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Reissue Producer and Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn.
The reception for the first television broadcast of Menotti’s opera Amahl and the Night Visitors (also available in an acclaimed modern recording on Naxos 8669019) was overwhelming: an estimated five million viewers, the NBC switchboard jammed with congratulatory calls and an unprecedented front-page review in The New York Times. Quickly recorded for RCA Victor, the album became a best-seller and the opera remains a Christmas evergreen, brimming with memorable tunes for both soloists and chorus. Set in 17th-century Venice, Menotti’s ballet Sebastian, the concert suite from which is heard here, was applauded by The New York Times as an ‘unblushing melodrama... brilliantly effective’.
Gian Carlo Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors
Amahl! Amahl! (The Mother, Amahl)
What was keeping you outside? (The Mother, Amahl)
Don't cry, Mother dear (Amahl, The Mother)
From far away we come and farther we must go (King Kaspar, King Melchior, King Balthazar)
Amahl, go and see who's knocking at the door (The Mother, Amahl)
Good evening! (King Kaspar, King Melchior, King Balthazar, Amahl, The Mother)
Are you a real King? (Amahl, King Balthazar, King Kaspar, The Mother, King Melchior)
Have you seen a child (King Melchior, The Mother, King Balthazar, King Kaspar)
Shepherds! Shepherdesses! (Shepherds, The Mother, King Melchior, King Kaspar, King Balthazar)
Thank you, good friends (King Balthazar, Shephards, Amahl, King Kaspar)
All that gold! All that gold! (The Mother, The Page, King Melchior, King Balthazar, King Kaspar, Amahl)
Oh, woman, you may keep the gold (King Melchior, The Mother, Amahl, King Kaspar, King Balthazar)
Look, mother, I can dance (Amahl, King Kaspar, King Melchior, King Balthazar, The Mother, Shepherds)
Gian Carlo Menotti: Sebastian Suite
III. Street Fight
V. Sebastian's Dance
“Naxos marks Menotti's centenary year with a batch of well-remastered reissues. Here is famous Christmas tale for television, touchingly performed, is coupled with a lively ballet suite.”
“Best of all here is the wonderful conducting of Thomas Schippers, who finds more energy, more poetry and more pathos in Amahl than any other conductor I've heard: in Schippers's hands it is both moving and adorable, and this Naxos transfer by Mark Obert-Thorn has come up sounding splendid.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.