Search - Verdi, Domingo, Freni :: Ernani

Verdi, Domingo, Freni
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #3

This performance was taped before an audience, with the non-musical noises usually heard in such situations, but also with the kind of excitement and momentum that can get lost in a studio atmosphere. It is a great perf...  more »


CD Details

All Artists: Verdi, Domingo, Freni, Ghiaurov, Muti
Title: Ernani
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Angel Records
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genre: Classical
Style: Opera & Classical Vocal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 077774708227

This performance was taped before an audience, with the non-musical noises usually heard in such situations, but also with the kind of excitement and momentum that can get lost in a studio atmosphere. It is a great performance, with a star cast that works well both together and as individuals, though Mirella Freni is not ideally cast. Much of the credit for the performance's cohesiveness and impact goes to Riccardo Muti, who not only sees the opera as a seamless whole (not easy) but maintains a fine balance and proportion. The La Scala Chorus and Orchestra live up to their exalted reputation. --Joe McLellan

CD Reviews

Favourite Ernani due to balanced cast
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My favourite recording of Ernani, slightly finishing before the RCA release with Bergonzi, Price, Sereni under Thomas Schippers. Recorded during a live performance in the Scala in 1982. Although Bergonzi and Price are wonderful, the total casts in this Muti version is better balanced. To my opinion Renato Bruson as Don Carlo is the absolute star of this recording (listen to the third act). Nearly as good is Nicolai Ghiaurov as De Silva. Although I'm not a big Domingo fan myself and in 1982 his best years from the seventies were over already, his Ernani on this recording is outstanding; seldom he is heard so involved. Freni is a satisfying Elvira. Maestro Muti's conducting this time is engaged and driven again, as we know him for instance from his Aida. It keeps a strange thing that the level of Muti's conducting is so variable; sometimes very uninterested and flat as it seems (like in La Forza under EMI), while on other moments, like this Ernani, he directs the stars from heaven. The only remark in comparison to the Schippers, RCA performance is the relatively high price for the three (!) CD's. Despite that; I do think they are still worth every penny and may not be missed in a serious Verdi collection."
Three men... just one Woman
Carlos Fuentes y Espinosa | Mexicos city, Mexico | 07/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of the Verdi's earliets works, and it's wonderful. It's based upon Victor Hugo's romantic famous novel. Three men are in love with Doña Elvira.
Ernani, a rebel nobleman ( Domingo ), Don Carlos, king of Spain ( Bruson ), and Duke Ruy Gómez de Silva, a spanish grandee
( great Ghiuarov ). However, Elvira ( M. Freni ) loves only Ernani. It's an astounding story full of intensity about love, revenge, ambitiousness, and tragic facts. This is a live performance from La Scala, 1982 under Mutti who conducts correctly in Verdi's original style. Mirella Freni has been a good soprano, and she shows why here. Domingo's Ernani is dramatically solid. Bruson has a charming obscure voice which is made for Verdi's roles. His Carlo is delightfully sung. Nicolai Ghiuarov sings an amazing Silva. His superb and powerful bass voice gives us a strong performance. Therefore, we can hear it knowing that we're going to have a nice time.
Nevertheless, This is the second version by Verdi ( standar ) who took off two arias he had composed to the great Ivanoff because Rossini had paid for them. When Rossini died, Verdi made some changes in the second act: a final duet instead of those arias."
Ernani: An Early Verdi Hit Sung by Verdi Masters
Rudy Avila | Lennox, Ca United States | 09/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Verdi's early opera Ernani is set in 17th century Spain and deals with the private passions and public lives of royal figures. It is an early, undeveloped predecessor for his later similar operas like Don Carlos and Simon Boccanegra. This 80's recording is blessed with a fine cast who have in their careers performed Verdi vehicles with great acclaim: Placido Domingo as Ernani, Mirella Freni as his love interest Elvira and Russian bass Nicolai Ghiurov as the King of Spain. Mirella Freni and Placido Doming sounded beautiful together and performed successful performances - Faust, Manon Lescaut, Madame Butterfly, Tosca and Fedora among others. This is a well-executed operatic performance, conducted by Riccardo Muti with full attention to all the radiant passages in the score.

Placido Domingo is an expert Verdi tenor, and he has himself claimed that Verdi has helped his career more than any other composer's repertoire. He has proven time and again that his voice was tailor made for the richness and bravura of such heroes as Alfredo, Manrico, Radames, Otello and in this recording, Ernani. He has also sung Nabucco, Fedora and other Verdi heroes. Simultaneously, Mirella Freni is a fine interpretor of Verdi heroines. While hers is a relatively light lyric voice, it is sharp, flexible, dramatic and sumptuous. Her chest voice is also decent. She has had strong performances as ingenue heroines, namely Marguerite in Faust, Juliette in Romeo et Juliette by Gounod, Madame Butterfly, Mimi in Boheme, Massenet's Manon, Violetta in Traviata, Tatiana in Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades, Elisabeth in Don Carlos and even Tosca, in which she pushed her voice for more dramatic effect. As Elvira, she is classy and noble and sung beautifully. Nicolai Ghiurov became her husband in the 90's and he taught her to sing Russian repertoire. Ghiurov and Freni also sing with fine chemistry. He has a devilish quality to his voice, darker and deeper and more menacing than even Samuel Ramey, who can even produce healing sounds with his voice. Ghiurov is doing a terrific job here and his fans will want to purchase this recording too since his recordings are scarce when compared to the plentiful performances by both Mirella Freni and especially Placido Domingo who is everywhere in opera."