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Umberto Giordano

Biography

Born: August 28, 1867; Foggia, Italy   Died: November 12, 1948; Milan, Italy  
Umberto Giordano was born the son of a pharmacist who was against his son pursuing a career in music; the budding composer therefore learned the beginnings of his craft surreptitiously from Gaetano Briganti, a local maker of mechanical instruments. In 1880, Giordano's father finally lifted his objections, and Giordano entered the Naples Conservatory, where he studied somewhat irregularly until 1890. When Giordano was unable to attend at the Read more Conservatory, he worked as a stagehand at the Teatro Dauno in Foggia.

In 1889 Giordano entered the Sonzogno Competition with his first one-act opera, Marina, which he had composed on a libretto purchased for only 25 lire. Marina placed sixth in the competition, and it earned the composer an invitation to play the score for the publisher Sonzogno personally -- a compositional audition. When Giordano had finished playing the work, Sonzogno told him "I will not publish this opera, as I do not like the libretto. But I will engage you in a contract for a new work."

The agreement resulted in Mala vita, perhaps the grimmest verismo opera attempted to that point on the Italian stage. It was well received, especially in German-speaking countries, but a riot broke out at the work's premiere in Naples. In 1902, Giordano softened the dramatic edges of Mala vita and restaged it successfully in Naples as Il Voto.

Giordano's second opera, Regina di Diaz, was a certifiable flop, and Sonzogno threatened Giordano with a severance of contract. However, having unwittingly rescued the composer Pietro Mascagni from a tram accident in early 1896, Giordano was heartily repaid when Mascagni went to Sonzogno to argue on his behalf. This second chance resulted in what has become the composer's most famous work, Andrea Chénier (premiered March 28, 1896). Its libretto, drawn from events of the French Revolution, gave the initial producers pause, since political unrest was then high in Italy, and the work's effect on audiences was uncertain. But the work was greeted with huge enthusiasm, thanks in no small part to tenor Giuseppe Borgatti, who created the role of Andrea. The "Improvisation" and the aria, "La mamma morta," have remained popular excerpts.

The emergence of Giordano's next principal opera, Fedora, coincided with the appearance of yet another unknown tenor, Enrico Caruso; their mutual success gave rise to the saying, "Fedora made Caruso, and Caruso made Fedora." Giordano later claimed he had coached Caruso for the work using a cylinder phonograph to point out flaws in the voice; as Giordano once said, "I made a new Caruso out of him." While Caruso went on to the most brilliant career of any Italian tenor, the opera that "made" him is given to only infrequent revival.

Giordano went on to write more operas, but these did not enter the repertory. Notable among these efforts are: Siberia (1904), a huge, but not lasting success; Madame Sans-Gene (1915), which opened at New York's Metropolitan Opera with Geraldine Farrar in the lead role; Le cena della befe (1924), which marked Giordano's later turn away from the verismo style; and Il re (1929), in which Giordano broke completely with verismo, creating instead a light comedy that remained popular on European stages through the 1930s.

Aside from his operas, Giordano composed a considerable number of orchestral and chamber works, as well as one ballet, L'astro magico (1928). Giordano took a great deal of interest in recording technology, and helped found the Discoteca di Stato in Rome -- the main Italian archive for historical recordings. Umberto Giordano died in Milan at the age of 81. Read less
Giordano: Marcella / Daolio, Formaggia, Dilengite
Release Date: 05/26/2009   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 2110263   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Fedora: Amor ti vieta

Browse 1-25 of 132 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Marcelo Alvarez: 20 Years On The Opera Stage
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3472 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marcelo [Tenor Vocals] Alvarez
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
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  • 2.
    Bravo! Villazon - The Recitals [4-CD Set]
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 623618 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Jacques Offenbach,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Rolando Villazón,  Florian Laconi,  Theresa Blank
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Marcello Viotti,  Placido Domingo,  Evelino Pidò
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Madrid Community Orchestra,  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Opera - The Ultimate Collection / Andrea Bocelli
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002181302 Release Date: 10/21/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Barbara Frittoli,  Matteo Peirone,  Verónica Villarroel  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda,  Placido Domingo,  Zubin Mehta,  Marco Armiliato  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Valencia Community Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    50 Great Arias / Jonas Kaufmann
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002153502 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Friedrich von Flotow,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Jana Sibera,  Michael Volle,  Margarete Joswig  ... 
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato,  Claudio Abbado,  Donald Runnicles,  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Parma Teatro Regio Chorus  ... 
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  • 5.
    Most Wanted Recitals - An Operatic Recital By Flaviano Labo
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002066602 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Flaviano Labò,  Gianni Raimondi,  Bruno Prevedi
    Conductor:  Fernando Previtali,  Bruno Martinotti,  Edward Downes
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  • 6.
    Il Mito Dell'opera / Angelo Loforese
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1232 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Gioachino Rossini,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Elda [Soprano (Vocal)] Cervo,  Angelo LoForese,  Franco Bordoni,  Ada Finelli  ... 
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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,  Malcolm King,  Robert Lloyd  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Richard Bonynge,  Edward Downes  ... 
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  • 8.
    Fernando De Lucia - Complete Gramophone Company Recordings 1902-1909
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 54004 Release Date: 09/30/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Jules Massenet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Fernando de Lucia,  Salvatore Cattone,  Antonio Pini-Corsi,  Josefina Huguet  ... 
    Conductor:  Salvatore Sassano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
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  • 9.
    The Best of Jonas Kaufmann
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001894302 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Jana Sibera,  Renée Fleming,  Barbara Vignudelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato,  Antonio Pappano,  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  Verdi Chorus Milan  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 10.
    Amore E Tormento / Massimo Giordano
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 538007812 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Francesco Cilèa,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Massimo Giordano
    Conductor:  Carlo Goldstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
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  • 11.
    Franco Corelli: A Discographic Career
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 214 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Umberto Giordano,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Maria Curtis-Verna,  Piero de Palma,  Maria Callas  ... 
    Conductor:  Umberto Cattini,  Alfredo Simonetto,  Arturo Basile,  Angelo Questa  ... 
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  • 12.
    Singers Of The Century - 40 Greats Of  The 20th Century
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2078 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Ettore Bastianini,  Giuseppe Taddei,  Richard Tucker,  Mario Del Monaco  ... 
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  • 13.
    Be My Love - Tribute To Mario Lanza / 	Joseph Calleja
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001743802 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicholas Brodszky,  Agustín Lara,  Renato Rascel,  Juventino Rosas  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Calleja
    Conductor:  Steven Mercurio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Concert Orchestra,  New London Singers
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  • 14.
    Voices Of Italian Opera
    Label: Warner 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 Pidò  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    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
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  • 16.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    Arrivederci / Vittorio Grigolo [Deluxe]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 791135 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Friedrich von Flotow,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Vittorio Grigolo
    Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Teatro Regio Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Arrivederci / Vittorio Grigolo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 791134 Release Date: 09/20/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Friedrich von Flotow,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Vittorio Grigolo
    Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Teatro Regio Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Bjorling Sings At Carnegie Hall
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7858222 Release Date: 09/20/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Frederick Schauwecker
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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    Verismo Arias / Jonas Kaufmann, Antonio Pappano, Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001546302 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Riccardo Zandonai,  Umberto Giordano,  Francesco Cilèa,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Rosa Feola,  Cristina Reale,  Eva-Maria Westbroek
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit: Richard Crooks
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89744 Release Date: 04/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Richard [Tenor Vocal] Crooks
    Conductor:  Wilfrid Pelletier,  Nathaniel Shilkret
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  • 25.
    The Placido Domingo Story [3-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001515302 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Monserrat Aparici,  Pedro Di Proenza,  Tatiana Troyanos  ... 
    Conductor:  Nello Santi,  Rafael Kubelik,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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