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: Rigoletto: Questa o quella

Browse 1-25 of 184 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Verdi Tenor / Carlo Bergonzi
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002089202 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Francesco Cilča,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Giulietta Simionato,  Cornell MacNeil,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Piero de Palma  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Georg Solti,  John Pritchard,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus  ... 
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  • 2.
    Luciano Pavarotti Edition 1 - The First Decade
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002051802 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Josephine Veasey,  Cornelius Opthof  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Zubin Mehta,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Domingo at the Met [Anniversary Edition]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 303160 Release Date: 05/06/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    Villazon Verdi / Noseda, Orchestra Del Teatro Regio Di Tori [blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001935846 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Rolando Villazón
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Grandioso! - Great Verdi Recordings From Caruso To Pavarotti [7 CD-Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001928802 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Sándor Kónya,  Maria Németh,  Renata [Soprano vocal] Tebaldi,  Ebe Stignani  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  János Kulka,  Alberto Erede,  Bruno Bartoletti  ... 
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    Franco Corelli, Vol. 1: Belcanto & Verdi
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93488 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Loretta di Lelio
    Conductor:  Franco Ferraris,  Arturo Basile,  Alfredo Simonetto,  Umberto Cattini
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  • 9.
    Richard Tucker - The Opera Recital Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 543283 Release Date: 08/06/2013   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Tucker,  Dorothy Kirsten,  Eileen Farrell,  Daniza Ilitsch
    Conductor:  Fausto Cleva,  Nello Santi,  Franz Allers,  Wilfrid Pelletier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Fausto Cleva,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 10.
    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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  • 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.
    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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  • 13.
    The Young Alfredo Kraus
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93482 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Alfredo Kraus
    Conductor:  José Luis Lloret,  Mario Cordone,  Enrique Estela
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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.
    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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  • 16.
    Icon - John McCormack [4-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 827642 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  James L. Molloy,  Traditional,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Arnold Bax  ... 
    Performer:  John McCormack,  Gerald Moore,  Nellie Melba,  Edna Thornton  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Collingwood,  Walter Goehr
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $35.49
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  • 17.
    Sensatiable
    Label: Bon Operatit!   Catalog: 5638070440 Release Date: 01/17/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luigi Denza,  George Gershwin,  Giacomo Puccini,  Andrew Lloyd Webber  ... 
    Performer:  Jesse Nolan,  Jacob Penick,  Lauren Mouney Gisclair,  Mary Penick Akin  ... 
    CD: $26.99
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  • 18.
    Villazon Verdi  / Noseda, Orchestra Del Teatro Regio Di Tori
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001728302 Release Date: 11/19/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Rolando Villazón
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Placido Domingo: La Voce D'oro
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 195444 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Francesco Cilča  ... 
    Performer:  Georgetta Pasaros,  Placido Domingo,  John McCaw,  Brian Etheridge  ... 
    Conductor:  Nello Santi
    CD: $6.99
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  • 20.
    Voices Of Italian Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40509 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Edita Gruberova,  Margherita Carosio,  Francesco Meli  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Evelino Pidň  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 21.
    Opera 2012
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001675802 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Umberto Giordano,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Anna Netrebko,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Fabio Luisi,  Antonio Pappano,  Giovanni Antonini  ... 
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  • 22.
    The  Tokyo Concerts / Alfredo Kraus, Franco Corelli
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 33718 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Alfredo Kraus,  Edelmiro Arnaltes,  Emiko Suga
    Conductor:  Alberto Ventura
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo
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  • 23.
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1224 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Nicola Martinucci,  Virginia Zeani
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  • 24.
    The Very Best Of Jussi Bjorling
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6789972 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Paul Franke  ... 
    Conductor:  Nils Grevillius,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Renato Cellini
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    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
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