Winner of the 2012 ECHO Award for “Conductor of the Year” and one of the world’s most respected maestros, Riccardo Chailly celebrates Verdi’s bicentenary year – and his own 60th birthday – in 2013 with a disc of overtures, preludes and ballet movements from some of the composer’s best-loved operas.
Adding that extra touch of authenticity, the works are performed by the Filarmonica della Scala – the opera house with which Verdi himself was most closely associated and where Chailly launched his own conducting career, based in the city where Verdi died and Chailly was born.
Long associated with the Filarmonica della Scala, Chailly has previously recorded four Decca albums with them (including discs of Rossini overtures and cantatas), while his Verdi recordings for Decca include the Messa solenne and other rare sacred works, a disc of Verdi Discoveries and a complete Rigoletto starring the late Luciano Pavarotti.
Bringing together a trio of Italian greats – a world-famous composer, a fine orchestra and a first-class conductor – this set will be one of the highlights of Decca’s new releases for the Verdi bicentenary year.
“This is a particularly happy contribution to the Verdi bicentenary. The orchestra as been breastfed on the music and the conductor brings that little extra bit of telling exuberance to proceedings...the playing simply fizzes.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2013
“Chailly delivers thrilling - even electrifying performances of these Verdi overtures.” MusicWeb International, April 2013
“Chailly and the orchestra of La Scala, Milan, are surely a Verdian match made in heaven, but we have had few chances to experience them together in this composer on disc...Dynamic rhythmic momentum and prima donna-like woodwind solos make mini operas of even the early “symphonies” from Nabucco, Alzira and Giovanna d’Arco...It’s hard to imagine this music better played or conducted than here.” Sunday Times, 10th February 2013
“Even though they are all standalone orchestral items, there's nothing dutiful about any of them; Chailly gives them a real sense of theatre. Impending drama infuses the opening pages of the Vespri Siciliani overture; you get the feeling of been plunged straight into the maelstrom with Il Corsaro; and the orchestra shows off its mettle in La Forza del Destino.” The Guardian, 28th February 2013 ***