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Life and Works: VERDI (Siepmann)


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Life and Works: VERDI (Siepmann)

Life and Works

Author and Narrator: Jeremy Siepmann
Freddie Jones as Verdi
Other roles taken by Elaine Claxton, David Timson, Steve Hodson, Charles Simpson
4 CDs
124-page booklet
Naxos 8.558111-14
ISBN: 1-84379-077-7

With the possible exception of Mozart, Verdi is the most popular opera composer who ever lived. Quite early in his career his tunes were being cranked out by barrel organs throughout Europe and were well known to many who may never even have heard his name. But the complex man behind them remains elusive and puzzling. In this portrait-in-sound, Jeremy Siepmann and a group of distinguished actors take an in-depth look behind the popular image of a man who was, and perhaps remains, the most enduring national hero in Italian history and a colossus in the history of music itself.

Here, Verdi comes alive through an utterly committed portrayal by Freddie Jones. The composer's larger-than-life personality, with all its self-indulgent outbursts and irresistible expressions of artistic genius, is here conveyed in a unique and touching way. We can follow his path, as exemplary passages of music are smoothly intermingled with spoken text. Jeremy Siepmann's narration is enthralling and detailed, and the character behind this most fervently Italian music is fascinating to discover.

Disc 1

  Guiseppe Verdi: Life and Works
1.   Aida:Grand March and Triumphal Chorus 00:07:28
2.   La Traviata : Brindisi ' Libiam ne' lieti calici" 00:02:54
3.   Early manhood, civil strife, and the start of a career 00:05:07
4.   Overture to 'Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio' 00:03:17
5.   Tragedy, creation, and the birth of a true professional 00:02:19
6.   Overture to 'Un giorno di regno' 00:01:55
7.   Failure, despair, and rescue : the genesis o Nabucco 00:04:38
8.   Nabucco: Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves 'Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate' 00:04:38
9.   A sensation reported and recalled 00:01:12
10.   Overture to 'Nabucco' 00:02:38
11.   Into the galleys: fame. frustration, and A Major surprise 00:07:38
12.   Macbeth : Chorus of the Scottish Exiles 'Patria oppressa!" 00:03:53
13.   The revolution of Macbeth and a return to safer ground 00:04:32
14.   Overture to 'I masnadieri' 00:04:30
15.   Paris and a love affair 00:03:30
16.   The revolutions of 1848 00:08:38
17.   Overture to 'La battaglia di Legnano' 00:03:58

Disc 2

  Guiseppe Verdi: Life and Works
1.   Composition and censorship: the strife - torn birth of Rigoletto 00:05:01
2.   Rigoletto : 'La donna e mobile' 00:02:16
3.   Verdi the unsurpassed psychologist 00:00:52
4.   Rigoletto: 'Bella figlia dell'amore' 00:04:12
5.   Strepponi, Busseto, and the rift with Barezzi 00:06:22
6.   Escape : Verdi and Strepponi at Sant' Agata 00:03:50
7.   Il Trovatore : Soldiers' Chorus 'Or co'dadi, ma fra poco' 00:04:04
8.   'The Bear of Busseto' emerges : the darker side of Verdi 00:05:18
9.   Il Trovatore : 'Di tale amor che dirsi' 00:02:25
10.   Verdi's divorce' from his parents;his mother's death, and a theatrical fiasco 00:08:56
11.   La Traviata: 'Dite alla giovine' 00:04:04
12.   Verdi and Women: Strepponi and the 'Dark Lady' 00:03:57
13.   'La Travailata': Verdi's trials at the Paris Opera 00:03:01
14.   I vespri siciliani : ' Quando al mio sen per te parlava' 00:10:49
15.   Verdi in rehearsal - and a review from Berlioz 00:05:05
16.   Overture to 'I vespri siciliani' 00:06:02

Disc 3

  Guiseppe Verdi: Life and Works
1.   Yet more trouble with the censors 00:02:01
2.   Un ballo in maschera: 'Ma se m'e forza perderti' 00:05:01
3.   A passionate patriot, a reluctant politician 00:05:45
4.   A semi - official retirement, nursed by disenchantment 00:02:59
5.   Verdi welcomes war 00:02:20
6.   He travels to Paris for Don Carols 00:00:42
7.   Don Carols: 'Tu che la vanita' 00:11:43
8.   Stupendous triumph 00:00:49
9.   Verdi shaken by deaths of his father, Barezzi, and Rossini 00:04:23
10.   He meets Manzoni 00:02:23
11.   An unusual opera 00:01:31
12.   La forza del destino:'Solenne in quest'ora' 00:03:28
13.   Enter Teresa Stolz, exit Mariani 00:06:48
14.   La forza del destino: 'Pace, pace' 00:05:25
15.   Strepponi struggles with jealousy as Verdi writes Aida 00:05:33
16.   Aida: Act III, Nile Scene 00:11:27

Disc 4

  Guiseppe Verdi: Life and Works
1.   Verdi bemoans the corruption of the operatic world 00:03:55
2.   Manzoni's death begets a masterpiece 00:01:13
3.   Requiem: 'Rex tremendae' 00:03:49
4.   The return to Shakespeare 00:02:08
5.   Otello: 'Canzone del salce - Ave Maria' 00:06:58
6.   Verdi the Wagner of Italy 00:02:34
7.   Otello: 'Desdemona rea, si, per ciel' 00:05:11
8.   A Shakespearian swansong 00:06:55
9.   Falstaff : Finale 'Ogni sorta di gente; Facciamo il parentado' 00:07:11
10.   Old age and the death of Strepponi 00:04:06
11.   Verdi the widower 00:03:05
12.   Stolz and the aged Verdi; a visit from Toscanini 00:03:12
13.   Te Deum 00:02:15
14.   The old man dies and the world pays homage 00:07:57
15.   Requiem, Part VII: Dies irae; Requiem aeternam; Libera me 00:11:24

Total Playing Time: 04:53:10

Siepmann, Jeremy

Jones, Freddie

Siepmann, Jeremy

Label: Naxos Educational

Genre: Music Biographies

Catalogue No: 8.558111-14

Barcode: 0636943811122

Physical Release: 02/2003

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