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Verdi: Opera Arias / Thomas Hampson


Release Date: 06/06/2006 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 58248   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas HampsonTimothy RobinsonDaniil Shtoda
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

For many the urbane and commanding figure of Thomas Hampson spells two areas of repertoire; French music and his native Americana. A glance at EMI's catalogue, whilst confirming that this is in part true, also demonstrates a surprising breadth of other Hampson interests including Beethoven, Lehár, Mahler, Orff, Puccini, Rossini, Schubert, Schumann, Szymanowski, Wagner, Walton and Weill. He has, therefore, already laid down quite a number of markers to give ample warning that he intends to continue to break into and dominate the largely European dominated operatic scene, where his career started. Although far from being the first American to do this, his progress, now exemplified by this new release of Verdi Arias, makes the biggest Read more statement yet that his matinée idol looks and Transatlantic charm must not be confused with any lack of serious artistic intent.

Nor is this his first foray into Verdi on CD. The live Don Carlos (with Alagna and van Dam - CDS 5 56152 2) benefits greatly from his presence. But a whole disc of early and middle period Verdi takes Thomas Hampson into new realms. Wisely concentrating on the early and middle periods (1844-1855) Hampson's voice finds new depths and strengths before (one assumes) moving on to a further disc of the later Verdi. This also justifies the brave decision to employ the superb Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment playing, presumably, on instruments of the period. Certainly the soft toned trombones and the gut strings never put Hampson's voice in any danger of being swamped whereas today's inflated timbres tend to do this - in concert if not on record - to all but the beefiest of singers.

With strong accompaniments from Richard Armstrong, this CD is a triumph from start to finish. Very occasionally Hampson attacks a note slightly outside the exact pitch, but this is always instantly rectified and given the passionate and thoughtful performances in each aria, it still sounds entirely natural. So much better than sterile predictability.

The two arias from Macbeth (1847) are a challenge for any singer, but bravely Hampson chooses to start and end the album with them. Pietà, rispetto, amore (track 1) is intensely moving whilst Vada in fiamme (track 11) is suitably resigned. The aria from Stiffelio lies very high for any baritone yet Hampson is more than a match for both the need to picture the anger and fear of the father whilst maintaining a natural flow. Wonderful!

Other highlights include a fine Armata la prima from I masnadieri and O vecchio cor from Act 1 of I due Foscari.

Only Germont's aria from La traviata will be known to most general music lovers so this fine CD is highly recommended to all those who might fear that early Verdi may be distinctly inferior to the work of his later years. Hampson proves, without any doubt, that this simply is not true.

All lovers of fine singing need not hesitate.

– Simon Foster, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Macbeth: Perfidi! All'anglo...Pietà, rispetto, amore by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847/1865; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2.
Ernani: O de' verd' anni miei by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 6 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Ascolta, se mai prescelto io sia..." 
3.
I due Foscari: O vecchio cor che batti by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 4 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Ecco mi solo alfine..." 
4.
Il corsaro: Cento leggiadre vergini by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 6 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Alfin questo corsaro..." 
5.
Il trovatore: Il balen del suo sorriso by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection begins with "Tutto e deserto..." 
6.
I vespri siciliani: Qui, je fus bien coupable...Au sein... by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 8 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: French 
7.
I masnadieri: Tradimento! by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone), Timothy Robinson (Tenor)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 7 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
8.
Stiffelio: Lina, pensai che un angelo by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 6 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Ei fugge!..." 
9.
La traviata: Di Provenza il mar by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone), Daniil Shtoda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 8 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
10.
Giovanna d'Arco: Speme al vecchio era una figlia by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Ecco il luogo..." 
11.
Macbeth: Vada in fiamme e in polve cada by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2000 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Ove son io?..."
This aria is the finale to Act 3 in Verdi's original 1847 version of 'Macbeth.' In the more commonly performed 1865 revision, a duet between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth serves as the Act 3 finale. 

Sound Samples

Macbeth, Act IV: Perfidi! All'anglo contro me ... Pietà, rispetto, amore: Verdi: Macbeth: Perfidi! All'anglo contro me ... Pietà, rispetto, amore
Ascolta...O dei verd'anni miei (Act III) from Ernani
Eccomi solo alfine...O vecchio cor (Act 1) from I due Foscari
Alfin questo corsaro....Cento leggiadre vergini (Act III) from Il Corsaro
Le Trouvère, Act II: Tout est désert....Son regard: Verdi: Le Trouvère: Tout est désert....Son regard
Oui, je fus bien coupable....Au sein de la puissance (Act III) from Les Vêspres siciliennes
Tradimento....Pareami che sorto....Armata la prima (Act IV) from I masnadieri
Ei fugge...Lina, pensai che un angelo (Act III) from Stiffelio
Di Provenza il mar...Né rispondi...no, non udrai rimproveri (Act II)
Ecco il luogo....Speme al vecchio from Giovanna d'Arco (Act II)
Macbeth, Act III: Ove son io? ... Vada in flamme: Verdi: Macbeth:´Ove son io? ... Vada in flamme

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