Various uprisings are taking place on the Italian peninsula, including the papal states. Pope Gregory XVI is opposed to democracy at any level and calls for help from Austria. Austria's army marches across the peninsula, crushing revolts and revolutionary movements • In Warsaw, Polish soldiers revolt against Russian rule. Crowds take control of the city. Austria and Prussia want the revolt crushed • Freedom for the Poles is a popular cause in Britain and in France, but little help arrives and Nicholas I, who considers himself both the Tsar of Russia and King of Poland, sends troops that overwhelm the rebellion • In England, parliament's lower body, the House of Commons, passes a reform bill. Britain's new Prime Minister, Earl Grey, wants to end undue representation to towns that have shrunk (rotten boroughs) and to give Britain's growing industrial towns representation in the House of Commons. The bill is defeated in the House of Lords, dominated by aristocratic conservatives. Rioting erupts in various cities, most seriously in Bristol from April 15 to May 4 • A severe flood and plague devastate Baghdad. Mumeluke rule ends there as Mahmud II, sultan, reasserts Ottoman control over Mesopotamia • Charles Darwin, 22, has completed his B.A. at Cambridge and sails as an unpaid naturalist on the H.M.S. Beagle to South America, New Zealand and Australia • In Boston, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrisons begins publishing an anti-slavery newspaper, The Liberator • In Jamaica, a black Baptist deacon, Sam Sharpe, has gathered from the Bible that all men are created equal. He has learned from newspapers that people in England want an end to slavery. He organizes a sit-down strike timed for the harvest. Local planters move to crush the revolt and a group of slaves become violent, set fire to buildings and to cane fields. The planters crush the rebellion and hang Sam Sharpe • In America, Cyrus McCormick invents the reaper-harvester. making it possible to harvest at three times the previous speed
Egypt takes advantage of Russia's defeat of the Ottoman Turks and declares independence • The Whigs acquire more power momentarily. They are largely aristocrats with liberal leanings. They want to make Britain's political system fairer and to placate working people without giving in to all their demands. The Great Reform Act, denied in 1831, is passed into law • In Illinois, a state since 1818, the Fox Indians, led by Black Hawk, are defeated militarily. In his surrender speech Black Hawk acknowledges defeat. He says he has done nothing shameful
Carl von Clausewitz' On War (vom Kriege) is published two years after his death. Clausewitz saw violence as the only proper defense against the violence of others, and he saw war as a political act for political goals • In Japan, too much rain produces crop failures and what is called the Tempo famine. (The previous famine in Japan was around fifty years before.) Prosperity comes to a temporary end. The famine is to last three years and an estimated 300,000 are to die • Karl Bryullov – The Last Day of Pompeii
Britain's Abolition Slavery Act goes into effect, with the British government prepared to compensate financially those who lose slaves. In Canada many slaves had been freed years before. The remaining 781,000 slaves are freed, but no claims for receiving financial compensation are submitted • The Queen Mother, Maria Christina, fourth wife of Ferdinand VII, who died in 1833, officially ends Spain's Inquisition
In Britain, vaccination becomes mandatory • Britain and Spain renew agreement against the slave trade. British sea captains are authorized to arrest suspected Spanish slavers and bring them before mixed commissions established at Sierra Leone and Havana. Vessels carrying specified "equipment articles" (extra mess gear, lumber, foodstuffs) are declared prima-facie to be slavers • In the southern states of the United States, abolitionists are expelled and mailing anti-slavery literature is forbidden • Steamships appear on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers • Samuel Colt of Connecticut receives a patent for his revolver in Europe • Balzac (France) - Le Père Goriot
Honoré de Balzac (20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. The novel sequence La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of post-Napoleonic French life, is generally viewed as his magnum opus.
Felix Mendelssohn : Piano Concerto No. 1, Opus 25; Die erste Walpurgisnacht, secular cantata, Opus 60
Mendelssohns - Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor (op. 25)
Molto allegro con fuoco in G minor
Andante in E major
Presto—Molto allegro e vivace in G major
Kurt Masur (direction)
Yuja Wang (piano)
Verbier Festival Orchestra
Mendelssohn: Die erste Walpurgisnacht
I. »Es lacht der Mai« – »Die Flamme lodre durch den Rauch« ∙
II. »Könnt ihr so verwegen handeln?« ∙
III. »Wer Opfer heut' zu bringen scheut« ∙
IV. »Verteilt euch hier« ∙
V. »Diese dumpfen Pfaffenchristen« – »Kommet mit Zacken und mit Gabeln« ∙
VI. »Kommt mit Zacken und mit Gabeln« ∙
VII. »So weit gebracht« ∙
VIII. »Hilf, ach hilf mir, Kriegsgeselle« ∙
IX. »Die Flamme reinigt sich vom Rauch« ∙
hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra) ∙
Sonja Leutwyler, Alt ∙
Maximilian Schmitt, Tenor ∙
Adrian Eröd, Bariton ∙
Markus Volpert, Bass ∙
MDR Rundfunkchor ∙
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Dirigent ∙
Rheingau Musik Festival 2014 ∙
Kloster Eberbach, 22. August 2014 ∙
Vincenzo Bellini - La Sonnambula
La sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) is an opera semiseria in two acts, with music in the bel canto tradition by Vincenzo Bellini set to an Italian libretto by Felice Romani, based on a scenario for a ballet-pantomime written by Eugène Scribe and choreographed by Jean-Pierre Aumer called La somnambule, ou L'arrivée d'un nouveau seigneur.
Louis Joseph Ferdinand Herold – Zampa
Ferdinand Hérold - Overture "Zampa"
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier
Zampa, a pirate tenor
Alphonse de Monza tenor
Camille, Alphonse's fiancée soprano
The young Count of Monza, having dissipated the family fortune and seduced then deserted Alice Manfredi, went off to sea to become a pirate. He adopted the name Zampa. Alice Manfredi, roaming in search of her treacherous lover, was taken in and sheltered by Lugano, a wealthy merchant. Alice died shortly thereafter, of a broken heart; and Lugano caused a marble statue of her to be erected in his palace. This statue is venerated by the local people as a saint.
Camille, Lugano's daughter, is preparing to marry Alphonse, the younger son of the Monza family, who has never met his elder brother. Just then, by the sort of coincidence beloved of opera librettists, Zampa arrives on the scene, in disguise. He is thought by everyone to be in prison awaiting execution; but in reality he has escaped, and he has just captured Lugano. Now he has arrived at the palace to demand a ransom for Lugano's release.
Zampa is smitten by Camille's beauty and so, in addition, he demands her for himself as the price for Lugano's life. In order to save her father, Camille is thus forced to break her engagement to Alphonse, who is removed from the scene when he, too, is captured by the pirates. Zampa is then joined by his pirates. They take possession of the palace and order Dandolo, the castle steward, to prepare rooms and bring wine for them all. During the ensuing feast Daniel, Zampa' s first mate, notices the statue of Alice. For a joke, Zampa places a ring on the marble Alice's finger and declares her his fiancée for the night. However, when he tries to remove the ring, the statue's hand closes — to the terror of all except Zampa.
The following day, Zampa is leading Camille to the altar when — on the very threshold of the chapel — the statue of Alice appears and threatens Zampa. Again, Zampa refuses to be alarmed by the statue. Now Camille's companion Ritta comes on the scene; she is perplexed about two things: first, that Camille is, although apparently unwillingly, about to marry a stranger; and second, that neither the bride's father Lugano nor Alphonse are there. Then Ritta spots Daniel, her supposedly dead husband; this places her in a quandary, because the (much more attractive prospect) Dandolo has been courting her.
The comic sub-plot of this trio continues to weave its way through the rest of the story. Alphonse appears, having made good his escape from the pirates, and recognises Zampa as the pirate chief. As he is in the throes of denouncing Zampa to the assembled company, a pardon arrives from the viceroy: Zampa is to be given his freedom on condition that he and his men go to fight the Turks. All this notwithstanding, the ceremony goes ahead: Zampa and the heartbroken Camille are married.
In despair, Alphonse comes at night to bid farewell to the desolate Camille. Alphonse decides to kill Zampa, but he suddenly realizes that Zampa is in fact his long-lost elder brother, and that consequently he is unable to kill him. He leaves Camille' s room.
Zampa and Camille are finally alone together. However, in the final fatal twist of the story, just as Zampa goes to take Camille in his arms, the statue of Alice Manfredi appears again between the couple, and drags Zampa down to hell. (This aspect of the plot is clearly a pastiche of the plot of Mozart's Don Giovanni, and also bears striking similarity to Merimee's La Vénus d'Ille.)
Giacomo Meyerbeer – Robert le diable
Robert le diable (Robert the Devil) is an opera in five acts composed by Giacomo Meyerbeer from a libretto written by Eugène Scribe and Germain Delavigne. Robert le diable is regarded as one of the first grand operas at the Paris Opéra. It has only a superficial connection to the medieval legend of Robert the Devil.
Vincenzo Bellini - Norma
Norma is a tragedia lirica or opera in two acts by Vincenzo Bellini with libretto by Felice Romani after Norma, ou L'infanticide (Norma, or The Infanticide) by Alexandre Soumet. It was first produced at La Scala in Milan on 26 December 1831.
Albert Lortzing – Singspiel Szenen aus Mozarts Leben, with music selected from the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Albert Lortzing: Szenen aus Mozarts Leben - Freundschaft und Liebe
Scenes uit Mozarts leven. Muziektheatervoorstelling van maart 2015 theater Geert Teis. Dirigent: Pim de Koning. regie: Hans Elbersen m.m.v. Wyanda Yap, Alina de Roo, Jan Hofman, Johan Kleinheerenbrink.
Basz de Jonge als Mozart.
Vertaling en bewerking: Nico Vloothuis
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Sprechrolle
Constanze, seine Gattin - Sopran
Aloysia Lange, ihre Schwester, Sängerin - Alt
Leopold Mozart, Mozarts Vater - Sprechrolle
Joseph Haydn - Sprechrolle
Baron van Swieten - Sprechrolle
Antonio Salieri, Komponist - Bariton
Anton Stadler, Hofmusiker - Sprechrolle
Georg Albrechtsberger, ein Freund Mozarts - Baß
Valentin Adamberger, ein weiterer Freund - Tenor
Fräulein Cavaglieri, Sängerin - Sprechrolle
Dauer, ein Sänger, Salieris Freund - Sprechrolle
Ein Stubenmädchen - Sprechrolle
Charles-Valentin Alkan – Concerti da Camera nos. 1 and 2, Op. 10
Charles-Valentin Alkan - 3 Concerti da camera Op. 10
(00:10) Concerto da camera Op. 10/1 in A minor was premiered in Paris on 29 April 1832
(14:33) The second Concerto da camera in C sharp minor was composed for Henry Field of Bath. Dedicated to the same individual, he performed it in Bath on 11 April 1834.
(22:09) Third Concerto da camera, the first performance of which was announced for the concert in Paris on 3 March 1838.
Richard Wagner – Symphony in C; Die Hochzeit- komplettes Fragment
Richard Wagner - Symphony in C major
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra - Heinz Rögner
Wagner - Die Hochzeit - komplettes Fragment (Chor, Rezitativ, Septett)
Die Hochzeit (The Wedding) is an unfinished opera by Richard Wagner which predates his completed works in the genre. Wagner completed the libretto, then started composing the music in the second half of 1832 when he was just nineteen. He abandoned the project after his sister Rosalie, who was the main supporter and the spokesman of the family, expressed her disgust at the story. Wagner destroyed the libretto.
12 January Gaetano Donizetti – Fausta
Fausta is a melodramma, or opera seria, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was partly written by Domenico Gilardoni, who died while doing so: the remainder was written by Donizetti. The literary source of the opera's libretto is Crispo, a tragedy improvised by Tommaso Sgricci on 3 November 1827.
The opera successfully debuted on 12 January 1832 at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples
Gaetano Donizetti - Fausta
Fausta, Raina Kabaivanska
Costantino il Grande, Renato Bruson
Crispo, Giuseppe Giacomini
Massimiano, Luigi Roni
Licinia, Ambra Vespasiani
Albino, Tullio Pan
Conductor, Daniel Oren
Orchestra, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma
Chorus, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, 1981
Time: 326 A.D.
Scene 1: The Capitol Square, with the Temple of Jupiter in the background
The populace welcomes the return of victorious Crispus, son of Emperor Constantine and his first wife Minervina. A high priest by the altar is waiting to crown Crispus who has been successful in his campaign against the Gauls. Fausta, the second wife of Constantine, and her father Maximian (archrival of the Emperor), as well as Licinia, Constantine himself and scores of prisoners witness the triumph of Crispus. Fausta looks at him and feels the pangs of her incestuous love; Constantine rejoices and Beroe, one the prisoners, remembers her love at first sight for Crispus. Constantine notices her and wonders about the female prisoner; Crispus explains that she is the daughter of a prince and declares his love for her. Fausta is stunned by the development and the Emperor tells Beroe to come forward; she declares her love and Constantine tells her that he is going to marry them that very day. Fausta is devastated by the announcement and tells her husband that the wedding will have to be set for the following day because the goddess Vesta so requires. Licinia and those attending the event rejoice. After the jubilation, everyone leaves except Maximian who is conspiring against the Emperor, and although he failed his first attempt to kill both father and son, this time he is sure he will succeed.
Scene 2: The magnificent imperial apartments
The Empress’ maids wonder why she no longer smiles. Fausta, in deep thought, is depressed and asks the servants and Licinia to leave. Alone, Fausta is perturbed by her unrequited love for Crispus and she feels that her only rewards are tears and endless despair.
Scenes 3, 4, 5, and 6: The pavilion
Licinia accompanies Crispus to the pavilion where Fausta is planning to meet him. After arriving, she ensures that no one is in sight and tells her stepson that she has to unveil a secret that has caused her great distress. It is no state secret, but her love for someone.
Unexpected, Beroe arrives much to the delight of her lover, Fausta shudders, and explains to the Empress that Maximian needs to see her. Fausta tells her rival to leave. When they are alone again she implores Crispus to forget Beroe and to direct his love to someone who is really passionately devoted to him. He begins to understand what she means by a secret and is horrified by her revelation; he tries to leave, but she grabs his hand and tells him that if he rejects her, Beroe will perish. He falls on his knees and begs her not to do that.
Constantine, Beroe, Maximian, members of the imperial household, Licinia and the maids arrive. The Emperor is suspicious seeing the son prostrated before his wife. When she explains that he was professing his love for her, all are aghast and even Beroe believes he is guilty. The Empress whisper to Crispus that she is willing to recant and die if he loves her. Maximian is overjoyed because the turn of events is very favourable to his plans to topple Constantine who is determined to exile the son. Crispus, in turn, blames Fausta for the curse the father has cast on him; she begins to see the early signs of the great tragedy she has unleashed.
Scenes 1, 2, 3 and 4: A grove close to the imperial palace
It is night. Maximinian, who dreams to become Emperor before sunrise, has summoned his followers to murder both Crispus and Constantine.
While Maximinian and his men prepare to leave, Crispus and Beroe arrive. The former captive princess explains that Licinia has confessed to Fausta’s machinations. Maximian suspects there are other people in the grove and, when he bumps into Crispus, both become very suspicious of each other and brandish their swords.
Holding torches, Maximian’s followers, along with Constantine, appear. Seeing him with his greatest enemy, the Emperor declares that his son is plotting to get rid of him. Crispus kneels at his feet saying that he is ready to die. He professes his innocence on all accusations. The father responds that the judges and the Senate will decide his fate. Crispus is arrested and carried away by the pretorians.
At dawn, Beroe and Licinia talk about the impending trial that will sentence Crispus to death.
Scenes 5 and 6: The Senate Hall
The senators have gathered and the Emperor arrives escorted by his guards. Constantine realizes he still has deep feelings for his son and warns Maximian to give a factual deposition. However, during his narration he alleges that Crispus was planning to kill the Emperor. Crispus responds that this is a lie and asks Beroe to tell the facts. She explains that Crispus is innocent and that she is ready to be exiled with him, the truth being that Maximian and his assassins were ready to kill both father and son. Crispus confirms this explanation, but the father tells the senators to remember what had just been said. Constantine wants to speak to Crispus and all are asked to leave, but although he professes love for the son, when he sees no tears coming from the eyes of Crispus he remains convinced that the son is guilty. Crispus responds that an innocent person has no tears. The senators are summoned back to the hall and deliver a guilty verdict. Constantine realizes that he is about to send his son to the executioner and, trembling, he signs the death warrant.
Scenes 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11: The atrium of the jail
Jailer Albino feels very sorry for the 20-year-old Crispus. Fausta enters and asks him to bring her stepson; she realizes that this is her last chance. Crispus cannot believe his eyes and ears as she professes love for him in a desperate delirium. Fausta tells him that they can run away, but he shows her the poison inside his ring. She snatches the ring and utters "Love will save you."
Maximian and four armed guards arrive. Fausta is ordered to leave, but she resists and begs the father not to execute Crispus. One of the guards returns from Crispus’ cell and confirms that the execution has been carried out. Fausta ingests the poison from the ring and collapses, Maximian rushes to the cell and hears voices calling for his own death.
Constantine has heard the truth from Maximian’s hitmen and arrives with Beroe, Licinia, the Empress’s maids and his pretorians. In his hand is the signed pardon for his son, but Maximian proudly and cynically confirms that his son is dead. Meanwhile Fausta has regained some of her strength and tells Constantine about her lies. When the infuriated Emperor remonstrates that she will pay the ultimate price, she confesses that she has taken a deadly poison. Everyone is horrified and in unison respond, "Evil woman; there is no bigger monster than you on earth."
Première of Felix Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture is held in London.
Felix Mendelssohn - Hebrides Overture (Fingal's Cave), Op. 26
London Symphony Orchestra - Claudio Abbado
Fromental Halévy – La tentation
La tentation is a "ballet-opera", a hybrid work in which both singers and dancers play major roles. It was premiered in 1832 in its original five-act form by the Paris Opéra at the Salle Le Peletier. Most of the music was by Fromental Halévy, and the libretto was by Edmond Cavé and Henri Duponchel.
Fromental Halévy - Quadrille sur la Tentation
An oriental desert close to a hermitage
The hermit prays to free himself from temptation; he is apparently struck dead by lightning when lusting after the pilgrim Marie. Whilst angels and demons debate his fate, he revives and flees.
The interior of a volcano
Astaroth and the demons plot a revenge against the hermit. In one of the most popular scenes of the opera, they create the temptress Miranda, who rises (apparently naked) from a cauldron which has previously produced a grisly monster. Miranda is marked by a black spot on her heart. The demons are dispersed by an angel on a meteor.
In a deserted park
The hermit is starving. Astaroth appears with the demoness Miranda to tempt him, offering bread for his cross. However Miranda is moved by the hermit's prayer and kneels; the spot vanishes.
A magnificent harem by the seashore
The hermit is attracted by the beautiful dancers of the harem, who prevent Miranda from joining their revels. The hermit is told that by murdering the Sultan he can take over the harem; but Miranda prevents him.
An oriental desert close to a hermitage
The hermit finds Marie in his hermitage. Miranda joins Marie in prayer, although she has been commanded to seduce the hermit. Astaroth and his legions undertake various diabolic actions, including the murder of Miranda. However, angels take the hermit to heaven.
Gaetano Donizetti – Sancia di Castiglia
Sancia di Castiglia is an Italian opera seria in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti to a libretto by Pietro Salatino. It was first performed at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, on 4 November 1832 conducted by Nicola Festa.
Donizetti: Sancia di Castiglia
Sancia: Montserrat Caballé
Garzía: Itxaro Mentxaka
Ircano: Boris Martinovich
Rodrigo: José Sempere
Elvira: Rosa Martín
Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, José Collado.
Teatro de la Zarzuela, 1992.
Place: Castile, Spain
Time: the middle ages
Sancia, Queen of Castile, whose husband has been killed in battle, also believes that her son, Garcia, has been killed. She plans to marry the Saracen prince, Ircano, against the advice of her minister, Rodrigo. When Garcia, having survived an assassination attempt instigated by Ircano, reappears to claim the throne, Ircano tells Sancia that he will marry her only if she poisons her son. Garcia is about to drink from the poisoned goblet when a suddenly repentant Sancia snatches it and drinks it herself. She dies pleading for her son's forgiveness.
Hector Berlioz – Lelio
Lélio, ou Le retour à la vie (Lélio, or the Return to Life) Op. 14b, is a work incorporating music and spoken text by the French composer Hector Berlioz, intended as a sequel to his Symphonie fantastique. It is written for a narrator, solo voices, chorus, and an orchestra including pianos.
Berlioz - Lélio, op 14b
Jean Martinon & Jean Topart (1974)
Choeur & Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française
Jean Topart (récitant) ; Charles Burles (Ténor) ; Jean Van Gorp (Baryton) - Nicolai Gedda (Ténor) ; Michel Sendrez (piano) ; Marie Claire Jamet (Harpe)
0:00 : Le pêcheur. Ballade - Sur une traduction de la ballade de Goethe Der Fischer.
10:37 : Chœur d'ombres - Une évocation de l'atmosphère fantomatique d'Hamlet de Shakespeare, cette pièce réutilise de morceaux de la cantate La mort de Cléopâtre.
20:02 : Chanson de brigands - Une célébration de la liberté par des bandits en Calabre.
25:39 : Chant de bonheur - Souvenirs - La musique provient de la cantate La mort d’Orphée (1827).
La harpe éolienne, pour orchestre seul - la musique provient de la cantate La mort d’Orphée. La harpe éolienne est un important symbole de l'inspiration artistique dans le romantisme.
39:00 : Fantaisie sur la "Tempête" de Shakespeare - Pièce basée sur la pièce de Shakespeare The Tempest pour orchestre et chœurs (chanté en Italien. Cette œuvre marque la première utilisation du piano comme instrument de l'orchestre. Berlioz, qui se répétait rarement, ne l'utilisa ensuite jamais plus (The work marks the first appearance of the piano as an orchestral instrument. Berlioz, who rarely repeated himself, never made use of it again - Cairns p.382).
Franz Wüllner (28 January 1832 – 7 September 1902) was a German composer and conductor. He led the premieres of Richard Wagner's operas Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, but was much criticized by Wagner himself, who greatly preferred the more celebrated conductors Hans von Bülow and Hermann Levi.
Wüllner was born in Münster and studied in his native place, and at Frankfurt, Berlin, Brussels, and Munich. In 1856 Wüllner became instructor in piano at the Munich Conservatory. He held the position of town musical director at Aix-la-Chapelle from 1858 to 1864.
He succeeded the temperamental Bülow in 1869 as conductor of the Court Opera and the Academy Courts. Here he conducted the first performances of Rheingold and Walküre (1869, 1870) before the production of the entire Ring cycle at the first Bayreuth Festival of 1876.
He became court kapellmeister at Dresden and artistic director of the conservatory in 1877, and director of the Cologne conservatory and conductor of the Gürzenich concerts in 1884. After 1864 he appeared frequently as conductor of the Lower Rhenish Music Festival. He died in Braunfels.
Among his works are: Heinrich der Finkler, a cantata for solo, male chorus, and orchestra; additional recitatives to Weber's Oberon, accepted by many of Germany's principal theatres; Psalm 125, for chorus and orchestra; Miserere for double choir; and Stabat Mater for double choir; besides masses, motets, songs, chamber music, and piano pieces.
Franz Wüllner - Te Deum
Franz Wüllner - Kindelein zart
Ausführende: Ensemble sirventes, Berlin. Leitung: Stefan Schuck
Ivan Zajc (August 3, 1832 – December 16, 1914), was a Croatian composer, conductor, director and teacher who for over forty years dominated Croatia's musical culture. Through his artistic and institutional reform efforts, he is credited with its revitalization and refinement, paving the way for new and significant Croatian musical achievements in the 20th century. He is often called the Croatian Verdi.
Ivan Dragutin Stjepan Zajc was born in Fiume, modern-day Rijeka, Croatia. His family migrated from Bratislava, Slovakia; his father, Johann Zaytz, was of Czech descent, and his mother, Anna Bodensteiner was of German descent. His musical talent was evident very early on in his life, as he began to study the piano and violin at the age of five, performed in public by the age of six, and even began to compose his own music by the age of twelve. Nevertheless, despite his early musical success, his military bandmaster father was opposed to the idea of a career in music and wanted him to study law instead following the completion of his secondary education. In the end, Zajc's professors prevailed and he entered the Milan Conservatory in 1850 with his father's consent.
Zajc studied in Milan from 1850 to 1855, under the supervision of Stefano Ronchetti-Monteviti (counterpoint and composition), Alberto Mazzucato (orchestration), and Lauro Rossi (dramatic music). During this period, Zajc took his studies very seriously and regularly won prizes as one of the conservatory's most talented students. He was awarded first prize at his graduation examination for the opera La Tirolese (1855), which was performed on stage in the same year. Zajc's future as a composer and conductor in Milan was secure, but the death of his parents in the meantime forced him to return to Rijeka.
Back home, he accepted the post of conductor and concert master of the Town Theatre Orchestra, taught stringed instruments at the Philharmonic Institute, and simultaneously wrote numerous compositions with his characteristic speed and ease. In 1860, his opera Amelia ossia Il Bandito was met with great success, though two years later, after a prolonged illness, Zajc chose to move to Vienna, where opera and theatre were flourishing. His eight-year stay there (1862–70) was marked by further success, though he settled for composing operettas rather than operas. His first Viennese work, Mannschaft an Bord (1863), was enormously well received and his later operettas only served to strengthen his growing reputation. Yet it was in Vienna that Zajc became involved with the Croatian academic society Velebit and frequently met with young Croatian students. Influenced by such Croatian cultural figures as bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer and poets Petar Preradović, Ivan Trnski, August Šenoa, and Matija Divković, Zajc chose patriotism over world fame and returned to Croatia.
Upon his arrival in Zagreb in 1870, Zajc was presented with two posts: director and conductor of the Croatian Opera and director and teacher at the Croatian Institute of Music. It was during this period that Zajc made his colossal contribution to Croatian musical culture, not only through his compositions, but also through his leadership in reorganizing Zagreb's musical institutions. He was also an excellent vocal teacher and succeeded in training several prominent singers. Zajc was an exceptionally prolific composer as evidenced by almost 1000 works, from Op. 234 to Op. 1202, produced during his time in Zagreb. Included in this number are Mislav (1870), Ban Leget (1872), his masterpiece Nikola Šubić Zrinski (1876), and Lizinka (1878), in addition to operettas, musical comedies, cantatas, songs and choral compositions, concerti, chamber music, and many other works.
Zajc's appointment at the opera was held until 1889, when owing to financial difficulties the organization lapsed for a time, but Zajc retained his post at the school until 1908, when he finally retired. He is credited with reviving Croatian music during a period of musical stagnation after the collapse of the Illyrian Movement and raising it to the artistic level where it stands today. His efforts paved the way for new and significant Croatian musical achievements in the early 20th century, which Zajc himself lived to see until his death on December 16, 1914 in Zagreb.
Ivan Zajc - Nikola Šubić Zrinski -part 1
Nikola Šubić Zrinski, Croatian ban, commander of Siget : Vladimir Ruždjak
Eva, his wife: Milka Bertapelle
Jelena, their daughter: Branka Stilinović
Lovro Juranić, Jelena's fiancé: Zvonimir Prelčec
Gašpar Alapić: Nikola Bogdan
Vuk Paprutović: Rajko Truban
Sulejman the Magnificent, Turkish Sultan : Dragutin Bernardić
Mehmed Sokolović, Grand Vizier: Franjo Paulik
Levi, Sulejman's physician: Milivoj Belavić
Timoleon: Ivica Kiš
Ivan Zajc - Nikola Šubić Zrinski -part 2
Scene one: In his camp in Belgrade, Suleyman II, already in poor health, decides to wage war and advance to Vienna. The physician Levi warns him that the exertions of war can prove to be fatal for his health. The grand vizier Mehmed Sokolović praises the Sultan's plans. Suleyman announces to his troops that he first of all wants to capture Szigeth and vanquish Nikola Zrinski. His captains think that they should bypass Szigeth, but the Sultan remains implacable.
Scene two: The people in Szigeth have a foreboding of coming events. Jelena, Nikola's daughter, tells her mother Eva how she fears the Turks and enslavement. Upon hearing about the Turkish invasion, Zrinski decides to make a stand. Jelena and Juranić wish to be married, but Zrinski postpones the marriage until the end of the war.
Scene three: On the fortress wall, Zrinski's troops greet Alapić and Juranić who are joined by Nikola Šubić together with Eva and Jelena. The women decide to stay in Szigeth with the defenders. Zrinski and the troops take a solemn oath to defend Szigeth to the last man.
Scene four: In the Turkish camp, the Sultan's suite, together with Timoleon the eunuch, are enjoying themselves in a song celebrating the death of the young Hungarian king on the field of Mohacs some forty years previously. The Sultan and the grand vizier attend a ceremonious dance. The Sultan is impatient because of Zrinjski's resistance and sends Sokolović to negotiate with him.
Scene five: In Szigeth, Nikola Šubić is worried because the Turks are continuing their advance. He decides to bring down the walls of the new town himself and to withdraw to the old fortress with his troops. Mehmed Sokolović arrives with the Sultan's message. He will make Zrinski king if he hands over the keys of the town. Zrinski proudly rejects this. Sokolović threatens him and discloses that the Turks have taken his son Gjuro. Together with his family and troops, Zrinski repeats the solemn oath. Amazed by such courage, Sokolović returns to the camp.
Scene six: At the camp before Szigeth, the Sultan dies. Sokolović assumes power and hides Suleyman's death from the Turkish troops.
Scene seven: Eva and Jelena have taken shelter in the basement of the old town. The girl dreams of her marriage to Juranić. He arrives with the message, that they are preparing for the decisive battle. Jelena anticipates that things will go badly, and asks Juranić to kill her so that she does not fall into Turkish hands. They say goodbay and Juranić stabs Jelena with his dagger.
Scene eight: On the fortress wall, Zrinski takes his leave of Eva. The troops and the people gather. With the joint cry »To arms, to arms, draw your sword« all go to their death.
Ivan Zajc - Mislav
Ivan Zajc (Giovanni de Zaytz): Symphony in C minor (Sinfonisches Tongemälde), Op. 394
Croatian Radio-Television, Symphony Orchestra Robert Homen, conductor
Frédéric Chopin: Grande valse brillante in E-flat major, Op. 18; Boléro, Op. 19
Chopin "Grande valse brillante" Op. 18 In E-Flat
Frédéric Chopin - Bolero, Op.19
Gaetano Donizetti – Torquato Tasso
Torquato Tasso is a melodramma semiserio, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti and based on the life of the great poet Torquato Tasso. The Italian libretto was written by Jacopo Ferretti, who used a number of sources for his text, including works by Giovanni Rosini, Goethe, Goldoni, and Lord Byron as well as Tasso's actual poetry. It premiered on 9 September 1833 at the Teatro Valle, Rome.
Gaetano Donizetti – Torquato Tasso
Torquato Tasso - Simone Alaimo
Eleanore d'Este - Luciana Serra
Roberto - Ernesto Palacio
Don Gherhardo - Roberto Coviello
Eleanora di Scandio - Silvana Silbano
Alfonso d'Este - Ambrogio Riva
Conductor - Carlo Rizzi
Orchestra - Angelicum di Milano
Chorus - Teatro Donizetti de Bergamo, 1986
Torquato Tasso (11 March 1544 – 25 April 1595) was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered, 1581), in which he depicts a highly imaginative version of the combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the Siege of Jerusalem. He suffered from mental illness and died a few days before he was due to be crowned on the Capitoline Hill as the king of poets by the Pope. Until the beginning of the 20th century, Tasso remained one of the most widely read poets in Europe.
Johannes Brahms, composer, born.
Heinrich Marschner – Hans Heiling
Hans Heiling is a German Romantic opera in 3 acts with prologue by Heinrich Marschner with a libretto by Eduard Devrient
Heinrich Marschner - Hans Heiling, Op. 80
24:27 Erster Aufzug
52:12 Zweiter Aufzug
1:15:30 Dritter Aufzug
Alexander Weltisch - Hans Heiling
Helene Werth - Königin der Erdgeister
Margit Guilleaume - Anna
Karl Friedrich - Konrad
Res Fischer - Getrude
Gustav Neidlinger - Stephan
Chor und Orchester des Nordwestdeutschen Rundfunks Hamburg - Wilhelm Schüchter, 1950
Place: Bohemian Erzgebirge mountains
Time: 14th century
After falling in love with the mortal Anna, Hans Heiling plans to leave the underworld empire of the Erdgeister (gnomes) to wed her. Ignoring the attempts of his mother the Queen to persuade him to stay, he takes some jewels and a magic book enabling him to retain power over his underworld subjects.
Heiling ascends to the earth to find his would-be bride. Heiling finds Anna and her mother, who encourages Anna to accept the advances of the rich stranger. During a moment alone Anna looks inside his book, which immediately fills her with terror. Heiling burns the book on her demand and reluctantly accompanies Anna to the village festival.
There are many people in the tavern drinking, dancing and singing. Stephan and Niklas are joined by Konrad, who has loved Anna for a long time. Anna and Heiling arrive and Konrad asks to dance with Anna. Heiling objects angrily but Anna ignores him; and reminding him that they are not yet married, walks away with Konrad.
Anna wanders through a forest on her way home. She has realised that she loves Konrad, but she remains Heiling's bride to be. Suddenly the Queen appears and beseeches the girl to release her son, who is not a human being but a prince of the underworld. Anna faints and upon discovering her, Konrad takes Anna home.
Heiling approaches Anna in her house, offering his jewellery to win her over, but it is returned by Anna who now knows of its origin. In a rage, Heiling stabs Konrad before running away.
Heiling returns to the realm of the Erdgeister (gnomes). He summons his former subjects, only to be reminded that without his book he has lost his power. He then finds out that Konrad is not dead, and is to be wed to Anna the next day. In his despair, he throws himself on the ground, and seeing that Heiling has lost so much, his subjects swear fealty to him again. With the news of the wedding in his mind, he returns to the earth to take revenge with his new-found powers.
Konrad and Anna are wed in a forest chapel. Heiling approaches and seizes the hand of Anna, who pleads for mercy. Konrad rushes to help his wife, but his knife shatters as he strikes Heiling. Heiling summons the Erdgeister to destroy all the people, but then the Queen appears. She persuades Heiling to reconcile, and they then return to the underworld.
Gaetano Donizetti – Lucrezia Borgia
Lucrezia Borgia is a melodramatic opera in a prologue and two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto after the play Lucrezia Borgia by Victor Hugo, in its turn after the legend of Lucrezia Borgia. Lucrezia Borgia was first performed on 26 December 1833 at La Scala, Milan.
Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara bass
Lucrezia Borgia soprano
Maffio Orsini contralto
Gennaro, young nobleman in
service of the Venetian Republic tenor
Jeppo Liverotto, young nobleman in
service of the Venetian Republic tenor
Don Apostolo Gazella, young nobleman in
service of the Venetian Republic bass
Ascanio Petrucci, young nobleman in
service of the Venetian Republic baritone
Oloferno Vitellozzo, young nobleman in
service of the Venetian Republic tenor
Rustighello, in the service of Don Alfonso tenor
Gubetta, in service of Lucrezia bass
Astolfo, in service of Lucrezia tenor
Gentlemen-at-arms, officers, and nobles of the Venetian Republic;
same, attached to court of Alfonso; ladies-in-waiting, Capuchin friars, etc.
Time: Early 16th century
Place: Venice and Ferrara
The Palazzo Grimani in Venice
Gennaro and his friends, including Orsini, celebrate on the brightly lit terrace, in front of which lies the Giudecca canal. The friends' conversation turns to Don Alfonso, Duke of Ferrara, to whose house they will be travelling the next day, and to his wife, the infamous Lucrezia Borgia. On hearing Lucrezia's name, Orsini tells of how Gennaro and he, alone in a forest, were warned by a mysterious old man to beware her and the entire Borgia family, and that the two of them would die together (Nella fatal di Rimini). Professing his boredom with Orsini's tale Gennaro wanders off and falls asleep nearby. His friends are invited to rejoin the festivities, and he is left alone. A gondola appears and a masked woman steps onto the terrace. She hurries over to the sleeping Gennaro and observes him with affection. (Com'è bello! Quale incanto in quel volto onesto e altero!) She kisses his hand, he wakes and is instantly struck by her beauty. He expresses his love for her and sings of his childhood as an orphan brought up by fishermen. He adds that he loves dearly the mother he has never met. (Di pescatore ignobile esser figliuol credei.) The others return and instantly recognise her as Lucrezia Borgia, listing in turn the members of their families she has killed to Gennaro's horror.
The Duke, believing Gennaro to be Lucrezia's lover, plots his murder with his servant Rustighello (Vieni: la mia vendetta è meditata e pronta.) Gennaro and his companions leave the house for a party and pass the Duke's palace with its large gilded coat of arms reading Borgia. Keen to show his contempt for the Borgia family, Gennaro removes the initial "B", leaving the obscene "Orgia" (orgy).
In the palace, Lucrezia is shown into the Duke's chamber. Having seen the defaced crest, she demands death for the perpetrator, not knowing that it is Gennaro. The Duke orders Gennaro to be brought before her and accuses him of staining the noble name of Borgia, a crime to which he readily confesses. Lucrezia, horrified, attempts to excuse the insult as a youthful prank, but Don Alfonso accuses Lucrezia of infidelity, having observed her meeting with Gennaro in Venice. In a scene full of drama and tension, she denies any impropriety, but he demands the prisoner's death and forces her to choose the manner of Gennaro's execution. Pretending to pardon him, the Duke offers Gennaro a glass of wine and he swallows it. After a stunning trio (Guai se ti sfugge un moto, Se ti tradisce un detto!) the Duke leaves and Lucrezia hurries to Gennaro, giving him an antidote to the poison the Duke has mixed with the wine. He drinks, and in a last duet, she implores him to flee the city and her husband. (Bevi e fuggi ... te'n prego, o Gennaro!)
The palace of the Princess Negroni
Ignoring Lucrezia's advice, Gennaro attends a party at the palace, swearing never to be parted from his friend Orsini. Orsini leads the party in a brindisi or drinking song ("Il segreto per esser felici") and they drink. Lucrezia enters and announces that in revenge for their insults in Venice she has poisoned their wine and arranged five coffins for their bodies. She has hitherto believed that Gennaro fled Ferrara on her advice, and is thus dismayed when he steps forward and announces that she has poisoned a sixth. Orsini, Liverotto, Vitellozzo, Petrucci and Gazella fall dead. Gennaro seizes a dagger and attempts to kill Lucrezia, but she stops him by revealing that he is in fact her son. Once again she asks him to drink the antidote, but this time he refuses, choosing to die with his friends. In a final cabaletta ("Era desso il figlio mio"), Lucrezia mourns her son and expires.
Donizetti - Lucrezia Borgia
Felix Mendelssohn – Symphony No.4 in A, Op.90 ‘’Italian’'
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy - Symphonies:
1-1824, 2-1840, 3-1842, 4-1833, 5-1830
Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.11 (1824)
1.Allegro di molto (00:00)
3.Menuetto - Allegro molto (14:29)
4.Allegro con fuoco (20:48)
Symphony No.2 in B flat, Op.52 ‘’Hymn of Praise’'(1840)
Si bémol Majeur ‘’Chant des louanges’’
2.Alles was Odem hat, lobe den Herrn (54:46)
Lobt den Herrn mit Saitenspiel
Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele
3.Saget es, die ihr erlöst seid (1:01:53)
Er zählet unsre Tränen
4.Sagt es, die ihr erlöset seid (1:04:49)
5.Ich harrete des Herrn (1:06:56)
6.Stricke des Todes hatten uns umfangen (1:12:15)
7.Die Nacht ist vergangen (1:16:28)
8.Nun danket alle Gott (1:20:51)
Lob, Ehr’ und Preis sei Gott
9.Drum sing ich mit meinem Liede (1:24:49)
10.Ihr Völker! bringet her dem Herrn (1:29:26)
Alles danke dem Herrn
Alles was Odem hat, lobe den Herrn
Sopranos : Helen Donath & Rotraud Hansmann
Tenor : Waldemar Kmentt
New Philharmonia chorus
Chorus master : Wilhelm Pitz
Symphony No.3 in A minor, Op.56 ‘’Scottish’’ (1842)
a-moll ‘’Schottische Symphonie’’
la mineur ‘’Ecossaise’’
1.Andante con moto - Allegro un poco agitato (1:35:09)
Assai animato - Andante come prima
2.Vivace non troppo (1:50:33)
4.Allegro vivacissimo - Allegro maestoso assai (2:04:18)
Symphony No.4 in A, Op.90 ‘’Italian’' (1833)
A-dur ‘’Italienische Symphonie’’
La Majeur ‘’Italienne’'
1.Allegro Vivace (2:14:03)
2.Andante con moto (2:24:35)
3.Con moto moderato (2:31:00)
Symphony No.5 in D minor, Op.107 ‘’Reformation’'(1830)
Ré mineur ‘’Réformation’’
1.Andante - Allegro con fuoco (2:43:32)
2.Allegro vivace (2:55:11)
4.Choral : Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott ! (3:04:43)
Andante con moto - Allegro vivace
Allegro maestoso - Più animato poco a poco
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Stéréo recording in 1967, at London
Aleksandr Borodin, in full Aleksandr Porfiryevich Borodin, (born Oct. 31 [Nov. 12, New Style], 1833, St. Petersburg, Russia—died Feb. 15 [Feb. 27], 1887, St. Petersburg), major Russian nationalist composer of the 19th century. He was also a scientist notable for his research on aldehydes.
Borodin’s father was a Georgian prince and his mother an army doctor’s wife, and he was reared in comfortable circumstances. His gift for languages and music was evident early on, and as a schoolboy he learned to play the piano, flute, and cello and to compose music. From 1850 to 1856 he studied at the Medico-Surgical Academy, specializing in chemistry, and received a doctorate in 1858. From 1859 to 1862 he studied in western Europe. On his return to Russia he became adjunct professor of chemistry at the Medico-Surgical Academy and full professor in 1864. From this period dates his first major work, the Symphony No. 1 in E-flat Major (1862–67), written as a result of his acquaintance with Mily Balakirev, of whose circle (The Five) he was a member, along with Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Modest Mussorgsky, and César Cui. Borodin began his Symphony No. 2 in B Minor in 1869, when he also began work on his operatic masterpiece, Prince Igor (completed posthumously by Rimsky-Korsakov and Aleksandr Glazunov). Act II of Prince Igor contains the often-played “Polovtsian Dances.” He also found time to write two string quartets, a dozen remarkable songs, the unfinished Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, and his tone poem In the Steppes of Central Asia.
Borodin’s musical work was never more than relaxation from his scientific work. In addition to his research and teaching, he helped found medical courses for women in 1872. In the 1880s pressures of work and ill health left him little time for composition. He died suddenly while at a ball.
Borodin’s compositions place him in the front rank of Russian composers. He had a strong lyric vein but also was noted for his handling of heroic subjects. He had an unusually fine rhythmic sense and excelled in the use of orchestral colour and in the evocation of distant places. In his symphonies and string quartets—among the finest of the Romantic era—he developed a formal structure in which the musical material of a movement was derived from a single initial motif. His melodies reflect the character of Russian folk melodies, and like other composers of the Russian national school he used striking harmonies unconventional in western European music.
Prince Igor (Russian: Князь Игорь, Knyaz' Igor') is an opera in four acts with a prologue, written and composed by Alexander Borodin. The composer adapted the libretto from the Ancient Russian epic The Lay of Igor's Host, which recounts the campaign of Rus' prince Igor Svyatoslavich against the invading Cuman ("Polovtsian") tribes in 1185.
Borodin - Symphony 1
Borodin - Symphony No. 2 «The Bogatyrs» in B Minor
(revised by N. Rimsky-Korsakov & A. Glazunov)
II. Scherzo (Prestissimo)
IV. Finale (Allegro)
L'Orchestre de la Suisse romande (Genève)
Borodin - String Quartets
String Quartet No. 1 in A Major
35:06 String Quartet No. 2 in D Major - I. Allegro moderato
Richard Wagner - Die feen
Die Feen (The Fairies) is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner. The German libretto was written by the composer after Carlo Gozzi's La donna serpente. Premiere cast, 29 June 1888.
Richard Wagner - Die feen
Linda Esther Gray John Alexander Jan-Hendrik Rootering Norbert Orth Cheryl Studer Kurt Moll Friedrich Lenz Roland Hermann Kari Lovaas Krisztina Laki June Anderson Roland Bracht Karl Helm
Orchestra Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks Chorus Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks Wolfgang Sawallisch, 1984
The Fairy King bass
Ada, a fairy soprano
Zemina, a fairy soprano
Farzana, a fairy soprano
Arindal, King of Tramond tenor
Lora, his sister soprano
Morald, her betrothed baritone
Gunther, a courtier from Tramond tenor
Gernot, Arindal's friend bass
Drolla, Lora's friend soprano
Harald, General of Groma the magician bass
A messenger tenor
Voice of Groma the Magician bass
While other fairies amuse themselves in a fairy garden, Zemina and Farzana discuss how their mistress Ada, a half-fairy, has renounced her immortality to spend her life with Arindal, the mortal whom she loves. The fairy-king has set a condition which Farzana believes that Arindal will not fulfil even with the help of the magician Groma. Nevertheless, they get the other fairies and spirits to pledge their help in separating Ada from the mortal.
In a rocky wilderness Morald and Gunther meet Gernot. The former pair have been sent to find out what has happened to Arindal, who disappeared eight years ago. In the meantime his father, the king, has died from grief and the kingdom is being attacked by their enemy Murold who demands they surrender Arindal's sister Lora as his wife. Gernot relates how he and Arindal had hunted a beautiful doe to a river where it vanished. They heard a voice and jumped into the river where they found a beautiful woman in luxurious surroundings. She declared her love for Arindal and said they could stay together provided Arindal could go eight years without asking who she is. But the day before he did ask her, and Arindal and Gernot found themselves in the wilderness. Morald and Gunther depart before Arindal can know of their presence. Arindal appears and sings of his grief at the loss of Ada (Wo find ich dich, wo wird mir Trost?). Gernot tries to argue him round to believing that Ada is a sorceress who has abandoned him and that he should return to his kingdom. He sings of an evil witch who had disguised herself as a beautiful woman (War einst 'ne böse Hexe wohl). Gunther returns, disguised as a priest, and continues the attempt to persuade Arindal that he will be turned into a wild beast by the witch unless he returns at once; Morald similarly disguises himself as the ghost of Arindal's father and announces that his kingdom is threatened. Each disguise is magically destroyed just as Arindal is about to be convinced. However, the three are finally able to persuade him of his country's need. They agree to depart in the morning, although Arindal fears he will not see Ada again. When he is left alone he falls into an enchanted sleep.
The scene changes again to a fairy garden with a palace in the background out of which Ada comes. She sings of how she is willing to sacrifice her immortality and pay the price, however hard it is, necessary to win Arindal (Wie muss ich doch beklagen). Arindal awakens and declares his joy at seeing Ada again, but she announces that he will abandon her the next day. Gernot, Gunther and Morald arrive with companions to fetch Arindal. Those who have not seen her before are struck by Ada's beauty and fear Arindal will not come. A procession of fairies comes out of the palace and Zemina and Farzana tell Ada that her father has died and she is now queen. Ada tells Arindal that they must part now but she will see him tomorrow. She asks him to swear that whatever happens he will not curse her. He swears it even though she takes back her request. She expresses her fear that they will both go under as a result of his breaking the oath.
The people and warriors in Arindal's capital are panicking because they are under attack. Lora berates them, saying that she herself stands firm even though she has lost father, brother and lover. She reminds them of Groma's prophecy that the kingdom will not fall if Arindal returns, but the chorus express doubts. Just as she begins to fear that they are right (O musst du Hoffnung schwinden), a messenger arrives to announce that Arindal is on his way. The new king is greeted joyously by his people, but Arindal himself expresses his fears that he is not strong enough for battle. Meanwhile, Morald and Lora express their mutual love.
Gernot and Gunther talk of the terrible omens of the night and morning. Gernot asks Gunther if Drolla is still beautiful and still loyal to him. Gunther says he believes so but says Gernot should ask her himself as she is nearby. Gernot and Drolla test each other with stories of the many people who love them. Each becomes jealous before they realise that they both truly love each other.
Ada is with Zemina and Farzana. She complains to them of how they heartlessly drive her on. They, however, express hope that she will renounce Arindal and remain immortal. She sings (Weh' mir, so nah' die fürchterliche Stunde) of her fears that Arindal will be cursed with madness and death, and she with being turned to a statue, but then expresses hope that Arindal's love will prove strong.
Battle is raging outside. Arindal is anxious and refuses to lead the army out. Morald does so instead. Ada appears with her two children by Arindal. She seems to throw them into a fiery abyss. Meanwhile, defeated warriors rush in. Ada refuses to console Arindal saying she has come to torment him instead. More defeated warriors arrive with reports that Morald has disappeared, captured or dead. Then Harald, who was sent to bring reinforcements, comes. He reports that his army was defeated by one led by Ada. Arindal curses her. Zemina and Farzana express joy that Ada will remain immortal. But she sorrowfully explains that the fairy-king had required as a condition of her renouncing her immortality, that she conceal her fairy background from Arindal for eight years and on the last day torment him as best she can. If he cursed her, she would remain immortal and be turned to stone for a hundred years while he would go mad and die. In truth, Morald is not dead, the army Harald led was full of traitors, and the children are still alive. Already Arindal can feel his sanity slipping.
A chorus hail Morald and Lora as the King and Queen who have brought them peace. The couple say they cannot rejoice, because of Arindal's fate. All pray for the curse to be lifted.
Arindal is hallucinating that he is hunting a doe. As it is killed, he realises it is his wife. He continues to experience visions (Ich seh' den Himmel) before falling asleep. The voice of the petrified but weeping Ada is heard calling for him. Then the voice of Groma calls to him too. A sword, shield and lyre appear which Groma says can win Arindal victory and a greater reward. Zemina and Farzana, enter. The former expresses her pity for Arindal while the latter says he deserves punishment for seeking to take Ada from them. They wake him and announce they will lead him to Ada to rescue her. He expresses his willingness to die for her. The two fairies hope this will actually happen.
They lead Arindal to a portal guarded by earth spirits. He is about to be defeated when the voice of Groma reminds him of the shield. The earth spirits disappear when he holds it up. The fairies express their surprise but are sure he will not triumph again. Meanwhile, he thanks Groma's power. Next they encounter bronze men who guard a holy sanctuary. The shield fails Arindal but when Groma advises him to hold up the sword, the bronze men vanish. The fairies again express their surprise whilst Groma's spirit urges Arindal on. They now have reached a grotto where Ada has been turned to stone. The two fairies taunt Arindal with the threat that failure will mean that he too is turned to stone. But the voice of Groma urges him to play the lyre. When he does so (O ihr, des Busens Hochgefühle), Ada is freed from the stone. The two fairies realise that Groma is responsible.
The scene changes to the fairy king's throne room. He has decided to grant Arindal immortality. Ada invites him to rule her fairyland with her. Arindal grants his mortal kingdom to Morald and Lora. Everyone rejoices; even Zemina and Farzana are happy now that Ada remains immortal.
Hector Berlioz – Harold in Italy
Hector Berlioz - Harold en Italie, Symphonie en quatre parties avec un alto principal Op. 16
I. "Harold aux montagnes"
II. "Marche des pèlerins"
IV. "Orgie de brigands"
YEHUDI MENUHIN, viola
Sir COLIN DAVIS, conductor, 1962
Luigi Cherubini – String Quartet No. 3 in D minor
Luigi Cherubini - The Complete String Quartets
01 Quartet No. 1 00:01
02 Quartet No. 2 29:23
03 Quartet No. 3 56:28
04 Quartet No. 4 01:37:58
05 Quartet No. 5 02:09:25
06 Quartet No. 6 02:34:07
Frederic Chopin – Fantaisie-Impromptu (published posthumously in 1855)
Frederic Chopin Fantaisie Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op 66
Gaetano Donizetti – Gemma di Vergy
Gemma di Vergy is an 1834 tragic opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti from a libretto by Giovanni Emanuele Bidéra. It is based on the tragedy Charles VII chez ses grands vassaux (Charles VII and His Chief Vassals) (1831) by Alexandre Dumas père, which was later to become the subject of the opera The Saracen by the Russian composer César Cui.
Gaetano Donizetti - Gemma di Vergy
Renato BRuson-Count di Vergy
Orchestra of Teatro San Carlo, Naples, 1975; LIVE
Amilcare Ponchielli (31 August 1834 – 16 January 1886) was an Italian opera composer, best known for his opera La Gioconda. He was married to the soprano Teresina
Born in Paderno Fasolaro (now Paderno Ponchielli) near Cremona, then Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, Ponchielli won a scholarship at the age of nine to study music at the Milan Conservatory, writing his first symphony by the time he was ten years old.
Two years after leaving the conservatory he wrote his first opera—it was based on Alessandro Manzoni's great novel The Betrothed (I promessi sposi)—and it was as an opera composer that he eventually found fame.
His early career was disappointing. Maneuvered out of a professorship at the Milan Conservatory that he had won in a competition, he took small-time jobs in small cities, and composed several operas, none successful at first. In spite of his disappointment, he gained much experience as the bandmaster (capobanda) in Piacenza and Cremona, arranging and composing over 200 works for wind band. Notable among his "original" compositions for band are the first-ever concerto for euphonium (Concerto per Flicornobasso, 1872), fifteen variations on the popular Parisian song "Carnevale di Venezia", and a series of festive and funeral marches that resound with the pride of the newly unified Italy and the private grief of his fellow Cremonese. The turning point was the big success of the revised version of I promessi sposi in 1872, which brought him a contract with the music publisher G. Ricordi & Co. and the musical establishment at the Conservatory and at La Scala. The role of Lina in the revised version was sung by Teresina Brambilla whom he married in 1874. Their son Annibale became a music critic and minor composer. The ballet Le due gemelle (1873) confirmed his success.
The following opera, I Lituani (The Lithuanians) of 1874, was also well received, being performed later at Saint Petersburg (as Aldona on 20 November 1884). His most well-known opera is La Gioconda (1876), which his librettist Arrigo Boito adapted from the same play by Victor Hugo that had been previously set by Saverio Mercadante as Il giuramento in 1837 and Carlos Gomes as Fosca in 1873. It was first produced in 1876 and revised several times. The version that has become popular today was first given in 1880.
In 1876 he started working on I Mori di Valenza, although the project dates back to 1873. It was an opera that he never finished, although it was completed later by Arturo Cadore and performed posthumously in 1914.
After La Gioconda, Ponchielli wrote the monumental biblical melodrama in four acts Il figliuol prodigo given in Milan at La Scala on 26 December 1880 and Marion Delorme, from another play by Victor Hugo, which was presented at La Scala on 17 March 1885. In spite of their rich musical invention, neither of these operas met with the same success but both exerted great influence on the composers of the rising generation, such as Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni and Umberto Giordano.
In 1881, Ponchielli was appointed maestro di cappella of the Bergamo Cathedral, and from the same year he was a professor of composition at the Milan Conservatory, where among his students were Puccini, Mascagni and Emilio Pizzi.
He died of pneumonia in Milan in 1886 and was interred in the city's Monumental Cemetery.
Amilcare Ponchielli - La Gioconda
La Gioconda is an opera in four acts by Amilcare Ponchielli set to an Italian libretto by Arrigo Boito (as Tobia Gorrio), based on Angelo, Tyrant of Padua, a play in prose by Victor Hugo, dating from 1835.
Premiere cast, 8 April 1876
Amilcare Ponchielli - La Gioconda
Gioconda, a singer soprano
Laura Adorno, a Genoese lady mezzo-soprano
La Cieca, Gioconda's mother contralto
Enzo Grimaldo, a Genoese prince, disguised as a Dalmatian seaman tenor
Barnaba, spy of the Inquisition baritone
Alvise Badoero, one of the leaders of the Inquisition, Laura's husband bass
Zuàne, a boatman competing in the regatta bass
Isèpo, a scribe tenor
A singer bass
A pilot bass
Chorus: Workers, senators, priests, nobles, sailors, children
Place: Venice Time: 17th century
The story revolves around a woman, Gioconda, who so loves her mother that when Laura, her rival in love for the heart of Enzo, saves her mother's life, Gioconda puts aside her own romantic love to repay her. The villain Barnaba tries to seduce Gioconda, but she prefers death.
Act 1 The Lion's Mouth
The courtyard of the Doge's Palace
During Carnival celebrations before Lent, while everyone else is preoccupied with a regatta, Barnaba, a state spy, lustfully watches La Gioconda as she leads her blind mother, La Cieca, across the Square. When his amorous advances are firmly rejected, he exacts his revenge by denouncing the old lady as a witch whose evil powers influenced the outcome of the gondola race. It is only the intervention of a young sea captain that keeps the angry mob at bay.
Calm is restored at the approach of Alvise Badoero, a member of the Venetian Inquisition, and his wife, Laura. Laura places La Cieca under her personal protection, and in gratitude the old woman presents her with her most treasured possession, a rosary. The sharp-eyed Barnaba notices furtive behaviour between Laura and the sea captain indicating a secret relationship. Recalling that Laura was engaged to the now banished nobleman Enzo Grimaldo before her forced marriage to Alvise, Barnaba realises that the sea captain is Enzo in disguise.
Barnaba confronts Enzo, who admits his purpose in returning to Venice is to take Laura and begin a new life elsewhere. Barnaba knows that Gioconda is also infatuated with Enzo and he sees an opportunity to improve his chances with her by assisting Enzo with his plan of elopement.
When Enzo has gone, Barnaba dictates a letter to Alvise revealing his wife's infidelity and the lovers' plan of escape. He is unaware that he has been overheard by Gioconda. The act ends with Barnaba dropping the letter into the Lion's Mouth, where all secret information for the Inquisition is posted, while Gioconda laments Enzo's perceived treachery, and the crowd returns to its festivities.
Act 2 The Rosary
The deck of Enzo's ship
Enzo waits for Barnaba to row Laura out from the city to his vessel. Their joyful reunion is overshadowed by Laura's fears as she does not trust Barnaba. Gradually Enzo is able to reassure her, and he leaves her on deck while he goes to prepare for their departure.
La Gioconda has been following Laura with the intention of exacting revenge from her rival. Alvise and his armed men are also in hot pursuit, but as Gioconda is about to stab Laura she sees her mother's rosary hanging round her neck and has an instant change of heart. She hurries Laura into her boat so that she can evade her pursuers.
Enzo returns to the deck to find that Laura has fled leaving Gioconda triumphant. Furthermore, Alvise's men are rapidly approaching. He sets fire to the ship rather than let it fall into the hands of his enemies before diving into the lagoon.
Act 3 The Ca' d'Oro (House of Gold)
Laura has been captured, and her vengeful husband insists she must die by poisoning herself (effectively committing suicide and condemning herself to Hell). Once again Gioconda has followed and has found her way into the palace, this time with the intention of saving her rival. Finding Laura alone Gioconda replaces the phial of poison with a powerful drug which creates the appearance of death. The second scene begins with Alvise welcoming his fellow members of the nobility to the palace; Barnaba and Enzo are amongst those present. Lavish entertainment is provided and the act ends with the famous ballet Dance of the Hours. The mood of revelry is shattered as a funeral bell begins to toll and the body of Laura is revealed awaiting burial. A distraught Enzo flings off his disguise and is promptly seized by Alvise's men.
Act 4 The Orfano Canal
A crumbling ruin on the island of Giudecca
In exchange for Enzo's release from prison, La Gioconda has agreed to give herself to Barnaba. When Enzo is brought in, he is initially furious when Gioconda reveals that she has had Laura's body brought from its tomb. He is about to stab her when Laura's voice is heard and Gioconda's part in reuniting the lovers becomes clear. Enzo and Laura make their escape, leaving La Gioconda to face the horrors awaiting her with Barnaba. The gondoliers' voices are heard in the distance telling that there are corpses floating in the city. When Gioconda tries to leave, she is caught by Barnaba. She then pretends to welcome his arrival, but under cover of decking herself in her jewellery, seizes a dagger and stabs herself to death. In frustrated rage Barnaba tries to perpetrate one last act of evil, screaming at the lifeless body “Last night your mother offended me. I drowned her!”
I Lituani (The Lithuanians) is an opera consisting of a prologue and three acts by Amilcare Ponchielli to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on the historical poem Konrad Wallenrod written by Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz. It premiered at La Scala in Milan on 7 March 1874.
Amilcare Ponchielli - I Lituani
36:02 Primo Atto
1:12:04 Secondo Atto
1:31:53 Terzo Atto
Arnoldo, Lithuanian prince baritone
Aldona, his sister soprano
Albano, an old bard bass
Walter, Aldona's husband, Corrado Wallenrod tenor
Vitoldo, a Lithuanian renegade, chief judge bass
A minstrel soprano
Commanders, Teutonic Knights, German and Lithuanian soldiers, judges, pages, bards, minstrels, people, abbots, monks, friars (chorus and supernumeraries)
Place: Lithuania (prologue), Marienburg (acts I-III)
Time: 14th century
Corrado Wallenrod, actually a Lithuanian named Walter who is impersonating a loyal Teutonic Knight, allows the Lithuanians to win against the Teutons by executing a long-planned misdirection. Aldona, his wife who has entered a convent, searches for her love Walter, and finds him just before he is sentenced to death for his deception.
From the battlements of a castle in Lithuania, Albano, an aged bard, moans that his country is being destroyed by the Teutons. Aldona, a Lithuanian princess, wonders about her brother, Arnoldo, and Walter, her husband, and invites everyone to pray. Arnoldo and Walter return and announce a heinous betrayal by Vitoldo, one of their leaders, which has led to the defeat of the Lithuanian army. Walter tells his wife about his plan to defeat the Teutonic Knights, and swears his eternal love for her before leaving to avenge the Lithuanians.
Ten years later, in the cathedral square of Marienburg, the Teutonic Knights celebrate the new Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Corrado Wallenrod, who is actually Walter. Vitoldo is furious, because he believes he should be Grand Master. Ten Lithuanian prisoners in chains are brought to be sacrificed in Corrado's honour at the celebration; Arnoldo is one of them. Corrado unexpectedly frees them, and afterwards Arnoldo realizes that Corrado is actually Walter. Arnoldo runs into his sister, Aldona, who has come to Marienburg after entering a convent, hoping to find Walter. Albano, Arnoldo, and Aldona set out to find Walter in the castle.
In a large hall of the castle where the celebration is being held, Corrado invites everyone to dance and sing. Arnoldo and Aldona, disguised as bards, sing about the sad fate of Lithuania, predicting its imminent liberation. The Teutonic Knights object, and Corrado hurls himself towards Arnoldo, while Aldona tries to separate them. Corrado orders the knights to sheath their swords, and Albano tries to convince Corrado not to give his true identity away. Vitoldo recognizes Aldona, but Corrado orders the judgement against Aldona and Arnoldo be adjourned so that the celebration can continue.
Aldona comes out of the ruins of a cloister, where a battle between the Lithuanians and Teutonic Knights is taking place nearby. She meets Walter, and hopes for a happy future of love, but Walter has been betrayed for causing the defeat of the Teutonic Knights by the Lithuanians. Later, back in the castle, Albano tells Walter that a secret court has sentenced Walter to death. Rather than falling into enemy hands, Walter drinks poison and exults in the victory of the Lithuanians, asking Albano to give Aldona his last farewell. Aldona arrives, and Walter dies in her arms. The Willi, divine spirits of Lithuania, arrive to welcome the glorious warrior's soul.
Otto Nicolai – Gran marcia funebre
Otto Nicolai - Funeral march for Bellini
Orchestra: Kölner Rundfunkorchester
Conductor: Michail Jurowski
Giuseppe Verdi - Messa di Gloria - Christe
Dino Di Domenico - tenor
Giuseppe Verdi - "Cum Sancto Spiritu" dalla "Messa Solenne" (1835)
Felix Otto Dessoff, conductor and composer, born.