Friday, June 9, 2017

Giuseppe Verdi - Overtures & Preludes (Herbert von Karajan)


Composer: Giuseppe Verdi

  1. Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio: Overture (Sinfonia)
  2. Un giorno di regno: "Il finto Stanislao" - Overture
  3. Nabucco: Overture
  4. Ernani: Overture (Preludio)
  5. Giovanna d'Arco: Overture
  6. Alzira: Overture (Sinfonia)
  7. Attila: Preludio
  8. I Masnadieri: Overture (Preludio)
  9. Macbeth: Overture (Preludio)
  10. Il Corsaro: Overture
  1. La battaglia di Legnano: Overture
  2. Luisa Miller: Overture
  3. Rigoletto: Preludio
  4. La traviata: Act 1 - Preludio
  5. I vespri siciliani: Overture
  6. Aroldo: Sinfonia
  7. Un ballo in maschera: Act 2 - Preludio
  8. La forza del destino: Overture (Sinfonia)
  9. Aida: Preludio

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan, conductor
Date: 1975
Label: Deutsche Grammophon



Karajan was one of the most adaptable and sensitive of dramatic conductors. His repertoire in the theatre was extraordinarily wide, and he was at home equally in Verdi, Wagner, Richard Strauss and Puccini. In this celebrated 1975 collection of Verdi’s overtures, he gives us some fine insights into the composer’s skill as an orchestrator, dramatist and poet. Though Karajan had only recorded Aida complete, his dramatic instincts bring some fine performances of the lesser-known preludes. The earliest, Nabucco from 1842 (the collection is arranged chronologically), already shows a master craftsman at work, with a slow introduction promising much. La traviata shows a quite different skill – the delicate creation of a sensitive poet working in filigree. The final four preludes are great works fully worthy of this individual presentation. Even the lesser-known preludes are enhanced by Karajan’s dramatic instincts. Good recordings, though less than outstanding.

-- James McCarthy, Gramophone

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Giuseppe Verdi (9 or 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian composer of operas. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him, becoming one of the pre-eminent opera composers of the late nineteenth century. His operas remain extremely popular, especially the three peaks of his 'middle period': Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata, and the bicentenary of his birth in 2013 was widely celebrated in broadcasts and performances.


Herbert von Karajan (5 April 1908 – 16 July 1989) was an Austrian conductor. He was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century. He made a large number of recordings and was the top-selling classical music recording artist of all time, having sold an estimated 200 million records. He was admired and also criticized for his over polished sound of the orchestras he conducted.


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