GIUSEPPE VERDI

Contents

1. Life
2. Insights
3. Selected Discography

LIFE

Giuseppe VerdiGiuseppe Verdi (Roncole di Busseto, 9 or 10 October 1813 – Milan, 27 January 1901), Italian composer, actually considered the greatest Italian operatic composer of all time.

Verdi was born near Busseto to a family of moderate means, but he started to play music since an early age. His career began in the local church of San Michele, where he became organist at the age of nine. Later, he studied with Ferdinando Provesi and with Vincenzo Lavigna, while Antonio Barezzi, a rich merchant from Busseto, helped the development of his musical education.

After the disappearance from the musical scene of the three most eminent composers of the first decades of the 19th century (Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioacchino Rossini), Verdi came the leading composer of his generation. Nabucco was his first major success and, from that moment onwards, his compositional activity became frantic for several years, till 1853, when, after La traviata, he could finally relax.

Verdi’s sympathy with the Risorgimento movement is well known though somehow exaggerated, and his early works reflect it, especially in the choruses (the most famous being Va, pensiero from Nabucco). He also entered into political life and from 1861 to 1865 he was deputy in the first Italian parliament.

After Aida (1871), Verdi did not compose any new stage work for sixteen years, though his “silence” was not complete. In 1873, he composed the famous Messa da Requiem to commemorate great Italian poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni. The main reasons for this retirement were first of all the composer’s financial security and his interest in the management of his properties. However, in his late years Verdi wrote two more significant operas, both inspired by Shakespeare: Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893).

Verdi was deeply influenced by the three bel canto composers, especially Bellini, of whom he praised his «extremely long melodies», but then he developed a style which is much his own. Although the most part of his production fell into oblivion, by the time of his death Verdi was highly regarded in Italy and achieved a unique reputation. His music was considered extremely patriotic and the man and his works became a symbol of national unity.


INSIGHTS

La traviataLa traviata: based on Alexandre Dumas fils’s novel La dame aux camelias, La traviata tells the story of a woman of loose morals (Violetta Valéry) who falls in love with a young man from a good family (Alfredo Germont).

History and Reviews >>>

 


SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY

Verdi Trovatore Price Bonisolli Obraztsova KarajanIl trovatore

Franco Bonisolli, Leontyne Price, Elena Obraztsova, Piero Cappuccilli, Ruggero Raimondi
Chor des Deutschen Oper Berlin
Berliner Philharmoniker
Herbert von Karajan, conductor
EMI, 2006 (and others)
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Verdi Aida Pappano Kaufmann HarterosAida

Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Ludovic Tézier
Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Antonio Pappano, conductor
Warner Classics, 2015
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Verdi Rigoletto Hvorostovsky Sierra Demuro OrbelianRigoletto

Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Nadine Sierra, Francesco Demuro, Andrea Mastroni, Oksana Volkova
Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Men of the Kaunas State Choir
Constantine Orbelian, conductor
Delos, 2017
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Verdi Requiem Solti Sutherland Pavarotti Horne TalvelaRequiem

Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne, Luciano Pavarotti, Martti Talvela
Wiener Staatsopernchor
Wiener Philharmonker
Georg Solti, conductor
Decca, 1968 (1984)
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Verdi La forza del destino Tebaldi Del Monaco Bastianini Molinari-PradelliLa forza del destino

Mario Del Monaco, Renata Tebaldi, Ettore Bastianini, Giulietta Simionato, Cesare Siepi
Orchestra e coro dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, conductor
Decca, 1955 (2007)
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Verdi Simon Boccanegra Hvorostovsky Frittoli OrbelianSimon Boccanegra

Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Barbara Frittoli, Ildar Abdrazakov, Stefano Secco
Kaunas State Choir
Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Constantine Orbelian, conductor
Delos, 2015
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Giuseppe Verdi Macbeth Gencer Taddei GuiMacbeth

Giuseppe Taddei, Leyla Gencer, Ferruccio Mazzoli, Mirto Picchi
Orchestra del Teatro Massimo di Palermo
Vittorio Gui, conductor
Living Stage, 1999 (and others)
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