A lost gem...
Stephen | Melbourne, Australia | 07/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Please do not take notice of the other reviewer. This opera is an absolute gem! Firstly, how can you compare this opera (Verdi's second!!!) with Rigoletto or even his other comic opera Falstaff!!!! You need to take this little opera at face value. There are many similarities between Oberto (Verdi's first) and this opera. The Bellinian cantilena, formal structures, etc. The composer had only just embarked on a career. At the time of composition Rossini was still popular, Donizetti had made his contribution with L'Elxir d'Amore and Don Pasquale/Linda di Chamounix were just around the corner. I must admit the opera lacks the continuous flow, partly because of seperate numbers, although the libretto is fantastic-comical, straight to the point, it was written by Felice Romani!!! The singing in this recording is utterly superb, especially that of Cossotto, her first aria 'Grave a core innamorato' is beautiful, an aria initially brought to light by Caballe in her Verdi Rarities album. Then, to my mind, a utterly infectious Italian duet in Act 2 'Oh me felice appieno...Ah! non sia, mio ben, fallace', simple yet effective, sung beautifully by Norman and Carreras. My only minor reservation, why did Verdi resort to secco recitative in the 1840's!!!! Please don't compare this little opera with the rest of Verdi's output, just by itself. An enjoyable comedy, with a stellar cast and assured direction!!!! Bravo!!!"
Walter P. Sheppard | Arlington, VA United States | 07/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In spite of its obscurity and the way it was treated by the opening night audience, this is no dud. It doesn't show much of what was to come from Verdi, but it can certainly hold its head up very comfortably in the operatic world in which it first appeared. No, it's not dramatic; it's a comedy! It can easily be enjoyed by those who love the comic operas of Rossini and, especially, Donizetti. This is an excellent recording that I've been enjoying for years since its original release. Get it and enjoy!!"
Great to have in the collection, but...
David Cady | Jersey City, NJ USA | 09/10/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Philips, conductor Lamberto Gardelli and a group of superb, dedicated singers (including Caballe, Ramey, Ricciarelli and -- most often -- Carreras) must be commended for bringing so many of Verdi's early works to light. (Some predate "Macbeth," some don't; all predate "Rigoletto.") I have their "Stiffelio," "I Due Foscari" and "Il Corsaro," each of which are as melodically and dramatically rich as anything Verdi ever composed. "Un Giorno di Regno," however, is not. It is his second produced work (immediately prior to "Nabucco") and doesn't even sound like Verdi, which is not in itself the major problem. ("Guillaume Tell" doesn't sound like Rossini, but it's a masterpiece.) Listening, one senses a talented young composer in over his head, trying desperately to come up with interesting musical ideas that will enliven a rickety libretto. Instead, the score is repetitive and overly complicated, with melodies going off in directions you're not expecting them to -- yet actually going nowhere. The fine singers (particularly Jessye Norman) do an admirable job, but the one thing this album proves is that a Verdian dud is just as undistinguished as one composed by second and third-rate composers."