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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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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Verdi: Don Carlo / Kaufmann, Harteros, Pappano
Release Date: 06/03/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 300576   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Nabucco: Va, pensiero (Slaves' Chorus)

Browse 1-25 of 159 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Verdi & Wagner - The Odeonsplatz Concert / Thomas Hampson, Ronaldo Villazon, Yannick Nezet-seguin
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 716708 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jules Massenet,  Richard Wagner,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Rolando Villazón
    Conductor:  Yannick Nézet-Séguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 2.
    Verdi & Wagner - The Odeonsplatz Concert / Thomas Hampson, Ronaldo Villazon, Yannick Nezet-seguin [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 716804 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jules Massenet,  Richard Wagner,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Rolando Villazón
    Conductor:  Yannick Nézet-Séguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    Italia! The Renaissance Of Jewish Music
    Label: Zamir Chorale   Catalog: 919 Release Date: 05/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Michele Bolaffi,  Christian Joseph Lidarti,  Giuseppe Vita Clava  ... 
    Conductor:  Joshua Jacobson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zamir Chorale Boston
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  • 5.
    Claudio Abbado - Three Classic Albums
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999502 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    Verdi: Overtures For Organ Four Hands / Celeghin, Iannella
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 812204 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Silvio Celeghin,  Federica Iannella
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  • 8.
    Live from Red Square / Netrebko, Hvorostovsky
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001949809 Release Date: 11/19/2013  
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky,  Anna Netrebko
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra,  Russian State Academy Chorus
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  • 9.
    Live From Red Square Moscow / Anna Netrebko, Dmitri Hvorostovsky [blu-ray]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001949759 Release Date: 11/19/2013  
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky,  Anna Netrebko
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra,  Russian State Academy Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Claudio Abbado - The Decca Years / [7-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001847802 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  James King,  Leslie Fyson,  Nicolai Ghiaurov
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Chorus  ... 
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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.
    Carl Conducts... Classical Festival Favourites
    Label: Carl Davis Collect   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jean Sibelius,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
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  • 14.
    50 Best Verdi
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 338302 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Rolando Villazón,  Renato Bruson,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Marcello Viotti,  Giuseppe Patané,  Julius Rudel  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 15.
    Essential Verdi
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 234602 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Beverly Sills,  Nicolai Gedda,  Anna Moffo,  Delia Wallis  ... 
    Conductor:  Aldo Ceccato,  Sir Colin Davis,  Tullio Serafin,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli  ... 
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  • 16.
    Verdi: Preludes, Ballet Music, Opera Choruses / Riccardo Muti
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 167282 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 17.
    Solti Conducts The Verdi Operas [16-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001746202 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Jon Vickers,  Robert Merrill,  Rita Gorr,  Leontyne Price  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus  ... 
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  • 18.
    Label: Simply   Catalog: 1206108 Release Date: 09/04/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  George Frideric Handel,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Joszef Mukle,  Alberto Cupido,  Graciela Alperyn  ... 
    Conductor:  Camerata Budapest,  László Kovács,  Martin Elmquist,  Alexander Rahbari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scholars Baroque Ensemble,  I Solisti Italiani
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  • 19.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 20.
    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
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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    Opernchore
    Label: Acanta/Pilz   Catalog: 233496 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Conductor:  Maurizio Arena
    CD: $19.99
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  • 23.
    Welsh Male Voice Choir Tradition
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1931 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  C.F. Chudleigh-Chandish,  Arwel Hughes,  Mai Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  Ivor E. Sims
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Morriston Orpheus Choir
    CD: $9.99
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  • 24.
    Verdi: Opera Choruses
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 02318 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Dolora Zajic
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
    CD: $7.99
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  • 25.
    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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