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Giacomo Puccini – Manon Lescaut

Giacomo Puccini – Manon Lescaut

Recorded at Brent Town Hall Studio, Abbey Road, London, between July and December, 1971.

About the Opera:
Manon Lescaut is an opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini. The story is based on the 1731 novel L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost. The libretto is in Italian. It was somehow cobbled together by five librettists whom Puccini employed (or went through): Ruggero Leoncavallo, Marco Praga, Giuseppe Giacosa, Domenico Oliva and Luigi Illica. The publisher, Giulio Ricordi, and the composer himself also contributed to the libretto. So confused was the authorship of the libretto that no one was credited on the title page of the original score. Puccini took some musical elements in Manon Lescaut from earlier works he had written. For example, the madrigal Sulla vetta tu del monte from Act II echoes the Agnus Dei from his 1880 Messa a quattro voci. Other elements of Manon Lescaut come from his compositions for strings: the quartet Crisantemi (January 1890), three Menuets (probably 1884) and a Scherzo (1883?). The love theme comes from the aria Mentia l’avviso (1883).
Puccini’s publisher, Ricordi, had been against any project based on Prévost’s story, because Massenet had already made it into a successful opera, Manon, in 1884. While Puccini and Ricordi may not have known it, the French composer, Daniel Auber, had also already written an opera on the same subject with the title, Manon Lescaut, in 1856. Despite all the warnings, Puccini proceeded. “Manon is a heroine I believe in and therefore she cannot fail to win the hearts of the public. Why shouldn’t there be two operas about Manon? A woman like Manon can have more than one lover.” He added, “Massenet feels it as a Frenchman, with powder and minuets. I shall feel it as an Italian, with a desperate passion.” The first performance of Manon Lescaut took place in the Teatro Regio in Turin in 1893. It was Puccini’s third opera and his first great success.

Track List:
cd1
01. Ave, sera gentile (5:11)
02. Tra voi, belle, brune e bionde (1:24)
03. Ma bravo! (1:45)
04. Discendono, vediam! (1:00)
05. Cortese damigella, il priego mio accettate (5:12)
06. Donna non vivdi mai (2:24)
07. La tua ventura ci rassicura (6:18)
08. La tue proserpina di resisterti (2:05)
09. Vedete?, Io son fedele alla parola mia (4:26)
10. Un libertino audace (2:49)
11. Cavalli pronti avete? (2:55)
12. Dispettosetto questo riccio! (2:35)
13. Sei splendida e lucente! (2:42)
14. In quelle trine morbide (2:16)
15. Poichè tu vuoi saper (2:56)
16. Che ceffi son costor? (1:57)
17. Paga costor! (1:13)
18. Vi prego, signorina (8:11)
cd2
01. Oh, sarò la più bella! (8:03)
02. AH!… Affè, madamigella (3:10)
03. Ah, Manon, mi tradisce (2:36)
04. Lescaut? Tu qui? (3:18)
05. Intermezzo (4:46)
06. Ansia eterna, crudel (2:32)
07. Manon!… Des Grieux! (4:12)
08. All’armi! All’armi! (0:59)
09. Il passo m’aprite (0:39)
10. Rosetta (3:29)
11. Presto! In fila! Marciate! (0:44)
12. Ah, non v’avvicinate ! Como io piango ed imploro (3:11)
13. Tutta su me ti posa (2:47)
14. Manon, senti, amor mio … Vedi, son io che piango (3:41)
15. E nulla ! Nulla ! (2:34)
16. Sola, perduta, abbandonata (11:50)

The Artists:

stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 1 hour 55 minutes. Covers, info & synopsis included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3

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