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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 Opera DVD 4-Pack
Release Date: 10/27/2014   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4989   Number of Discs: 4
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Verdi: Un Ballo In Maschera / Tieri, Poggi, Cerquetti, Bastianini, Stignani, Neri
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Andromeda  
Catalog: 5083   Number of Discs: 2
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Eileen Farrell Sings Verdi
Release Date: 01/14/1997   Label: Sony Classical Masterworks  
Catalog: 62358   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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Verdi: Simon Boccanegra / Abbado, Freni, Cappuccilli, Et Al
Release Date: 01/27/1998   Label: Dg The Originals  
Catalog: 449752   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Il trovatore: Anvil Chorus

Browse 1-25 of 93 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
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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  ... 
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  • 8.
    Verdi: Preludes, Ballet Music, Opera Choruses / Riccardo Muti
    Label: Warner 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  ... 
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  • 9.
    Classics For A Summer Evening From Leeds Castle / Carl Davis
    Label: Conifer   Catalog: 51302 Release Date: 11/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  George Frideric Handel,  Léo Delibes,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Janice Watson,  Ruby Philogene
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  King's Division Normandy Band,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Verdi: Opera Choruses
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001742502 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Conductor:  Sir G. Solti
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    Verdi: Opera Choruses, Overtures & Ballet Music / Muti
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 98015 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Dolora Zajic
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trumpeters of the Royal Military School of Music,
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  • 17.
    Jussi Bjorling - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 774892 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Charles Gounod,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Emil Markow,  Frederick Schauwecker  ... 
    Conductor:  Renato Cellini,  Nils Grevillius,  Jonel Perlea,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra  ... 
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  • 18.
    Choeurs de l'Opera de Vienne - Aida & Other Great Choruses / Bauer-Theussl
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62608 Release Date: 06/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Offenbach,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Bauer-Theussl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra,  Vienna Opera Chorus
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  • 19.
    The Opera Album 2011
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001566102 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Anna Netrebko,  Andrea Bocelli,  Jonas Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Gianandrea Noseda,  Zubin Mehta,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
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  • 20.
    The Ultimate Verdi Opera Album
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578068-69 Release Date: 12/14/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Monika Krause,  Yordy Ramiro,  Zsuzsa Csonka,  Daniela Longhi  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari,  Oliver v. Dohnányi,  Will Humburg,  Pier G. Morandi  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 21.
    Essential Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27920 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Ernest Blanc,  Nicolai Gedda,  Thomas Hampson  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Thomas Schippers,  Pierre Dervaux,  Gianluigi Gelmetti  ... 
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  • 22.
    Best Verdi 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40878 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Richard Van Allan,  Keith Erwen,  Delia Wallis,  Ferruccio Mazzoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Tullio Serafin,  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 23.
    Best Verdi 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40878 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Rolando Villazón,  Renato Bruson,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Marcello Viotti,  Giuseppe Patané,  Julius Rudel  ... 
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  • 24.
    Top 100 Favorite Classical Melodies
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94027 Release Date: 05/04/2010   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Sara Crombach,  Vladislaw Warenberg,  Martijn van den Hoek,  Marc Grauwels  ... 
    Conductor:  Bohdan Warchal,  Enrique Bátiz,  Mark Ermler,  Georgi Robev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Harp Ensemble,  London Baroque,  Musica ad Rhenum  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 25.
    Verdi: Grestest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 761890 Release Date: 02/02/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Richard Tucker,  Anna Moffo,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Leontyne Price  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin,  Robert Shaw,  Fernando Previtali,  Emerson Buckley  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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