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Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

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Verdi & Variations

Verdi & Variations


Dupin:

Fantasia on Arias from La Traviata

Alexander Trostiansky (violin)

Pasculli:

Gran Concerto on themes from Verdi's 'I Vespri Siciliani', for oboe & piano

Philippe Magnan (oboe)

Verdi:

String Quartet in E minor

arr. Turovsky


I Musici de Montréal, Yuli Turovsky

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Chandos - CHAN9662

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Verdi & Variations - Vinyl Edition

Verdi & Variations - Vinyl Edition


Dupin:

Fantasia on Arias from La Traviata

Alexander Trostiansky (violin)

Pasculli:

Gran Concerto on themes from Verdi's 'I Vespri Siciliani', for oboe & piano

Philippe Magnan (oboe)

Verdi:

String Quartet in E minor

arr. for strings by Y. Turovsky


Musici de Montréal, Yuli Turovsky

Responding to overwhelming popular demand, Chandos is releasing Verdi and Variations as a 12″ LP for the first time. This new venture, our first LP production in many years, could be the start of an exciting new line in Chandos releases. The works on the record are performed by Canadian ensemble I Musici de Montreal under the direction of the late lamented Yuli Turovsky. Verdi’s String Quartet represents the great operatic composer’s only chamber work and was written, by Verdi’s own admission ‘in the hours when I had nothing to do’. Despite Verdi’s dismissal of the work as of ‘no importance’ it received a fantastic reception at its premier and was hailed as a masterpiece. The present recording is an arrangement for string orchestra by Yuli Turovsky. The other two works on the disc represent two composer’s unique take on Verdi’s music. Antonio Pasculli’s Grand Concerto on Themes from Verdi’s I vespri siciliani is a work originally designed to showcase the composer’s considerable virtuosity as an oboist and is here played by Philippe Magnan. Marc-Oliver Dupin’s Fantasia on Arias from La traviata, published in 1995, revisits the ‘fantasy’ genre in a set of six contrasting and highly entertaining variations.

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Chandos - ABRD9662

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Verdi: Aida

Verdi: Aida

Sung in English (translation by Edmund Tracey)


Jane Eaglen (Aida), Dennis O'Neill (Radames), Rosalind Plowright (Amneris), Gregory Yurisich (Amonasro), Peter Rose (Pharoah), Alastair Miles (Ramfis), Susan Gritton (High Priestess), Alfred Boe (Messenger)

Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, Philharmonia Orchestra, David Parry

“Central to the Chandos set's success is the formidable assumption of the title role by Jane Eaglen...The voice is rich and warm, better focused that it often has been, with fearless attack above the stave, and fine poise in reflective moments...[Plowright makes] a suitably vehement and fruity Amneris” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition **/*

“devotees of Peter Moores's Opera in English project will not want to miss this, surely one of the best in the series to date” BBC Music Magazine

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3074

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Verdi: Complete Preludes, Overtures and Ballet Music

Verdi: Complete Preludes, Overtures and Ballet Music


Verdi:

Oberto Overture

Un giorno di regno Overture

Nabucco Overture

Ernani - Prelude

I due Foscari - Prelude

Giovanna d'Arco : Overture

Alzira - Overture

Attila Overture

Macbeth - Prelude

Macbeth: Ballet Music

I Masnadieri - Overture

Il corsaro - Prelude

La battaglia di Legnano - Overture

Gerusalemme: Prelude to Act III

Gerusalemme: Ballet Music

Luisa Miller Overture

Stiffelio - Prelude

Rigoletto - Prelude

Il Trovatore: Ballet Music, Act II

La traviata: Prelude to Act 1

La traviata: Prelude to Act 3

I vespri siciliani Overture

I Vespri Siciliani: The Four Seasons (Ballet music)

Simon Boccanegra: Prelude (1st version, 1857)

Un Ballo in Maschera - Prelude

La Forza del Destino Preludio (St Petersburg version 1862)

Don Carlo: Prelude to Act II (Milan version)

Don Carlos: Ballet Music, Act III - La peregrina

La forza del destino Overture

Aida: Overture (Cairo version)

Aida: Dances

Aida: Ballet Music, Act II

Aida: Overture (Italian premiere, 1872; withdrawn)

Otello: Ballet Music (Paris version)


4 CD for price of 3

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Chandos Classics - CHAN10343X

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Verdi: Don Carlos

Verdi: Don Carlos


Verdi:

Don Carlo

Sung in English (translation by Andrew Porter). Four-act version.


Julian Gavin (Don Carlos), Janice Watson (Elisabeth), Alastair Miles (Philip II), William Dazeley (Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa), Jane Dutton (Eboli), Sir John Tomlinson (Grand Inquisitor), Julia Sporsén (Thibault), Clive Bayley (Old Monk)

Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North, Richard Farnes

3 CDs for the price of 2

Based on Schiller’s play, Verdi’s magnificent and arguably greatest opera, Don Carlos, has everything – intense personal passion and pain enmeshed in the web of political and religious agendas – utterly relevant to today and superbly expressed in a score of gripping intensity.

This recording was made in Leeds Town Hall between Opera North’s May/June 2009 production and is the first recording of the work in English. Conducted by Richard Farnes, the performances knocked everyone who witnessed them sideways.

The Observer thought ‘The work came alive as never before, its passionate exchanges between king, son, stepmother and loyal friend all the more incandescent, an endorsement for the Peter Moores Foundation “Opera in English” series on Chandos, who record this Don Carlos for future release.’ York Press wrote ‘This is a drama torrid enough to satisfy the senses on many levels,’ whilst The Spectator declared Richard Farnes, ‘the best Verdian of our time.’

Tenor Julian Gavin takes the title role, and is ably assisted by William Dazeley as Rodrigo, Janice Watson as Elizabeth, Alistair Miles as Philip II and Sir John Tomlinson as the Grand Inquisitor.

“Best of the principals are Alastair Miles's distinctive King Philip; John Tomlinson's terrifying Grand Inquisitor and Clive Bayley's Monk. Opera North's choral and orchestral forces are both splendid, and conductor Richard Farnes proves a superb interpreter of the score.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2009 ****

“...a well integrated, cleanly delineated performance...The outstanding element is Richard Farnes's forceful and vivid conducting of a finely responsive orchestra.” The Telegraph, 2nd December 2009 ****

“Richard Farnes's outstanding conducting exudes confidence and regularly catches the ear with its theatrical flair and sense of over-arching power” The Guardian, 15th January 2010 ***

“It’s a pleasure to hear so many of the words, particularly from Julian Gavin’s plangent-toned Infante, William Dazeley’s ardent, lyrical Posa and John Tomlinson’s terrifying, gnarly-voiced Inquisitor... yet the best reason for acquiring the set is Richard Farnes’s superb conducting.” Sunday Times, 17th January 2010 ***

“Under Richard Farnes, the orchestral playing will stand comparison with the acknowledged best...The style also impresses as bearing the imprint of a genuine Verdi conductor, with playing where, at times, one feels as though the instruments are contributing their own apt dialogue to the drama.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3162(3)

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Verdi: Ernani

Verdi: Ernani

Sung in English (translation by Antony Peattie)


Julian Gavin (Ernani), Susan Patterson (Elvira), Alan Opie (Don Carlo), Peter Wedd (Don Riccardo), Peter Rose (Don Ruy Gomez de Silva), Helen Williams (Giovanna), Paul Hodges (Jago)

English National Opera Orchestra, English National Opera Chorus, David Parry

“In a lively, vibrant performance like this...it is in some ways even more vital than a performance in Italian. The principals are first rate, with Susan Patterson a formidable Elvira...Julian Gavin is also well cast in the title role” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition ***

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3052

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Verdi: Four Sacred Pieces & Hymn of the Nations

Verdi: Four Sacred Pieces & Hymn of the Nations


Verdi:

Quattro Pezzi Sacri

Inno delle nazioni

Libera me, Domine from ‘Messa per Rossini’

La Vergine degli Angeli (from La Forza del Destino)


This is a recording of rarely heard choral works by Verdi, performed by all-Italian forces – the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatre Regio in Turin, with the soloists Barbara Frittoli and Francesco Meli, under the conductor Gianandrea Noseda, an exclusive Chandos artist – for totally idiomatic results.

The opera La forza del destino was first performed in the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre of St Petersburg in 1862. Featured on this recording is ‘La vergine degli angeli’, the chorus that ends Act III. Here Leonora (whom everyone supposes to be a man) is sent by the Monastery of Hornachuelos to live in a hermit’s cave for the rest of her life. The monks invoke the Virgin to protect the new hermit and send Leonora off with one of Verdi’s most beautiful choruses (which also features an exquisite solo for Leonora).

Soon after completing La forza del destino, Verdi was asked to prepare an Italian entry for the London International Exhibition. He agreed, and the result was the Inno delle nazioni, to words by Arrigo Boito. The piece ultimately did not figure in the official celebrations, but was performed to great acclaim in London in 1862. The work includes an orchestral introduction and a chorus, an impassioned recitation by the soloist, and a beautiful melody for soloist, then chorus. Verdi cites the national anthems of England, France, and Italy, before combining them in a contrapuntal tour de force.

With the death in 1868 of Gioachino Rossini, Verdi took it upon himself to commission all the most important composers of Italy to prepare a composite Mass in his memory. The mass was to be performed on the first anniversary of Rossini’s death, but when the city of Bologna proved unable to arrange the performance in time, the project was abandoned. Verdi, however, persevered and did complete the intended final movement, ‘Libera me, Domine’, recorded here. He would rework the movement for his later Messa da Requiem.

Completing the disc are the Quattro pezzi sacri (Four Sacred Pieces): Ave Maria, Laudi alla Vergine Maria, Stabat Mater, and Te Deum. The two choruses with full orchestra, the Stabat Mater and Te Deum, Verdi’s last compositions, are based on well-known poems. The first, celebrating Mary as she stands by the Cross, was set by many composers. For the Te Deum, written for double chorus, Verdi turned to a text often, though not here, used to celebrate victories and coronations. It quickly became common practice to perform the four pieces together, with a chorus singing the unaccompanied, but moving, Ave Maria and Laudi alla Vergine Maria, originally composed for solo voices.

“the Teatro Regio forces (under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda) deliver them with a bold sense of drama. The soloists are top-drawer Verdians too: tenor Francesco Meli has an impressively ringing top register, and Barbara Frittoli bring weight, richness and sensitive phrasing to the soprano solos.” Classic FM Magazine, May 2011 ****

“it comes as a shock (albeit a pleasantly fascinating one) to hear Verdi's rather disjointed initial thoughts for the piece...though [his] contrapuntal acrobatics in the "Libera me" fugue continue to delight and amaze, and his orchestration fizzes with its characterful vigour and colourfulness...this performance lacks nothing in terms of forward momentum or choral declamation.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

“It is temperament rather than smoothness in her singing that Frittoli brings, and it is interesting to hear the differences between this version and Verdi's later one...Gianandrea Noseda and Turin Opera's chorus master Robert Gabbiani do well to bring out the contrasts from their respective charges.” International Record Review, April 2011

“Francesco Meli and Barbara Frittoli, with her wide and warm vibrato, give performances of great energy and directness. Look out for a fascinating filler, Inno delle nazioni, which is a strangely wonderful “mash-up” of English, French and Italian national anthems.” The Telegraph, 8th April 2011 ****

“The Hymn of the Nations was the Italian musical contribution to the London International Exhibition of 1862...Under Gianandrea Noseda's alert baton, it registers well here...[Barbara Frittoli] provides an ethereal close to the Te Deum, last of the Four Sacred Pieces - visionary, distilled examples of Verdi's late style whose mystery Noseda presents with considerable sensitivity.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2011 ****

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Chandos - CHAN10659

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Verdi: Il Trovatore

Verdi: Il Trovatore

Sung in English (translation by Tom Hammond)


Sharon Sweet (Leonora), Anne Mason (Azucena), Dennis O'Neill (Manrico), Alan Opie (Luna), Clive Bayley (Ferrando), Helen Williams (Inez)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, David Parry

'‘…I cannot think of a performance I have enjoyed more than this one… It is one of the series’ best.’' Gramophone

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3036

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Verdi: La traviata

Verdi: La traviata

Sung in English (translation by Edmund Tracey)


Valerie Masterson (Violetta Valéry), John Brecknock (Alfredo Germont), Christian du Plessis (Giorgio Germont), Della Jones (Flora Bervoix)

English National Opera Orchestra, English National Opera Chorus, Sir Charles Mackerras

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3023

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Verdi: Macbeth

Verdi: Macbeth

sung in English


Latonia Moore (Lady Macbeth), Simon Keenlyside (Macbeth), Gwyn Hughes Jones (Macduff), Brindley Sherratt (Banquo), Ben Johnson (Malcolm), Elizabeth Llewellyn (Lady in Waiting)

English National Opera Orchestra, Edward Gardner

This recording of Verdi's Macbeth marks the completion of the Peter Moores Foundation's remarkable Opera in English series, established in 1995 with the aim of making opera available to wider audiences by presenting the highest quality opera performances in English. Here a translation by Jeremy Sams is sung by an all-star cast including Simon Keenlyside as Macbeth and Latonia Moore as Lady Macbeth. Edward Gardner conducts the English National Opera Orchestra.

Macbeth is the first of three Verdi operas based on dramas by William Shakespeare. Described by Verdi as ‘one of the greatest creations of man’, Macbeth’s ‘grandeur, breadth, and sublime, rarefied, and strange atmosphere’ inspired Verdi to adapt this tale of power, corruption, and devilry. Having previously concentrated on historical narratives, in Macbeth Verdi engaged in dark supernatural themes for the first time. The subject matter provided Verdi opportunity to expand on his abilities as a tone poet; he extended the contribution of the orchestra to the drama and introduced orchestral detail and colour not before seen in his operatic scores.

In 1865, eighteen years after its triumphant premiere in Florence, Verdi was asked to revisit the score for a Paris revival. This revised version forms the basis of the present recording which also includes additions from the original score.

“[Keenlyside] presents a changing psychological portrait of the lure of power and evil in the title role. At first he sounds conflicted, uncertain. But one murder hardens him and Keenlyside’s tone expands alongside Macbeth’s resolve. No uncertainties dog Lady Macbeth in Latonia Moore’s account...The young American’s voice is thrillingly rich and commanding.” The Times, 4th April 2014 ****

“a sharply energised and vividly dramatised performance...[Keenlyside] gives a commanding interpretation of a soldier driven by a combination of ambition and conscience...Latonia Moore sings powerfully as Lady Macbeth...But the set’s most egregious virtue is the conducting of Edward Gardner, swaggering with Verdian virility.” The Telegraph, 24th April 2014

“Even if [Moore's vocalism is brave and bold, at times Latonia Moore's Lady Macbeth could do with sharper definition and more sheer heft...Keenlyside explores the title role in depth, offering a huge variety of expression and fulfilling the potential of Verdi's notes to reveal minute nuances of character...[Gardner] brings a keenly observant eye to the score.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2014 ****

“Gardner draws vibrantly dramatic results from his English National Opera forces...[Moore] is apparently unfazed by the role's difficulties and soars through her big numbers with plenty of luxurious, slightly smoky tone...[Keenlyside] doesn't command the richness of timbre...of a true Verdi baritone...[but] the performance cannot be faulted for integrity.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2014

“[Keenlyside's] baritone has gained darker colours, even if he does not sound ideally placed in Verdi, yet he brings great characterization and clarity of diction to the role...[Moore] sings beautifully...but doesn't exactly impart a sense of evil or danger...The supporting cast is excellent...Gardner leads the English National Opera Orchestra in a crackling account of the score.” International Record Review, May 2014

“Gardner’s recording has a crispness and vitality that underline his Verdian credentials...and the cohesiveness of his ensemble. Keenlyside may not sound like a Verdi baritone, but on his own intelligent terms the interpretation works. Moore’s Lady M is fresh, accurate – and almost too beautiful for the famous Sleepwalking Scene.” Financial Times, 7th June 2014 ****

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3180(2)

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