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Some of the most popular choruses from Italian opera, performed by the Chorus and Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale in Florence and conductor Maurizio Arena, are presented in this collection. Amongst the pieces featured are works by Verdi, the famous Va’ Pensiero… from Nabucco and the Soldiers’ Chorus from Il Trovatore, and the Humming Chorus from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.
Just how great an effect opera choruses have had in the past can be judged on the sole example of Va pensiero, sull’ali dorate (Fly thoughts, on golden wings) from Verdi’s Nabucco. At that time of political unrest this particular chorus soon achieved hit status. Everyone understood the text as a rejection of serfdom and foreign oppression, and the melody of the chorus became so well-known then that it could be heard whistled in the streets of many an Italian city.
Vincenzo Bellini: Norma
Act I: Norma viene: Le cinge la chioma
Act II: Guerra, guerra
Gaetano Donizetti: Don Pasquale
Don Pasquale, Act III: Che interminabile andirivieni
Giuseppe Verdi: Nabucco
Nabucco, Act III: Va' pensiero, sull' ali dorate
Giuseppe Verdi: I Lombardi alla prima crociata
I Lombardi alla prima crociata, Act IV: O Signore, dal tetto natio
Giuseppe Verdi: Macbeth
Macbeth, Act IV: Patria oppressa!
Giuseppe Verdi: Il trovatore
Act III: Or co' dadi, ma fra poco
Act II: Vedi, le fosche notturne
Giacomo Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Madama Butterfly, Act II: Coro a bocca chiusa
Giacomo Puccini: Turandot
Turandot, Act I: Perche tarda la luna?
Ruggero Leoncavallo: Pagliacci
Pagliacci, Act I: Don, din, don, suona vespero
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana
Cavalleria rusticana: Gli aranci olezzano
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.