Ravel

Debussy

 

Beethoven

Mozart

 

Puccini

Massenet

 

von Suppé

 

Shostakovich

        

Saint-Saëns

Albeniz

 

 

THE CLASSICAL MUSIC CORNER

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) and Claude Debussy (1862-1918) are the prominent French composers of Impressionism. They are known for virtuosic piano and harp music, sensuous, nostalgic and sparkling orchestral sounds.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), a German pianist and one of history's most sublime composers of classical music, inspired myriads of composers, intellectuals, musicians, singers and delights people continuously.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) is one of the most versatile composers of classical music. He excelled in piano, chamber, symphonic, religious and opera. His works are played today enchantingly and universally.

Although the genial Giacomo Puccini (1858- 1924) is mainly renowned for his operas, he also wrote some orchestral pieces, sacred music, chamber music and songs for voice and piano. His style of orchestration shows the strong influence of Wagner, matching specific orchestral configurations and timbres to different dramatic moments.

Jules Massenet (1842-1912) the renown French composer born in Montaud was very prolific. He wrote 40 operas, concert suites, ballet music, oratorios, cantatas and 200 songs. His greatest successes in opera were Manon (1884), Werther (1892) and Thaïs (1894).

Franz von Suppé (1819-1895) the great Belgian composer born in Split, Dalmatia, was a distant relative of Donizetti. He was a singer, orchestra conductor and composer of operas, a Requiem, three Masses, songs, symphonies and concert overtures.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) the famed Russian composer born in Saint Petersburg rose to prominence under the patronage of Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Leon Trotsky’s chief of staff. He was a prolific composer and his works include symphonies, string quartets, operas, piano sonatas, concertos, preludes and fugues.   

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) the great French composer born in Paris adhered to the conventions of XIX century music. He was an organist, conductor, pianist and composer, known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre, the opera Samson and Delilah, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, and his Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony).

Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909) a leading Spanish composer born in Camprodon, Catalonia, influenced French and Spanish composers notably Debussy and Ravel. He was a child prodigy at the piano and a figure in the Nationalist movement of Spanish music, known especially for Iberia, a collection of impressions for piano, the operas Pepita Jimenez and Carlin and the tone poem Catalonia.

 

 

Ravel

Jeux d'eau

with François-Joël Thiollier at the piano >>

Pavane pour une infante défunte >>

Feria from Rapsodie espagnole >>

Le jardin féerique de ma Mère l'Oye >>

Piano concerto in G Major_Adagio assai >>

Debussy

Berceuse héroique >>

Ibéria: 3. Le matin d'un jour de fête >>

Danse profane >> 

Danse sacrée >>

Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune >>

Satie

Je te veux

with Pascal Rogé at the piano >>

Kreisler

Caprice Viennois >>

Liszt

Rigoletto quartet

with Gyorgy Cziffra at the piano >>

Mozart

Clarinet concerto adagio >>

Clarinet concerto allegro >>

Oboe quartet in F_K370_1st movement >>

Beethoven

Romance No.2 in F_Op.50 >>

Puccini

Preludio Sinfonico in A major >>

I Crisantemi - Andante mesto >>

Corazzata Sicilia >>

Massenet

Thais Meditation

with Anne-Sophie Mutter at the violin >>       

von Suppé

Light Cavalry - Overture >>

Dichter und Bauer - Overture >>

Shostakovich

The Gadfly Op.97a - Romance >>

Saint-Saëns

Danse macabre

with Kyung Wa Chung at the violin  >>

Albeniz

Suite Iberia - Eritana

with Alicia de Larrocha at the piano >>

 

Tosca

TOSCA act II scene 1, 2 and 3
TOSCA act II scene 4
TOSCA act II scene 5, 6   Vissi d'arte

[In an uncomfortable conversation with Scarpia about the fate of her lover, Tosca sings of the two great driving forces in her life, love and music.

Raina Kabaivanska as Floria Tosca, Salvatore Fisichella as Mario Cavaradossi, Giorgio Zancanaro as Vitellio Scarpia, minor soloists and chorus under Angelo Campori (Parma 1993 live)]. 

 

Act II °°°°° 4.5/05 Very good
Conductor °°°°° 4.0/05 Good
Orchestra °°°°° 4.0/05 Good
Tosca °°°°° 4.5/05 Very good
Cavaradossi °°°°° 4.75/05 Excellent
Scarpia °°°°° 4.5/05 Very good

(j.f.)

 

The legendary tenor, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, runs through singers of the Golden Age of opera and beyond, in his wrtings. He gives a subjective judgement on their voices reported here cryptically:

 

TENORS
Anselmi – languid and elegant
Bassi – bouncy and squillo

Bonci – technical and flashy
Caruso – passionate, baritone-like and guttural
De Muro B. – powerful and burning vividly
Fleta – magnificent and extinguishing
Pertile – intelligent, multi-role, short of beauty
Thill – pulpy, warm, perfect and rare
Zenatello – full, robust and with squillo

SOPRANOS
Bori – gracious, poetic and intelligent

Caniglia – luxurious, vibrant bit anitquated
Dal Monte – suave, ingenuous bit cathedral
Galli-Curci – tender, sweet bit nervous

Muzio – technical, stylish little sonority
Ponselle – agile, pulpy bit anxious
Rethberg – velvety, capable bit mechanical

BARITONES
Battistini – fluid, weighted and with effect
Bechi – baritone long, rich and communicative

De Luca – tenuous, sage and disciplined
Giraldoni – tender, round and spontaneous
Granforte – full, dark, sure and reliable

Kaschmann – powerful, suggestive and genial
Maurel – tormented, researched and involute
Stabile – smart, cynical and joyous
Stracciari – carnal, bottled-up and admirable

MEZZOSOPRANOS
Barbieri – aristocratic, technical and lively Branzell – rich, powerful and declamatory
Elmo – energetic, masculine and good metal
Gay – virile, interpretive little romanticism

Stignani – beautiful, musical and prodigious
Supervia – fresh, suave bit restless

Singers in bold are featured in Gallery

 

 

Our panel member, soprano Lynn Samohel, sings TEN LÀSKY SEN (How strange and dead is everything here) from THE BARTERED BRIDE act III by Bedrich Smetana ((1824-1884) >>>>>

 

 

Otello

Jago: Quest'è il segnale che annuncia l'approdo della trireme veneziana…>>>>>

Maria Carbone as Desdemona, Nicola Fusati as Otello and Apollo Granforte as Jago, minor soloists and chorus under Carlo Sabajno

(La Scala 1932).

 

Messer, son lieto di vedervi…

(1932) >>>>>

A terra! Si, nel livido fango… (1932) >>>>>
Ei la colpì, quel viso santo… (1932) >>>>>

 

 

Our panel member, baritone Mihai Bogdan, sings in French a great Romanian lied, composed by George Enescu (1881-1955) and inspired by the poem LANGUIR ME FAIS of Clemént Marot (1497-1544) >>>>>

Our panel member, soprano Lynn Samohel, sings with tenor Jaroslav Gleich in Czech the lovely duet VERNE MILOVANI (If our love is strong and rue) from THE BARTERED BRIDE act I by Bedrich Smetana ((1824-1884) >>>>>

 

Reviews and featured bits of operas, shown here in suggestive scenes, published in 2006:

 

SIMON BOCCANEGRA (1992)

Act I ensemble and finale >>

AIDA (2001)

Act II finale O Re_pei sacri numi >>

 

Reviews and featured bits of operas, shown here in suggestive scenes, are under consideration for 2010:

 

MACBETH (2004)
Act I The slain king_chamber >>

MACBETH (1987)

Act I ensemble and finale

NABUCCO (1981)

The choral introduction >>

MANON LESCAUT (1998)

 

MANON LESCAUT (2001)

Act III_Ansia eterna_crudel >>

LA FAVORITA (1984)

Prelude >>

I VESPRI SICILIANI (1989)

Prelude and Elena's entrance >>

IL TROVATORE (1930)

TOSCA (1929)

OTELLO (1932)

Renata Scotto in 1970

The celebrated Italian, a soprano lirico-leggero and also drammatico, is ever remembered as Gilda in Rigoletto for a superb rendition of Caro nome, one of the very best.

Published in featured bits

(j.f.)

 

 

Eleanor Steber as Elvira

Gifted with a beautiful, opulent, brilliant and extended voice, the great American soprano lirico embraced the German, Italian and French repertoires successfully.

Leonard Warren and Eleanor Steber in the duet from Traviata act II sc 1 Pura siccome un angelo (1940) >>>>>

(g.m. and j.f.)

 

 

Tenor Kenneth McKellar

Published and saved in Archive

 

 

Edita Gruberova, Anna Netrebko (pictured), Mariana Nicolesco and Mado Robin are the four most popular sopranos in our Gallery

(photo source Natasha Razina)

 

 

Published and saved in Archive:

Mezzosoprano Fedora Barbieri

 

Lauri-Volpi as the Duke of Mantua, his favourite role

 

Nicolesco as Violetta

 

Reizen as Boris

 

Turner as Turandot

 

Cebotari as Cio-Cio-San

 

Di Stefano in La Boheme

 

 

Verdi at the time of La Traviata and Rigoletto

in Rigoletto, Verdi maximises the dramatic impact by introducing a duet with Gilda's vision of heaven accompanied by the harp and Rigoletto's cascading lines of ‘Non morir, non morir', then a rapid denouement with Gilda's death and Rigoletto's great cry ‘La maledizione!' belted out over the full orchestra.

Pagliughi and Taddei in RIGOLETTO finale ultimo under Angelo Questa (Turin Teatro Regio 1953) >>

 

Reflections and Recalls of celebrated opera and ballad singers, shown here in great roles, published in 2006 and 2007:

 

Tenor Martinelli

Des Grieux

 

Baritone Apollo Granforte

Menecrate

 

Mezzosoprano Cloe Elmo

Amneris

 

Bass Feodor Chaliapine

Prince Galitsky

 

Soprano Lucia Aliberti

Portrait

 

Reflections and Recalls of celebrated opera and ballad singers, shown here in great roles, are under consideration for 2009 and 2010:

 

Soprano Maria Callas

Norma

 

Tenor Georges Thill

Werther

 

Soprano Karita Mattila

Jenufa

 

Soprano Anna C. Antonacci

Poppea

 

Bastianini in 1950

Corelli in 1951

Del Monaco in 1950

Anselmi in 1910

Elmo in 1948

Roswaenge in 1939

Stignani in 1953

  Bonci in 1910

  Muzio in 1920

  Moore in 1941

Gauci in 2002

Haddock today

Domingo in 1981

Raimondi in 2001

Giordani today

Sills in 1970

Lauri-Volpi as Otello

Fisher

Bogdan in 2004

Tenor Salvatore Fisichella at Lodz, Poland, in winter 2001. After a concert held at Teatro dell'Opera, he sang La Donna e` mobile and Nessun dorma as encores.

Traxel

Chiara as Aida

Caniglia in 1945

  Orgonasova today

Kunz

Widdop

Thill in 1922

Galli-Curci in 1920

Netrebko today

Villazon today

Bartoli today

Calleja today

Cerquetti in 1970

Aragall in the 1980s

Lemeshev as Lensky

Horne in 1980

Bjorling in 1950

Zampieri as L. Macbeth


Ponselle in 1921


Pertile in 1910

Popp in 1980


Talvela in the 1970s


Tagliavini in the 1940s


Sutherland in 1960