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Giordano: Andrea Chénier / Santini, Corelli, Stella, Et Al

Release Date: 10/17/2006 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 58676   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Antonietta StellaPaolo MontarsoloLuciana MonetaAnna di Stasio,   ... 
Conductor:  Gabriele Santini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House OrchestraRome Opera House Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 55 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

GIORDANO Andrea Chénier Gabriele Santini, cond; Franco Corelli ( Andrea Chénier ); Antonietta Stella ( Maddalena ); Mario Sereni ( Gérard ); Rome Op House O & Ch EMI 58676 (2 CDs: 115:23)

Like “Impressionism,” “verismo” was a non-musical movement whose name was eventually attached to a particular kind of Read more music, in this case, direct, earthy operas about “real” people. It even spawned a direct, earthy style of singing that, unfortunately, tended to be applied where it was inappropriate and, for good measure, left a trail of damaged voices behind it. Some might stretch the term to include such operas as La gioconda, La navarraise, Tiefland , and even Jen?fa , but there is no question about the status of its signature works, Cavalleria rusticana, I pagliacci , and Andrea Chénier . They are the very personification of verismo , and their composers, despite many attempts, were never able to catch lightning in a bottle again, much to their dismay and/or annoyance. Giordano, for example, lived until 1948 (well after the opera had already been recorded twice), and although his Fedora rates an occasional revival, he has been reduced to the ranks of “one work” composers. EMI seems to have demoted this recording to supplementary status, for the new, compact package contains no libretto, merely a cue list, cued plot summary, and some information about the opera. I think they are short-changing it by doing so. Granted, this is an opera that is hard to do badly, given reasonably well qualified singers, which the EMI set certainly has. The stereo competition includes very good recordings by Gavazzeni (Del Monaco/Tebaldi/Bastianini) and Levine (Domingo/Scotto/Milnes), but this one holds its own.

Gabriele Santini is sometimes dismissed as a mere accompanist, but I don’t think he can be accused of that in Andrea Chénier —I found his conducting on this set to be quite powerful and dramatic. Although he labors a bit over a poetic outburst like “Un di all’azzurro spazio,” Franco Corelli is in his element in the next three acts, tossing off ringing tones, very much the impulsive, idealistic poet. Gérard is probably Mario Sereni’s best performance on a recording—I never heard him sing with such confidence and intensity. Even Antonietta Stella, a singer with a more pedestrian temperament, gets into the spirit of things and is in good voice. With clear sound and a strong supporting cast, this is definitely a recording admirers of the opera should consider. My favorite is the mono set with Beniamino Gigli, Maria Caniglia, and Gino Bechi; but the stereo contenders are all good ones, and it’s hard to go wrong in choosing an Andrea Chénier.

FANFARE: James Miller
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Works on This Recording

Andrea Chénier by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Antonietta Stella (Soprano), Paolo Montarsolo (Baritone), Luciana Moneta (Mezzo Soprano),
Anna di Stasio (Mezzo Soprano), Franco Corelli (Tenor), Piero de Palma (Tenor),
Mario Sereni (Baritone), Giuseppe Modesti (Bass), Dino Mantovani (Baritone),
Stefania Malagú (Mezzo Soprano), Paolo Pedani (Bass)
Conductor:  Gabriele Santini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1963 
Length: 115 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Corelli at his best April 1, 2013 By Rory R. (Winnipeg, MB) See All My Reviews "Could anyone in his time or today match Corelli in this role? Simply, no. His Vienna performance of 1960 is legendary, but this solid mid-60's performance, displays him at his passionate best as the doomed poet. Stella, always a little underrated, is, true, not as soaring a partner to him as one would like, (for that you have Scotto-Domingo under James Levine), but she is sympathetic and steely when necessary. Gabriele Santini leads a sturdy, driving performance, supporting his singers. The supporting cast is important in Andrea; there are lots of good cameos, and, despite some better singing in the high profile group under Levine(including Maria Ewing), the group around Corelli, et al, are peerless in making the drama immediate and visceral." Report Abuse
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