Episode 165. Giuseppe Verdi: A Libran Birthday Tribute

Episode 165. Giuseppe Verdi: A Birthday Tribute from Fellow Librans



The great Giuseppe Verdi was born this week in 1813. Since his birthday occurs in the same week as mine, and since I firmly believe that I was a Verdi soprano in a former life, I am paying tribute to him this week with a series of excerpts from his works performed by exceptional singers whose birthdays also occur in the month of October. It’s astounding how many great Verdi singers were born at the time of the harvest moon: Luciano Pavarotti, Tito Gobbi, Camilla Williams, Jon Vickers, Rolando Panerai, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sena Jurinac, and many, many more. I have assembled a setlist featuring more than 20 such singers, including more than a few surprises (the young Irmgard Seefried singing the soprano solo in the Requiem; and a few choice artists that you may have forgotten about, among them Irene Dalis, Delia Rigal, and John Alexander). This whole month will be a birthday extravaganza and this is a marvelous way to start off the celebration, if I do say so myself!


All selections composed by Giuseppe Verdi (09 [or 10] October 1813 – 27 January 1901)

Andrea Maffei: Brindisi. Francisco Casanova, unknown pianist [live recital 2004]

Temistocle Solera: Ben io t’invenni, o fatal scritto (Nabucco). Elizabeth Connell, Carlo Felice Cillario, State Orchestra of Victoria [live Melbourne 07.V.96]

Arrigo Boito: Era la notte (Otello). Tito Gobbi, Alberto Erede, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra [1948]

Arrigo Boito [after William Shakespeare]: O matrimonio, infamia! [excerpt from È sogno? o realtà?] (Falstaff). Alan Titus, Colin Davis, Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks [1992]

Temistocle Solera: Speme al vecchio (Giovanna d’Arco). Rolando Panerai, Alfredo Simonetto, Orchestra di Milano della RAI [live radio recording Milano 26.V.51]

Temistocle Solera [after Zacharias Werner]: Dagli immortal vertici (Attila). Igor Gorin, Orchestra conducted by Bruno Reibold [1941]

Salvatore Cammarano [after Voltaire]: Non di codarde lagrime (Alzira). Francisco Araiza, Lamberto Gardelli, Münchener Rundfunkorchester, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks [1983]

Francesco Maria Piave [after Victor Hugo]: Caro nome (Rigoletto). Edda Moser, Georg Singer, Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper [live Wien 07.II.73]

Francesco Maria Piave [after Alexandre Dumas]: Teneste la promessa… Addio del passato (La traviata). Delia Rigal, Juan Emilio Martini, Orchestra del Teatro Colón [1952]

Francesco Maria Piave [after Alexandre Dumas]: Di Provenza il mar (La traviata). Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Speranza Scappucci, Orchester der Wiener Volksoper [live Wien 29.XI.16]

Antonio Somma [after Eugène Scribe]: Ma se m’è forza perderti (Un ballo in maschera). John Alexander, Julius Rudel, Philadelphia Orchestra [live 23.VIII.70]

Joseph Méry, Camille du Locle, Achille de Lauzières [Italian transation] [after Friedrich Schiller]: Io la vidi (Don Carlo). Vasile Moldoveanu, Josef Dünnwald, Orchester des Würtembergischen Staatstheaters [1976]

Joseph Méry, Camille du Locle, Achille de Lauzières [Italian transation] [after Friedrich Schiller]: O don fatale (Don Carlo). Irene Dalis, Nino Verchi, Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera [live 15.I.61]

Francesco Maria Piave [after Ángel de Saavedra]: Pace, pace, mio Dio (La forza del destino). Hana Janků, František Jílek, Brno State Theatre Opera Orchestra [1970]

Antonio Ghislanzoni [after Auguste Mariette and Temistocle Solera]: Ritorna vincitor! (Aida). Camilla Williams, Laszlo Halasz, New York City Opera Orchestra [ca. 1952]

Antonio Ghislanzoni [after Auguste Mariette and Temistocle Solera]: O terra, addio (Aida). Galina Vishnevskaya, Jon Vickers, Giulietta Simionato, Bryan Balkwill, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden [live London 04.II.64]

Judex ergo cum sedebit [excerpt from Liber scriptus] (Messa da Requiem). Claramae Turner, Guido Cantelli, New York Philharmonic, Westminster Choir [live New York 03.II.55]

Requiem aeternam [excerpt from Libera me] (Messa da Requiem). Irmgard Seefried, Karl Böhm, Chor der Wiener Staatsoper [live 04.II.45]

Arrigo Boito (after William Shakespeare): Ave Maria (Otello). Sena Jurinac, Orchestra conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi [German telecast 1969]

Francesco Maria Piave [after Victor Hugo]: La donna è mobile (Rigoletto). Luciano Pavarotti, Antonio Tonini [live Moscow 1964]

Francesco Maria Piave [after Alexandre Dumas]: Brindisi (La traviata). Virginia Zeani, Ion Buzea, Jean Bobescu, Romanian State Opera in Bucharest Orchestra and Chorus [1968]

2 thoughts on “Episode 165. Giuseppe Verdi: A Libran Birthday Tribute”

  1. I absolutely like, appreciate and adore your podcasts, enjoying your poignant and entertaining comments and analyses! Especially awesome was your podcast about Francisco Araiza two years ago where you did justice to this marvelous artist and in which in my opinion you put things right! Thank you so much for that!! Regarding the Verdi podcast I however was quite disappointed that you forgot or left out the great Verdi bass Ruggero Raimondi, born October 3rd! – Keep up the great wirk! Best regards and wishes, Dr. phil. Ethery Inasaridse, Munich

    1. Oh, DEAR, Dr. Inasaridse, that oversight was not at all intentional! I am a big admirer of Raimondi and would not have left him out if my research had not been so spotty! I do hope that you will forgive me for the omission. I am pleased, however, that you enjoyed the Araiza episode, and as compensation for the Raimondi oversight, I will email you the Dropbox link to the second Araiza episode that I posted for my Patreon subscribers. And this week I offer a tribute to yet another great Mexican singer, the matchless contralto Oralia Dominguez. Thank you for writing and best wishes, Daniel Gundlach

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