Dallapiccola - Il prigioniero, Choral Works | Chandos CHSA5276

Dallapiccola - Il prigioniero, Choral Works

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Label: Chandos

Cat No: CHSA5276

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 3rd July 2020



Anna Maria Chiuri (mezzo-soprano)
Stephan Rugamer (tenor)
Michael Nagy (baritone)
Danish National Concert Choir
Danish National Symphony Orchestra


Gianandrea Noseda


Dallapiccola, Luigi

Cori (2) di Michelangelo Buonarroti il giovane
Estate (Summer) for men's chorus
Il prigioniero (The Prisoner)


Anna Maria Chiuri (mezzo-soprano)
Stephan Rugamer (tenor)
Michael Nagy (baritone)
Danish National Concert Choir
Danish National Symphony Orchestra


Gianandrea Noseda


Gianandrea Noseda continues his series of recordings of the works of Luigi Dallapiccola, this time with his Danish forces. Seen by many as Dallapiccola’s masterpiece, Il prigioniero (The Prisoner) is a one-act opera composed in the late 1940s, and premiered (in a radio broadcast) in 1949. The Italian composer had first encountered serialism as a student in Florence in the 1920s, when Schoenberg visited to conduct Pierrot lunaire. The influence was profound, although it would take two decades before it demonstrated itself fully in his composition.

Based primarily on a short story, ‘La Torture par l’espérance’ (Torture by Hope), by the French writer Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, the opera concerns a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition who finds the door of his cell unlocked and creeps out under the cover of darkness to the garden beyond. Hope rises to the level of ecstasy, before he finds himself embraced in the Garden by the Inquisitor, who returns him to his cell. Dallapiccola employs three twelve-note tone rows in the work, which he named ‘Prayer’, ‘Hope’, and ‘Freedom’, from which all the vocal lines are created.

The album is completed by three choral works: Estate, written in 1932 for male chorus, and two settings from 1933 of poems by Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger for mixed voice chorus.

‘...this is an important and welcome addition to the slender Dallapiccola discography’ – BBC Music (CHAN10561)

‘...their graceful lyricism is powerfully captured by Noseda’s immaculately shaped phrases’ – Classic FM Magazine (CHAN10561)

‘Gianandrea Noseda understands the musical lyrical strength and fragile soundworld perfectly...’ – The Guardian (CHAN10258)

‘Noseda’s affection for the music is evident throughout’ – BBC Music (CHAN10258)

- The Mother: Anna Maria Chiuri (mezzo-soprano)
- The Prisoner: Michael Nagy (baritone)
- The Jailer, The Grand Inquisitor: Stephan Rügamer (tenor)
- First priest: Adam Riis (tenor)
- Second priest: Steffen Bruun (bass)


Noseda’s performance is nothing if not formidable.  ... the horrifying momentum with which the narrative unfolds is heightened by the wealth of ambivalent detail uncovered during its course. ... Michael Nagy makes a fine, subtle Prisoner, taking us with him every step of the way on his harrowing emotional and intellectual journey. ... It’s an outstanding, essential album, every second of it.  Tim Ashley (Recording of the Month)
Gramophone August 2020
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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