Dallapiccola - Il Prigioniero
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Label: Australian Eloquence
Cat No: ELQ4808781
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 9th March 2015
University of Maryland Chorus
Washington National Symphony Orchestra
Antal Dorati's pioneering performance of this work, recorded in 1974 as part of Decca's pioneering 'Headline' series, was the opera's first studio recording and here receives its first release on CD.
‘Il prigioniero’ (The Prisoner), an opera in a prologue and one act, with both music and libretto written by Luigi Dallapiccola, was first broadcast by the Italian radio station RAI on 1 December 1949. The work is based on the short story La torture par l'espérance ('Torture by Hope') by the French writer Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam and from La Légende d'Ulenspiegel et de Lamme Goedzak by Charles de Coster.
‘Il Prigioniero’ is scored for a large orchestra, with choruses, organ and a group of brass and bells behind the scenes, but this orchestra is used economically. There are many passages which are assigned to solo instruments, arranged so as to give the impression of a chamber ensemble, particularly in places where the words are especially important. Set in Spain during the Inquisition, ‘Il prigioniero’ clearly has bearing on modern totalitarian methods of police cruelty.
- Maurizio Mazzieri (The Prisoner)
- Giulia Barrera (The Mother)
- Romano Emili (The Jailer/The Grand inquisitor)
- Gabor Carelli, Ray Harrell (Priests)
“Maurizio Mazzieri sings the title role persuasively. This valuable record of an important opera is chiefly worthwhile thanks to the powerful interpretation of the conductor Antal Dorati who conveys its incidental moods within the total context of persecution. The Decca recording is spacious and savoury but not too rich.” - Gramophone, May 1975
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