Giuseppe Verdi

Biography

Born: Oct 9, 1813; Italy   Died: Jan 27, 1901; Italy   Period: Romantic
Giuseppe Verdi was to opera in the Italian tradition what Beethoven was to the symphony. When he arrived on the scene some had suggested that effective opera after Rossini was not possible. Verdi, however, took the form to new heights of drama and musical expression. Partisans see him as at least the equal of Wagner, even though his style and musical persona were of an entirely different cast. In the end, both Verdi's popular vein -- as heard in Read more the operas Rigoletto, Il trovatore, and La traviata -- and his deeper side -- found in Aida, Otello, and Falstaff -- demonstrate his mastery and far-reaching development of Italian opera.

Verdi showed talent by the age of seven and even played organ at a local church. Around this time he was given an old piano, which he quickly learned to play with proficiency. He moved to Busseto in 1823 and began study the following year with Ferdinando Provesi. By age 15 he had become an assistant church organist and had already started composing. Beginning in 1832, he studied privately with Vincenzo Lavigna in Milan, after the Conservatory there turned him away.

He returned to Busseto and married Margherita Barezzi in 1836. Having achieved publication of some songs, he moved to Milan in 1839 and composed his first opera, Oberto. It was a success, though his next effort, Un giorno di regno, was an abject failure. Worse, Verdi's wife died during its composition. (Their two children had died in the previous two years.) Stunned and depressed, the composer struggled on to rebound with Nabucco (1842) and I lombardi (1843). Macbeth, Luisa Miller, and other operas came in the 1840s, most with great success.

Around 1847, Verdi developed a relationship with soprano Giuseppina Strepponi and the two lived together for many years on Verdi's farm, Sant'Agata, before finally marrying in 1859. In the period 1851-1853, the composer wrote three of his most popular operas. Rigoletto (1851) and Il trovatore (1853) were instant successes, but La traviata (1853) was a disappointment at its premiere, though a year later, with minor revisions, it was warmly received. After an extended excursion to Paris in 1853, Verdi returned to Busseto and turned out Simon Boccanegra (1857) and Un ballo in maschera (1859), both embroiling him in politics, an activity he was already immersed in, since he served in the local parliament and later in national parliament as senator. In St. Petersburg, Verdi's La forza del destino premiered in 1862 and Don Carlos in Paris in 1867.

Having relocated to Genoa, Verdi composed Aida in the years 1870-1871. Its Cairo premiere in 1871 was a success, but the composer then gave up opera, at least for a time. His String Quartet (1873) and Requiem (1874) showed his creative juices were still very much alive. His next opera, Otello, came finally in 1886, Verdi working slowly and getting sidetracked revising earlier operas. One more opera came from his pen, Falstaff, in 1893, which scored a stunning success. Critical opinion has it that his last three operas are his finest, that the elderly composer became bolder and more imaginative in his later years.

In these later years, Verdi also worked to found a hospital and, in Milan, a home for retired musicians. In 1897, Giuseppina Verdi died and the composer thereafter lived at the Grand Hotel in Milan, finding companionship with retired soprano Teresa Stolz. A year later, his Quatro pezzi sacri premiered in Paris. This would be the composer's last work. On January 21, 1901, Verdi suffered a stroke and died six days later. Read less

Verdi: Messa da Requiem / Dudamel
Release Date: 11/19/2013   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 714708   Number of Discs: 1
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Celeste Aida - The Verdi Album / Luciano Pavarotti
Release Date: 05/19/2009   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001292202   Number of Discs: 2
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Verdi: Messa da Requiem / Dudamel, Los Angeles [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 11/19/2013   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 714804   Number of Discs: 1
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Verdi: Giovanna d'Arco / Netrebko, Domingo, Meli
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002093002   Number of Discs: 2
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Verdi: Lieder / Ramon Vargas
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Capriccio Records  
Catalog: 5170   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: La traviata: Brindisi

Browse 1-25 of 186 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    I Don't Like Classical Music, But I Kinda Like This!
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74698 Release Date: 06/17/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Carl Orff,  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Woodhouse,  Paul Meyer,  Kolja Blacher,  Eric Le Sage  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Eduardo Mata,  Gustav Kuhn,  Mark Stephenson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 2.
    Kiri Te Kanawa: The Classic Albums [6-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002013002 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Joseph Canteloube,  Richard Strauss,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gottfried H. Stölzel  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Sir Georg Solti,  Gabriele Fontana,  Christopher Bowers-Broadbent  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Tate,  Sir Georg Solti,  Sir Colin Davis,  Gyorgy Fischer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    New Year's Concert 2013 - Live From Teatro La Fenice / Gardiner
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101698 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Désirée Rancatore,  Saimir Pirgu
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra,  Venice Teatro la Fenice Chorus
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  • 4.
    Teldec - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 643851 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Josef Protschka,  Barbara Bonney,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Rizzi,  Reinbert De Leeuw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    The 50 Greatest Tracks / Luciano Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001922802 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Kathleen Battle,  Malcolm King  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Richard Bonynge,  Edward Downes  ... 
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  • 6.
    Montserrat Caballe Sings Verdi
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 371158 Release Date: 09/17/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Lajos Kozma,  Maya Sunara,  Shirley Verrett
    Conductor:  Anton Guadagno,  Gianfranco Masini,  Georges Prętre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Barcelona Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Mario Lanza - The Toast Of Hollywood
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 374163 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Nicholas Brodszky,  Guy d' Hardelot,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Lanza,  Elaine Malbin
    Conductor:  Ray Sinatra,  Constantin Callinicos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Studio Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Pavarotti Sings Verdi [3-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001853602 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Riccardo Cassinelli,  Leo Nucci,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson  ... 
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli,  Sir Georg Solti,  Richard Bonynge,  Peter Maag  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    The Opera Album
    Label: Acanta/Pilz   Catalog: 233707 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Bonisolli,  Mirella Freni,  Gudrun Schäfer,  Sesto Bruscantini
    Conductor:  Leone Magiera,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Ino Savini
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  • 10.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 3710032 Release Date: 05/27/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  George Gershwin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
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  • 11.
    Historical Recordings 1902-1914
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7700009 Release Date: 05/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Enrico Caruso,  Nellie Melba,  Antonio [Baritone Vocals] Scotti,  Ernestine Schumann-Heink  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter B. Rogers,  Giulio Setti
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  • 12.
    Montserrat Caballe - The Diva [6-CD Set]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548834 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Maya Sunara,  Corinna Vozza,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Anton Guadagno,  Carlo Felice Cillario,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra London,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 13.
    Enrico Caruso: Historical Recordings 1902-1914
    Label: Bel Age   Catalog: 7703692 Release Date: 05/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
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  • 14.
    The Art Of Verdi / Placido Domingo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001809102 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Placido Domingo,  Eduardo Valdés  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Claudio Abbado,  Valery Gergiev,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    Verdi: Opera Highlights
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 167332 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Alfredo Kraus,  Renata Scotto,  Beverly Sills,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Julius Rudel,  Herbert von Karajan,  Lamberto Gardelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 16.
    To Rome With Love / Original Soundtrack
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 543828 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Modugno,  Bruno Pallesi,  Alessandro Giovannini,  Alberto Pestalozza  ... 
    Performer:  Alfredo Messina,  Angelo DiPippo,  Fabio Armiliato,  Jeff Taylor  ... 
    Conductor:  Steven Bernstein,  Eddie Condon,  Carmine Pinto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Lescano
    CD: $14.99
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  • 17.
    New Year's Concert 2012 From The Teatro La Fenice
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101637 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Fraccaro,  Jessica Pratt,  Alex Esposito
    Conductor:  Diego Matheuz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra,  Venice Teatro la Fenice Chorus
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 18.
    New Year's Concert 2012 From The Teatro La Fenice [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108056 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Fraccaro,  Jessica Pratt,  Alex Esposito
    Conductor:  Diego Matheuz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra,  Venice Teatro la Fenice Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 19.
    Concerto: One Night In Central Park / Andrea Bocelli [DVD]
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 001610309 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Franz Schubert,  Umberto Giordano,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Ana Maria Martinez,  Bryn Terfel,  Pretty Yende  ... 
    Conductor:  Alan Gilbert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 20.
    Great Opera
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501054 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Adrianne Pieczonka,  Boje Skovhus,  Renato Girolami,  Janusz Monarcha  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Will Humburg,  Alexander Rahbari,  Rico Saccani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Hungarian Radio Chorus,  Failoni Orchestra Budapest  ... 
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  • 21.
    Dream Ticket To La Traviata
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 21004 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Richard Tucker,  Anna Moffo,  Virginia Zeani,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
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  • 22.
    Pavarotti Collection Vol 2
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9913 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 23.
    New Year's Concert 2006 / Kurt Masur, Teatro La Fenice
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107283 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti
    Performer:  Joseph Calleja,  Fiorenza Cedolins,  Roberto Scandiuzzi
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra,  Venice Teatro la Fenice Chorus
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 24.
    Classical Hits Of The Cinema
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 30756 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Mahler,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Piotr Anderszewski,  Christian Zacharias
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Lorin Maazel,  Andrew Litton,  Piotr Anderszewski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 25.
    Nessun Dorma
    Label: Membran / Documents   Catalog: 233346 Release Date: 11/21/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet,  Jacques Halévy,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Bonisolli,  Mirella Freni,  Henno Garduhn,  Maria Corelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Leone Magiera,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Bruno Bartoletti
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