Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giuseppe Verdi, Fabio Luisi, Marina Mescheriakova|
Verdi - Jérusalem / Mescheriakova, Giordani, Scandiuzzi, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Luisi (First Complete Recording)
Giuseppe Verdi's first big Paris hit, Jérusalem is an 1847 rewrite of I Lombardi. Along with a new French text, the action is clarified, characters and scenes are dropped, the tenor role is beefed up, and the obligatory ba... more »
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Giuseppe Verdi's first big Paris hit, Jérusalem is an 1847 rewrite of I Lombardi. Along with a new French text, the action is clarified, characters and scenes are dropped, the tenor role is beefed up, and the obligatory ballet is added, among other changes. It's a more coherent opera in this version, although Italian audiences have clung to I Lombardi, which is still mounted on the world's stages. The Philips team, however, makes a powerful case for this French grand opera story of betrayal, love, war and rescue, penitence, and vindication painted in primary colors on a canvas of Crusaders and villains, rousingly set to effective, if blunt, music. Fabio Luisi conducts a vigorous performance and draws excellent work from orchestra and chorus. The smaller roles are generally adequately cast. Marina Mescheriakova is an excellent Hélène, the plucky heroine who follows her exiled fiancé to the Holy Land. Her lustrous soprano voice shines with true Verdian flavor. As Gaston, the tenor hero, Marcello Giordani, is first-rate, tender in his soft singing, tossing off ringing high notes in his heroic passages. An excellent performance of an opera well worth hearing. --Dan Davis
A new Giacomo Aragall in an almost forgotten masterpiece?
A. Schelling | The Netherlands | 03/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many people say that there are no longer great Verdi singers left. I think it is only a littebit true, but when I first heard Marcello Giordani, I forget all my scepsis. Here we can hear a great singer which reminds me of no one less than Giacomo Aragall or perhaps a young Jose Carreras. I wanted to give him a five star rating, but the rest of this recording is good to very good, but not outstanding. Mescheriakova has a beautiful voice, but she is not (yet) a Verdi singer. Scandiuzzi is very good and I specially like the chorus. Fabio Luisi, I rate as 'adequate': he doesn't give that warm Verdi feeling. The orchestra plays very well. The last point I want to make is that of the great value of this recording. I posses many legal or barelylegal recordings of Verdi operas, but this is the first of this masterpiece. Buy it!!!!"
Outstanding Earrly Verdi
John G. Gleeson Sr. | Frederic, Mi USA | 11/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jerusalem is a "rewrite" by Verdi of his third opera, I Lombardi. It is an instructional exercise to listen to both operas sequentially, because the composer's growth as a musical dramatist is obvious. The performance is generally excellent: well conducted and well sung. It is frequently said that the recent emphasis on bel canto opera has resulted in a lack of great Verdian voices, and, especially as relates to sopranos and baritones, I tend to agree. But that is nit-picking as far as this album is concerned. It is a totally enjoyable listening experience from start to finish. If you like Verdi, you'll love this recording, and if you are "testing the water" as far as opera goes, this will be an excellent start. Buy and enjoy!"
Paris revision of I Lombardi
John G. Gleeson Sr. | 10/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Before Verdi wrote his two original Paris operas, Les Vepres Sicillienes and Don Carlos, he first tried his hand with this reworking of an earlier Italian opera - I Lombardi. Although BBC Radio 3 have an unreleased recording of Jérusalem from the 80's lurking somewhere in their vaults, this is the first time Verdi's Paris revision of his crusader opera has made it onto disc. The original Italian version was recorded in 1975 by Gavazzeni with Carreras in the lead role and is still available (also on Philips).Comparing the two versions, the later French one has a considerably tighter plot, with a well structured quartet of major roles - crusader count, his daughter, young hero, wicked uncle, and less activity for the chorus than the Italian original. Verdi was so pleased with his revision that he had it translated back into Italian as Gerusalemme and withdrew I Lombardi. The French version's extra length (and extra CD) is partly due to the Parisian grande opéra requirement for a ballet which Verdi inserted, appropriately, in the heroine's harem scene. Anyone wanting to get an idea of the musical difference between I Lombardi and Jérusalem can hear an aria from each on Roberto Alagna's 1998 Verdi Arias disc on EMI.This 2001 recording recieved a mixed welcome in France. Classica rewarded the set a 'recommandé par Classica' and Télérama awarded it 'ffff' (top marks), but Diapason magazine was less impressed. One problem was that the French pronunciation of the mainly foreign cast didn't go down well with the reviewers: "One regrets that the French diction of the cast of Jérusalem, apart from Philippe Rouillon, is deficient and diminishes the success of this rewriting for the Opéra de Paris, in 1847, of I Lombardi."(Renaud Machart in Le Monde). On the other hand, you'd have thought that most people (the critics of Le Monde excepted) would not be too bothered about the way Italians sing French, and the Russian soprano Marina Mescheriakova compensates very prettily for un-French consonants.Overall if neither the opera nor the recording is the absolute masterpiece that is Pappano and Alagna's EMI recording of the French original of Don Carlos, then it is still pretty good. If you already have the French version of Don Carlos and enjoyed it, you'll almost certainly like this as well."