Verdi - Un ballo in maschera
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Label: Orfeo - Orfeo d'Or
Cat No: C907162I
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 1st April 2016
Franco De Grandis
Orchester und Chor der Wiener Staatsoper
As in the studio recording with Pavarotti and Solti, the role of Amelia was sung by Margaret Price on the opening night of this production. In the second performance, the then 25-year-old Gabriele Lechner had to stand in for her – and she did so not just with an overwhelming, fiery, youthful vigour, but also with astonishing luminosity and conviction. Just listen to the opening of the second act when Amelia waits fearfully for her beloved Riccardo alone at night – and then finally meets him. It’s rare to experience such a truthful performance as this. But the Russian mezzosoprano Ludmila Semtschuk as the fortune-teller Ulrica is also beguiling with her passion and profound depth. Piero Cappuccilli had been well known to the Vienna audience for decades. He too is unmistakeable in his timbre and his art of musical characterisation. Like many famous Verdi baritones he was not free of vanity, but this has no adverse impact on his performance as the jealous husband of Amelia and the friend of Riccardo. Claudio Abbado had been the new music director of the State Opera since the autumn of 1986. He had given his highly successful debut there just two years earlier. As ever – and not just with Verdi – Abbado is convincing here in his insistence on a lean, sinewy, tense performance from the Vienna Philharmonic, and this is wholly in the interests of the musical drama.
- Gustavo III: Luciano Pavarotti
- Renato: Piero Cappuccilli
- Amelia: Gabriele Lechner
- Ulrica: Ludmila Semtschuk
- Oscar: Magda Nádor
- Cristiano: Georg Tichy
- Horn: Franco De Grandis
- Ribbing: Goran Simic
- A judge: Alexander Maly
- A servant: Franz Kasemann
Recorded live at the Vienna State Opera, 26 October 1986
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