Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|José Carreras, Katia Ricciarelli, Piero Cappuccilli|
Verdi: I Due Foscari
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Early Verdi Perfection! Carreras-Ricciarelli at their BEST!
Armindo | Greece | 01/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I due Foscari is another neglected early Verdi opera. Like Masnadieri and Giovanna D'Arco it has many beautiful duets and arias. We are very fortunate that the superb maestro Gardelli chose the young but promising artists Carreras and Ricciarelli to record the main roles. Besides the fact that they are in perfect vocal condition (this was recorded in 1976, before they started singing heavier roles), they both are excellent early Verdi performers. She sings a difficult soprano role, full of cabalettas and high notes but does everything to perfection! The quiet parts are moving (she was a good actress) while the faster sections exciting, enriched with her golden tone. The same can be said about Jose Carreras who had one of the most beautiful tenor voices, pure velvet! He sings and feels every phrase. The show goes on with the experienced, rich-voiced Piero Capuccilli and the new bass sensation of that time, Samuel Ramey. This recording is in my opinion flawless so if you are thinking of listening to some less popular Verdi music try this set. You won't be disappointed!"
Expedito | Berkeley | 12/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I Due Foscari is pretty much overlooked, but in my opinion it's very beautiful from start to finish. And this version, as Armidio in his review so thoughtfully and accurately described, is absolutely excellent. I have just a couple of additional pieces of information that might be helpful to some.
I Due is relatively short - just about 1 1/2 hours, and there is more chorus than in many Verdi operas.
We owe a debt of gratitude to ArkivCD for reissuing (with permission) this previously unavailable masterpiece. It has no libretto. It also has no synopsis. The plot involves, of course, two Foscaris. The father (Cappuccilli) is the old Doge of Venice. The son (Carreras) is falsely accused of murder. The son's wife (Ricciarelli) tries to save her husband from exile, while the enemy of Foscaris (Ramey) plots to become Doge himself. Needless to say, they do not all live happily ever after.
Archiv also did not see fit to list the tracks. Unless you rip the CD and look at the playlist, you'll have to look at the track listing of another version of I Due to follow along. However, rather than scold Archiv for this deficiency, they should be praised for making this wonderful recording available.
Melodious and neglected early Verdi
Ralph Moore | Bishop's Stortford, UK | 10/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With "Nabucco", "I Lombardi" and "Ernani" already under his belt, Verdi could hardly be said to be a novice composer when he wrote "I Due Foscari" for Rome in 1844, and yet somehow this opera seems to have been relegated to the "interesting but justly neglected" category, as if it were an immature and unrewarding work. It is, in fact, a subtle and intimate opera, full of mellow, touching duets and relying more upon plangent melody and perecptive musical characterisation rather than dramatic events - of which there are, admittedly, precious few. The cast and recording quality are of the highest order - typical of the whole Philips/Gardelli early Verdi project - and while I do not completely agree with earlier reviewers that Ricciarelli and Cappuccilli are flawless - their vocal production is at times a little breathy and deliberate - they are both very fine and Carreras is undoubtedly in his youthful, peak form (as is the young Ramey). Hearing this set might prompt you to sample the other recordings featuring Carreras in that excellent series: "Un Giorni di Regno" (1973); "Il Corsaro" (1975); "La Battaglia di Legnano" (1977) and "Stiffelio (1979), coupling Carreras with a succession of wonderful leading ladies: Ricciarelli, Caballe, Norman and Sass. These sets form the best of Carreras' recorded legacy and with the demise of studio recordings of opera, we can perhaps now feel even more appreciative of a series which certainly does not sound its age. (Those recordings where another tenor was used - a young Domingo in "I Lombardi" (1971) and "I Masnadieri" with Bergonzi - are equally recommendable.)
The opera itself is short at an hour and three-quarters and leaves you wanting more. There is mercifully little "rum-ti-tum" stuff typical of second-rate early Verdi; rather there is much gentle, delicate scoring that makes extensive use of melodic themes. An interesting and unusual addition to anyone's Verdi collection."