January 2004

R E V I E W S

Life can imitate art; in the case of the grand opera house of Venice, Teatro La Fenice, life imitates myth. Like the mythical phoenix, the elegant house built in 1792 was consumed by fire in 1836, to rise again, carefully rebuilt to original specifications on a new site. It was consumed again in 1996. Its third incarnation, as close as possible in appearance to the original, opened in December 2003 with a series of concerts of which the one represented here was the last, on New Year’s Day, 2004. As concerts go, this one is rather short; perhaps it was designed to fit an hour on Italian television. Fortunately, the high quality of the production compensates for the short measure of music.

Pietro Mascagni’s familiar Intermezzo begins the program, but it is not played by the orchestra, and presumably not in Teatro La Fenice. Instead, we have an effective arrangement played by pianist Stefano Gibellato and violinist Lorin Maazel—in his seventies still a virtuoso worth hearing. During the rest of the program, the cameras rove over the orchestra and chorus, the conductor, the audience, and the gorgeously restored opera house. From time to time, the cameras cut to ballrooms, where a small and expert corps de ballet performs. Later two gifted soloists appear on the waterfront for a pas de deux. At other times, the cameras leave La Fenice to take us touring up and down the canals of Venice. The final numbers, both by Giuseppe Verdi, keep us mostly in the house: the chorus belts out the patriotic “Va pensiero,” and two fine singers lead the ensemble in the elegant party music from act I of La traviata, which had its premier in La Fenice in 1853.

It was entirely appropriate that this concert should celebrate the theater itself, the kind of music it was built to perform, and the unique city that has faithfully supported it for over two centuries. One is also reminded how the Italians, from members of the orchestra to the staff of the theater and the audience, know how to dress for a special occasion. This production is a feast for eye and ear; I wish it went on for two or three hours.

Robert McColley, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Intermezzo by Pietro Mascagni
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
2.
La gazza ladra: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Italy 
3.
La Gioconda: Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Italy 
4.
Otello: Ballet Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
5.
La traviata: Act 3 Prelude by Giuseppe Verdi
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
6.
Aida: Ballet Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
7.
Il barbiere di Siviglia: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
8.
Nabucco: Va, pensiero by Giuseppe Verdi
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Italy 
9.
La traviata: Libiamo ne' lieti calici "Brindisi" by Giuseppe Verdi
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 

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