Learning to Listen: Verdi's Longevity

by Emily Reese, Minnesota Public Radio
October 14, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The celebration for Giuseppe Verdi continues this week on Learning to Listen.

Dale Johnson is artistic director of the Minnesota Opera, and he's on the show with me to talk about the significance of Verdi's music. We'll learn together on this one, because my strengths lie in instrumental music. A big question we'll address is: Why, after 200 years, do we still talk about Verdi?

We're also going to try to illustrate the three distinct compositional periods of Verdi. Like Beethoven, Verdi has an early, a middle and late period. Minnesota Opera's Dale Johnson will demonstrate these periods through examples of music.

Johnson starts with Verdi's first big hit, Nabucco, and ends with the final opera Verdi wrote, a comedy called Falstaff.

"Va, pensiero" - Riccardo Muti, La Scala Chorus and Orchestra (EMI 69846)
"Prode guerrier" - Giuseppe Sinopoli, Orchestra of the German Opera, Berlin; Ghena Dimitrova (DG 410512)

Macbeth (EMI 66447)
"Una macchia e qui tuttora" Victor de Sabata, La Scala Orchestra; Maria Callas

Luisa Miller (Sony 48073)
"Lo vidi, e 'l primo palpito" - James Levine, Metropolitan Opera; Aprile Millo, Placido Domingo
"Padre ricevi l'estremo addio" - James Levine, Metropolitan Opera; Aprile Millo, Placido Domingo

Rigoletto (Sony 66314)
"Questa o quella per me pari sono" - Riccardo Muti, La Scala Orchestra and Chorus; Renato Bruson, Andrea Rost, Roberto Alagna
"Pari siamo"
"Ah, piu non ragiono"

Requiem (EMI 68613)
Dies Irae - Riccardo Muti, Philharmonia Orchestra, Ambrosian Chorus

Don Carlos (EMI 56152)
"C'est elle!" - Antonio Pappano, Paris Orchestra; Jose Van Dam, Roberto Alagna, Thomas Hampson
"Le Grand Inquisiteur!"

Otello (RCA 39501)
"Una Vela!" - James Levine, National Philharmonic Orchestra; Placido Domingo, Renata Scotto
"Niun mi tema"

Watch Nabucco:

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