Search - Giuseppe Verdi, James Levine, Luciano Pavarotti :: Verdi - I Lombardi / Anderson, Leech, Pavarotti, Ramey; Levine

Verdi - I Lombardi / Anderson, Leech, Pavarotti, Ramey; Levine
Giuseppe Verdi, James Levine, Luciano Pavarotti
Verdi - I Lombardi / Anderson, Leech, Pavarotti, Ramey; Levine
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #2

I Lombardi, composed on the heels of the big hit Nabucco, has some earmarks of a sequel. Both operas tell a tale of sibling rivalry in the ruling class (sisters in Nabucco, brothers in Lombardi). Both are epic stories o...  more »

     
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I Lombardi, composed on the heels of the big hit Nabucco, has some earmarks of a sequel. Both operas tell a tale of sibling rivalry in the ruling class (sisters in Nabucco, brothers in Lombardi). Both are epic stories of religious-ethnic conflict in the Middle East (in this case, the First Crusade) in which Jerusalem is captured and the chorus plays a prominent role. There is even a chorus, "O Signore," that sounds like an imitation of "Va, pensiero." Like many sequels, it is not quite up to its predecessor, though it has some magnificent moments. James Levine has assembled a first-class cast, he conducts with the energy that this opera demands, and his chorus and orchestra are equal to all its challenges. --Joe McLellan

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CD Reviews

A bel canto Lombardi
Charlus | NYC | 03/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I had a wonderful time listening to DECCA's 1996 recording of I lombardi. Notwithstanding Levine's pedestrian conducting, this is that rarest of occurrences: a bel canto performance of a Verdi score, especially early Verdi.

Pavarotti, well past 60, and Sam Ramey, 57, sing like angels as Oronte and Pagano. Each modulates his voice perfectly and turns phrases with a sustained grace and true feeling for Verdian expansion, without shouting.

I purchased the set for June Anderson's Giselda. She sings here like a Marchesi pupil-getting no help from Levine-and achieves one of her best things on records. Her Act II prayer (Se vano è il pregare) is just about the best Verdi singing from a female of the post-1980 generation. (Not saying much, I know.) Richard Leech, with his crystal-clear voice, is also excellent as Arvino.

How refreshing to hear Verdi's music performed as though it were music, not just barged through in that horrible Toscanini way. Levine tries to barge, allright, but Pavarotti's lordly legato and perfect portamento-phrasing just won't let him. (Too bad Richard Bonynge wasn't the conductor.)


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James Levine offers a new reading of I Lombardi
Dr. Armando R. Trigueiros | 9760 Praia da Vitória, Azores Portugal | 11/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I must admit and confess that this is a good recording of this not to much recorded opera, I Lombardi by Verdi. The recorded sound is of the best quality, the best modern digital sound for this opera. James Levine offers us a reading with drive, straightness and drama, which is his personal new achievement for this opera. But, altough I enjoyd the performance, such fast speed given to the performance does not permit a certain lyricism and elegance in Verdi's melodies,(as in the old and very good Lamberto Gardelli version in the Philips label), in such a way that we fell a certain superficiality in the whole work. The soloists are first rate: the aged Pavarotti is good, but not to expressive; June Anderson has beautifull color of voice, but could give much more of herself if the tempos were a little bit slower. However Samuel Ramey is the singer that seems not to be afected by the tempos Levine adopts, and sings with drama and deepness. Anyway, this is surely the best modern digital version of I Lombardi by Giuseppe Verdi."
The best "I Lombardi alla prima crociata"
Dr. Armando R. Trigueiros | 07/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Pavarotti was 61 when he did this recording, but he is lways very good, and the best tenor Verdi could have for this role. Anderson has some problems in some places of the opera, but she has a very beautiful voice and she is even very dramatic. Ramey sings very well and his voice is marvellous. Leech sings the role with an inusual strenght and with many passages to remeber.Levine conducts as only he can do, and I mean with energy and passion. The Gavazzeni set is very good too, but for a studio recording of the opera with an incredible beautiful sound go for it."