Search - Gaetano Donizetti, Giuseppe Verdi, Oliviero de Fabritiis :: Verdi: I due Foscari

Verdi: I due Foscari
Gaetano Donizetti, Giuseppe Verdi, Oliviero de Fabritiis
Verdi: I due Foscari
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (29) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #2


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(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm in love with Venice, I like history and lord Byron and I adore Leyla Gencer, that's true. And yet, even if you don't appreciate too much early Verdi's operas and you are not particularly fond of historic tragedies, you should buy this item.
"The Two Foscari" is based upon real tragic episod from Venetian history - in 1457 the doge Francesco Foscari before being deposed lost his son Jacopo who was exiled for ever from Venice and died soon after it on the way to Crete. Lord Byron wrote a historic tragedy and young Verdi an excellent opera with truly inspired music from the beginning to the end. Even if Verdi himself underestimated his work considering it "un mortorio" ( a funeral ), I think it's one of those forgotten operas which definitely deserves to be still performed.
On New Year's Eve 1957 in Venice Gian Giacomo Guelfi found the role of his life. From his first words "Eccomi solo alfine.." to the deeply moving final aria "Questa dunque e l'iniqua mercede" he simply IS Francesco Foscary face to face with his tragic destiny. Leyla Gencer was ideal choice for Lucrezia Contarini: her outbursts of fury as for example "La clemenza ? ...s'aggiunge lo scherno!" already announce the future Lady Macbeth and Paccini's Saffo and her hauntingly-sweeet pianissimi are as always to die for. Mirto Picchi was never not one of the best tenors on Earth but in 1957 he was definitely very decent Jacopo Foscari.

Strange choice of music for New Year's Eve perhaps, but very venetian. I'm sure this performance is still part of the memories of La Fenice."
Underrated opera, soprano and baritone
Filippo Secondo | 12/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"An opera staged in the city of its setting is something special. Though the cast of this 1957 Venetian production (on New Year's Eve!) includes singers that are now largely forgotten, the whole performance is anything but forgettable. Record companies must have been deaf when they ignored Leyla Gencer, and I'm sick of hearing the same old story with the silly excuse that she was unfortunate in being a contemporary of Callas and Tebaldi (who eclipsed her, Stella, Tucci, etc): a soprano of high calibre and with strong feeling for both the music and drama, Gencer gives a most affecting portrayal of Lucrezia Contarini. The Doge is sung by the little-known Gian Giacomo Guelfi, no less memorable than Cappuccilli and Bruson (THE Foscaris of the '70s and '80s). Only Mirto Picchi (Jacopo) doesn't match his colleagues: a tenorish timbre not being heroic enough, his singing is only fair. The conductor is Tullio Serafin: his tempi are slightly leisurely, but he draws lovely sounds from the orchestra that you may not hear on other recordings of this opera. The sound is good: the voices and orchestra are well balanced. Standard cuts are observed. The bonus features highlights (the sound is inferior to FOSCARI) from Gencer's superb LUCIA, which she sang nearly three weeks earlier in Trieste (again with an obscure cast). Get this if FOSCARI is one of your favourite operas, or if you're simply curious about neglected beautiful voices."
Constantin Declercq | 07/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Little known opera but three excellent singers. Worth discovering.
Sixième opéra de Verdi (il avait une trentaine d'années), «I due Foscari» est un de ces fameux opéras de jeunesse dont on ne sait jamais d'avance s'ils méritent qu'on s'y intéresse. Il y a donc peu d'enregistrements disponibles et comme souvent dans ce cas-là Leyla Gencer est fidèle au poste -et avec brio ! Cet enregistrement datant d'une représentation pour la Saint Sylvestre 1957 est dirigé par Tullio Serafin qui articule son orchestration autour des trois voix. Mirto Picchi est un Jacopo d'une admirable noblesse, Giangiacomo Guelfi un Francesco sombre et poignant (peut-être le plus grand succès de sa carrière) et Leyla Gencer une Lucrezia admirable qui n'évite aucun des écueils de la partition.
L'opéra dure 1 heure 45, ce qui est la durée normale de l'opéra, Verdi aimant la concision surtout à cette époque. À cela, Myto a rajouté 40 minutes d'extraits de Gencer chantant «Lucia de Lamermoor» (1957).
Il existe un autre enregistrement intéressant de cet opéra, celui de Giulini de 1951 avec un Bergonzi époustouflant. Malheureusement Guelfi, âgé de 27 ans, est encore trop jeune (il a fait ses débuts en 1950 et ses débuts scaligères en 1952). Maria Vitale a une très belle voix même si elle est moins expressive que Gencer. L'enregistrement le plus courant (chez Aura music) donne le texte du livret (sauf bizarrement l'air d'entrée de Lucrezia) mais on doit se contenter d'un deuxième cd de 25 minutes seulement, ce qui est en gros la durée normale de l'acte III comme sur les autres enregistrements, mais il y avait quand même de la place pour autre chose...
L'enregistrement de 1977 est à éviter : le chef Gardelli est sans intérêt, José Carreras gâche son beau timbre en étant de bout en bout écorché vif et Ricciarelli n'a aucune personnalité."