Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Wiener Staatsoper 1978
Raina Kabaivanska, Fiorenza Cassotto, Plácido Domingo, Piero Cappuccilli,
José van Dam
Chorus and Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, Herbert von Karajan
Picture Format: 4:3
Sound Format: LPCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Running Time: 151 mins
Region Code: PAL All
Booklet Languages: GB, F, D
Recording Date: 1 May 1978
A coup for TDK this month in the form of Karajan's final Trovatore for
the first time ever on DVD.
Il Trovatore was always one of Herbert von Karajan's favourite operas.
He conducted it at the very beginning of his career and his first studio recording
in 1956 was made in Milan with Maria Callas and Giuseppe di Stefano, but "his"
Trovatore really made its mark in the legendary performances given at the Salzburg
Festival in 1962, which formed the basis for this successful revival in Vienna.
He once declared in an interview that what he loved about this opera was its
archetypal human passions, its compression of highly dramatic situations into
the smallest conceivable space and Verdi's genius for translating such situations
This 1978 performance is steeped in scandal. Franco Bonisolli was originally
cast in the lead role but abandoned the cast during a rehearsal where the public
had been admitted entry, and, after throwing his sword at the conductor, left
the stage in fury, to be later replaced by Domingo.
Karajan not only conducted the opera, but he was also responsible for the stage
direction. The recording was very rarely broadcast and this DVD draws on the
original tapes held by Austrian Television (ORF), extensively restored using
state of the art technology. Thus this gem from the archives can now be enjoyed
on DVD with enhanced sound and picture quality.
"It would be hard at that time, let alone since, to find singers more
suited to their roles
Domingo has never been the ideal tenor for 'Di
quella pira', but every other part of Manrico's role is very much his territory
as he once again shows, singing it in his absolute prime - try his introductory
serenade. Cappuccilli as ever is a strong presence as Luna and, like his colleagues,
gives his all for Karajan. Van Dam, singing formidably, is in his element as
Ferrando. Karajan himself seems rejuvenated by the occasion, presenting the
work with the raw, emotional drive it calls for. You are definitely present
at a memorable evening at the Staatsoper"
Gramophone on the original CD issue