Franco Corelli did nothing better for the gramophone than this Chenier, giving his portrayal a verbal presence not even Domingo matches.
I hadn't encountered [this] performance before, and round it all highly enjoyable. Chènier may not be for the purist, but it has enough rousing, impassioned music to carry one over the infilling passages which, in any case, Santini handles with such elan that one hardly notices the want of distinction in the score.
Corelli, much underrated when he was active, did nothing better for the gramophone than this Chenier. The role of the passionate, defiant poet suited his methods well. As Philip Hope-Wallace said in his 1964 review: "Note-values, attack etc.,Read more may be all over the place but the heart is in the right place, the tone ringing with utter belief in the declamatory, surging stuff". That couldn't be more cogently expressed. I would only add that his Italianate way with consonants and his free use of portamento give his portrayal a verbal presence not even Domingo matches in the admirable RCA set (RL02046, 8/77), and essential for Chenier's public and private solos.
Stella equals him note for note in the final, death-going duet, but elsewhere she proves a tentative Maddalena, no match for Scotto (RCA) in "La mamma morta", let alone for Tebaldi in the old Gavazzeni version (Decca GOS600, 11/70). I can't resist quoting PH-W again, this time on Sereni's Gerard: after pointing out, quite rightly, that he sings the part with considerable but not maximum power, he wrote that "[he] bites into it like one crunching nougat, which is fine". The small parts are all well taken.
Andrea Chénierby Umberto Giordano Performer:
Franco Corelli (Tenor),
Luciana Moneta (Mezzo Soprano),
Antonietta Stella (Soprano),
Mario Sereni (Baritone),
Piero de Palma (Tenor),
Stefania Malagú (Mezzo Soprano),
Dino Mantovani (Baritone),
Paolo Montarsolo (Baritone),
Anna di Stasio (Mezzo Soprano),
Giuseppe Modesti (Bass),
Paolo Pedani (Bass)
Rome Opera House Orchestra,
Rome Opera House Chorus
Period: Romantic Written: 1896; Italy Date of Recording: 1963 Length: 115 Minutes 23 Secs. Language: Italian
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Powerful InterpretationJanuary 18, 2014By Henry S. (Springfield, VA)See All My Reviews"The great voices of Franco Corelli and Antonietta Stella headline a very fine cast in a fiery reading of Umberto Giordano's explosively romantic tragedy centering on the French Revolution. Sung (naturally) in Italian, the work's emotional center is the betrayed love between the French poet Andrea Chenier and Maddalena. Chenier (Corelli) rises to Wagnerian helden tenor heights as he gloriously upholds his honor and dignity in the face of class-based revolutionary frenzy, which mistakenly believes Chenier has failed to live up the standards of the Revolution. The inevitable result is the guillotine, and in a Tristan and Isolde-like finale, Maddalena joins Chenier in death and glory. Excellent, fabulous singing, superb orchestral support from the Rome Opera Orchestra, and Gabriele Santini's inspired conducting all combine to provide a great listening experience. This is great Italian tragic opera, and I very much recommend it."Report Abuse