Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is the most consistently satisfying Chénier on discs, black or silver. I realize that's saying a great deal, since we have Pavarotti-Caballé-Chailly (very pretty, but lacking the correct vocal weight), Corelli-Stella-Santini (she's somewhat of a wipe-out), Carreras-Marton-Patanè (all below par) and Domingo-Scotto-Levine (the best up to now) to compete with, but trust me, this
Recorded live at the Vienna State Opera in June I960, the sound is pretty good monaural, the cast, down to the smallest role, is both excellent and rich with surprises (Kostas Paskalis sings Fleville, Alois Pernerstorfer sings Mathieu, Renato Ercolani is “Incredible,“ the spy), and all the leads (and secondary parts) are
topnotch. Corelli was at the start of the best period of his career in 1960—he had learned how to sing with subtlety (occasionally) and the voice was in perfect shape. Von Mata?i? doesn't quite give him enough room in the “Improvviso“ but lends great support elsewhere: I still contend that Corelli's voice was precisely what was needed in this role and that no one has come along to take his place. Bright, shiny top, endless breath, rich, baritonal bottom —what a Chénier!
Tebaldi, too, was in splendid form, with the top sounding very secure. Her big third-act aria is taken very slowly and she can handle it. It and the rest of the role are sung with drama, intelligence, and that womanly, lush tone which, sadly, didn't last quite long enough. Ettore Bastianini is the ideal Gerard—angry, lustful, self-hating, rueful—and the true Verdi sound he possessed is all too rare nowadays. Note the cast list above for two nice additions in the roles of the Countess and Madelon—both are welcome. The supporting cast tends to sing with some pretty odd Italian diction, but so what? Von Mata?i? and the Viennese seem to know they're on to something good and they add luster and energy to the proceedings. There are plenty of thrills here, with some of the century's greatest singers at their best.
-- Robert Levine, Fanfare [1/1989]
Reviewing earlier release of this recording, Fonit Cetra 1017
Works on This Recording
Andrea Chénier by Umberto Giordano
Kostas Paskalis (Baritone),
Hilde Konetzni (Soprano),
Renata Tebaldi (Soprano),
Ettore Bastianini (Baritone),
Endre Koréh (Bass),
Margarete Sjösted (Mezzo Soprano),
Edmund Hurshell (Baritone),
Fritz Sperlbauer (Tenor),
Ludwig Welter (Bass),
Alois Pernerstorfer (Bass Baritone),
Franco Corelli (Tenor),
Renato Ercolani (Tenor),
Elisabeth Höngen (Mezzo Soprano)
Lovro von Matacic
Vienna State Opera Chorus,
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1896; Italy
Date of Recording: 06/26/1960
Venue: Live Vienna State Opera, Vienna
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Questo azzurro sofa
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Il giorno intorno gia s'inserra lentamente
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Per stasera, pazienza!
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Passiamo la sera allegramente!
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Signor Chenier?
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Colpito qui m'avete... Un di all'azzurro spazio
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Perdonatemi!
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Per l'ex inferno!
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Roucher!... Credo a una possanza arcana
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Calligrafia invero femminil!
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Eccole! Strani tempi!
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Ecco l'altare
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Eravate possente... Ora soave, sublime ora d'amore!
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Maddalena di coigny!... Gerard!
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Dumouriez, traditore
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Lacrime e sangue da la Francia!
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Son la vecchia Madelon
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: L'uccello e nella rete!
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Nemico della patria?
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Or io rinego il santo grido!
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: La mamma morta
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Corpo di moribonda e il corpo mio!
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Andrea Chenier!... Si, fui soldato
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Udiamo i testimoni
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Cittadino... Come un bel di di maggio
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Viene a costei concesso
Giordano: Andrea Chenier: Benedico il destino... Vicino a te s'acqueta
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