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Giuseppe Verdi – From La Scala: La Traviata

Giuseppe Verdi – From La Scala. La Traviata

About this collection of operas from La Scala:
Between 1960 and 1981, the music label Deutsche Grammophon recorded the eight greatest operas composed by Verdi at La Scala in Milan, the home of Italian operas. World’s leading singers and conductors were involved in the recording. The result provides you with the best possible way to get familiar with Verdi’s operas.

About this opera:
La traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on the novel La dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils, published in 1848. The title “La Traviata” means literally The Woman Who Strayed, or perhaps more figuratively, The Fallen One. Piave and Verdi wanted to follow Dumas in giving the opera a contemporary setting, but the authorities at La Fenice insisted that it be set in the past, “c. 1700”. It was not until the 1880s that the composer’s and librettist’s original wishes were carried out and “realistic” productions were staged. After some revisions between 1853 and May 1854, mostly affecting Acts 2 and 3, the opera was presented again in Venice, this time at the teatro di San Benedetto. On 24 May 1856 the revised version was presented at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London followed on 3 December of that year by its premiere in New York. Today, the opera has become immensely popular and it is a staple of the standard operatic repertoire.

Another version of this opera can be found in another post of this blog here.

Track List:

The Players:

Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 277.84 Mb, 1 hour 58 minutes. Covers, info & synopsis included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3

Giuseppe Verdi From La Scala: Il Trovatore

Giuseppe Verdi – From La Scala. Il Trovatore

About this collection of operas from La Scala:
Between 1960 and 1981, the music label Deutsche Grammophon recorded the eight greatest operas composed by Verdi at La Scala in Milan, the home of Italian operas. World’s leading singers and conductors were involved in the recording. The result provides you with the best possible way to get familiar with Verdi’s operas.

About this opera:
Il trovatore (The Troubadour) is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Leone Emanuele Bardare and Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El Trovador by Antonio García Gutiérrez. Il trovatore was first performed in the US on 2 May 1855 at the Academy of Music in New York while its UK premiere took place on 10 May 1855 at Covent Garden in London. Today, almost all performances use the Italian version, although in 2002 the French version, Le trouvere appeared as part of the Sarasota Opera’s “Verdi Cycle” of all the composer’s work by 2013.
Enrico Caruso once said that all it takes for successful performance of Il trovatore is the four greatest singers in the world. On many different occasions, this opera and its music have been featured in various forms of popular culture and entertainment. Scenes of comic chaos play out over a performance of Il trovatore in the Marx Brothers’s film, A Night at the Opera. Luchino Visconti used a performance of Il trovatore at La Fenice opera house for the opening sequence of his 1954 film Senso. As Manrico sings his battle cry in “Di quella pira”, the performance is interrupted by the answering cries of Italian nationalists in the audience. In Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism, Millicent Marcus proposes that Visconti used this operatic paradigm throughout Senso, with parallels between the opera’s protagonists, Manrico and Leonora, and the film’s protagonists, Ussoni and Livia.

Track List:

The Players:

Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 293.58 Mb, 2 hours 25 minutes. Covers, info & synopsis included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3

Giuseppe Verdi From La Scala: Rigoletto

Giuseppe Verdi – From La Scala. Rigoletto

About this collection of operas from La Scala:
Between 1960 and 1981, the music label Deutsche Grammophon recorded the eight greatest operas composed by Verdi at La Scala in Milan, the home of Italian operas. World’s leading singers and conductors were involved in the recording. The result provides you with the best possible way to get familiar with Verdi’s operas.

About this opera:
Details about Rigoletto can be found in the previous post here:

Track List:

The Players:

Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 290.76 Mb, 2 hours 2 minutes. Covers, info & synopsis included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quartets No.20 & 23 & Adagio And Fugue In C Minor, K.546

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quartets No.20 & 23 & Adagio And Fugue In C Minor, K.546

Recorded at the Unitarian Church, Budapest,from 5th to 9th April, 1993.

About this work:
The String Quartet in D Major, K. 499, was written in 1786 in Vienna by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It was published by — if not indeed written for — his friend Franz Anton Hoffmeister. Because of this, the quartet has acquired the nickname Hoffmeister. There are four movements:
I. Allegretto, in D major
II. Menuetto: Allegretto, in D major, with a trio section in D minor
III. Adagio, in G major
IV. Allegro, in D major
This work, sandwiched between the six quartets he dedicated to Joseph Haydn (1782–5) and the following three Prussian quartets (1789–90), intended to be dedicated to King Frederick William II of Prussia (the first edition bore no dedication, however), is often polyphonic in a way uncharacteristic of the earlier part of the classical music era. The menuetto and its trio give good examples of this in brief, with the brief irregular near-canon between first violin and viola in the second half of the main portion of the minuet, and the double imitations (between the violins, and between the viola and cello) going on in the trio.

Mozart’s final string quartet No.23 was to have been the third of six the composer intended to dedicate to King Frederick William II of Prussia, the cello-playing monarch whom Boccherini served as exclusive chamber musician from 1787 until the death of the king ten years later. Shortly after entering the F major Quartet in his thematic catalog in June, 1790, Mozart told Puchberg in a further letter that he had been “obliged” to give away the quartets “for a mere song in order to have cash in hand to meet my present difficulties.” Along with its two companions, K. 590 has been generally regarded by commentators as being less successful than the great set of six “Haydn” quartets composed between 1782 and 1785. Artaria’s advertisement for the “Prussian” quartets describes them as “concertante quartets,” thus paying due recognition to the prominence of their cello parts, which were obviously designed to give Frederick William significance. Yet if the structure is frequently looser than in the more tightly organized “Haydn” quartets, there is much compensation in the skillful manner in which Mozart allows the royal cello discourse with its colleagues, a refinement the composer confessed to finding “troublesome” in execution. The customary four movements are an opening Allegro moderato, an affecting, valedictory Andante, Menuetto, and Allegro finale. From the first movement this piece is filled with aural miracles. Dialogues scurry about and return slightly altered, like double entendres uttered in one of Mozart’s operas. At the movement’s end, the coda restates the development, gracefully winds down, and ends on a witty high note. Mozart never specified whether the second movement is an Allegretto or an Andante.  Alfred Einstein said of it: “It seems to mingle the bliss and sorrow of a farewell to life. How beautiful life has been! How sad! How brief!” The Menuetto is charged with ornamental appoggiaturas and contrary phrases. The finale is packed with wondrous devices, such as unexpected silences and intricate counterpoint. Listen closely in the last bars and you’ll even hear a bagpipe-like drone.

The C-minor Fugue was first composed in December of 1783 for two pianos (K. 426) then re-arranged for strings, with an introductory Adagio, in June 1788 – the prolific summer during which he also penned his last three symphonies. The Adagio alternates a dotted-rhythm reminiscent of a French overture with a more lyrical passage. A French overture normally begins a more extended multi-movement work; in this case, its use serves to establish a period flavor and a sense of occasion. The theme of the Fugue is strongly rhythmic, with little of Mozart’s melodic charm – and yet it has the uniquely Mozartean quality of suggesting a character through gesture and nuance. The “crisis in creative activity” was not for naught.

The Players:
Éder Quartet
János Selmeczi: violin
Péter Szüts violin
Sándor Papp: viola
György Éder: cello

Track List:
01. String Quartet No.20 – Allegretto (8:48)
02. String Quartet No.20 – Menuetto: Allegretto (3:18)
03. String Quartet No.20 – Adagio (8:14)
04. String Quartet No.20 – Allegro (6:51)
05. String Quartet No.23 – Allegro Moderato (8:57)
06. String Quartet No.23 – Andante (Allegretto) (9:04)
07. String Quartet No.23 – Minuetto (3:57)
08. String Quartet No.23 – Allegro (5:06)
09. Adagio And Fughe In C Minor, K.546 – Adagio (4:09)
10. Adagio And Fughe In C Minor, K.546 – Fuga: Allegro(moderato) (3:59)

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 155,06 Mb, 62:23 minutes. Covers & info included

Part1 —–   Part2

Giacomo Puccini – Turandot

Giacomo Puccini – Turandot

Recorded in Germany in 1982.

About this Opera:
Turandot is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, set to a libretto in Italian by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. Though Puccini’s first interest in the subject was based on his reading of Friedrich Schiller’s adaptation of the play, his work is most nearly based on the earlier text Turandot by Carlo Gozzi. Turandot was unfinished by the time of Puccini’s death and was later completed by Franco Alfano.
The first performance was held at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 25 April 1926 and conducted by Arturo Toscanini. This performance included only Puccini’s music and not Alfano’s additions. The first performance of the opera as completed by Alfano was conducted by Ettore Panizza. The story of Turandot was taken from the Persian collection of stories called The Book of One Thousand and One Days or Hezar o-yek shab (1722 French translation Les Mille et un jours by François Petis de la Croix — not to be confused with its sister work The Book of One Thousand and One Nights), where the character of “Turandokht” as a cold Chinese princess was found. The story of Turandokht is one of the best known from de la Croix’s translation.The plot respects the classical unities of time, space and action.Puccini first began working on Turandot in March 1920 after meeting with librettists Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. He began composition in January 1921. By March 1924 he had completed the opera up to the final duet. However, he was unsatisfied with the text of the final duet, and did not continue until October 8, when he chose Adami’s fourth version of the duet text. On October 10 he was diagnosed with throat cancer and on November 24 went to Brussels, Belgium for treatment. There he underwent a new and experimental radiation therapy treatment. Puccini and his wife never knew how serious the cancer was, as the news was only revealed to his son. He died of complications on November 29, 1924. He left behind 36 pages of sketches on 23 sheets for the end of Turandot, together with instructions that Riccardo Zandonai should finish the opera. Puccini’s son Tonio objected, and eventually Franco Alfano was chosen to flesh out the sketches after Vincenzo Tommasini (who had completed Boito’s Nerone after the composer’s death) and Pietro Mascagni were rejected. Ricordi decided on Alfano because his opera La leggenda di Sakùntala resembled Turandot in its setting and heavy orchestration. Alfano provided a first version of the ending with a few passages of his own, and even a few sentences added to the libretto which was not considered complete even by Puccini himself. After the severe criticisms by editor Ricordi and the conductor Arturo Toscanini, he was forced to write a second, strictly censored version that followed Puccini’s sketches more closely, to the point where he did not set some of Adami’s text to music because Puccini had not indicated how he wanted it to sound. Ricordi’s real concern was not the quality of Alfano’s work, but that he wanted the end of Turandot to sound as if it had been written by Puccini, and Alfano’s editing had to be seamless. Of this version, about three minutes were cut for performance by Toscanini and it is this shortened version that is usually performed. The premiere of Turandot was at La Scala, Milan, on Sunday April 25, 1926, one year and five months after Puccini’s death. It was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. In the middle of Act III, two measures after the words “Liù, poesia!”, the orchestra rested. Toscanini stopped and laid down his baton. He turned to the audience and announced: “Qui finisce l’opera, perché a questo punto il maestro è morto” (“Here the opera ends, because at this point the maestro died”). The curtain was lowered slowly. Toscanini apparently never conducted the opera again.The second and subsequent performances at the 1926 La Scala season were conducted by Ettore Panizza and they included Alfano’s ending. (As discussed in Ashbrook and Powers, the music for Liù’s death was not in fact Puccini’s final composition, but had been orchestrated some nine months earlier).

Track List:
01. Acte I – Popolo di Pechino! [Le Mandarin] (2:17)
02. Acte I – Le guardie imperiali indietro, cani! [Les Gardes Impériaux] (0:47)
03. Acte I – Padre! Mio padre! [Calaf] (3:08)
04. Acte I – Gira la cote! [Les Hommes] (2:27)
05. Acte I – Perche tarda la luna? [La Foule] (4:07)
06. Acte I – La, sui monti dell’Est [Les Jeunes Gens] (1:14)
07. Acte I – O giovinetto! Grazia! [La Foule] (3:38)
08. Acte I – La grazia, Principessa! [La Foule] (1:56)
09. Acte I – Figlio, che fai? [Timur] (1:52)
10. Acte I – Fermo! Che fai? [Ping, Pong, Pang] (1:59)
11. Acte I – Silenzio, olà! [Les Servantes de Turandot] (1:54)
12. Acte I – Notte senza lumicino [Pang, Pong, Ping] (2:49)
13. Acte I – Signore, ascolta! [Liù] (2:47)
14. Acte I – Non piangere, Liù! [Calaf] (2:29)
15. Acte I – Ah! Per l’ultima volta!’ [Timur] (3:19)
16. Acte II, Premier Tableau – Olà, Pang! [Ping] (1:18)
17. Acte II, Premier Tableau – O China, che or sussulti [Ping] (2:03)
18. Acte II, Premier Tableau – Ho una casa nell’Honan [Ping] (3:10)
19. Acte II, Premier Tableau – O mondo pieno di pazzi innamorati! [Ping, Pong, Pang] (1:52)
20. Acte II, Premier Tableau – Addio, amore, addio, razza! [Ping, Pong, Pang] (1:57)
21. Acte II, Premier Tableau – Non v’è in China per nostra fortuna [Ping, Pong, Pang] (1:48)
22. Acte II, Premier Tableau – Udite trombe! Altro che pace [Pong] (1:18)
23. Acte II, Deuxième Tableau – Gravi, enormi ed imponenti [La Foule] (3:14)
24. Acte II, Deuxième Tableau – Un giuramento atroce mi costringe [L’Empereur] (3:37)
25. Acte II, Deuxième Tableau – Diecimila anni al nostro Imperatore! [La Foule] (1:31)
26. Acte II, Deuxième Tableau – Popolo de Pechino! [Le Mandarin] (1:42)
01. Turandot – In questa reggia (3:06)
02. Turandot / “O, Principi, Che A Lunghe Carovane” (4:24)
03. Turandot / “Straniero, Ascolta” (2:02)
04. Calaf / “Si! Rinasce!” (0:55)
05. Turandot / “Guizza Al Pari Di Fiamma” (1:39)
06. Calaf / “Si, Principessa!” (1:02)
07. Turandot / “Gelo Che Ti Da Foco” (2:02)
08. Calaf / “La Mia Vittoria” (1:53)
09. Turandot / “Figlio Del Cielo!” (2:07)
10. Calaf / “No, no, Principessa Altera” (3:28)
11. La Folla / “Ai Tuoi Piedi Ci Prostriam” (2:46)
12. Gli Araldi / “Cosi Comanda Turandot” (3:46)
13. Calaf / “Nessun Dorma” (3:15)
14. Ping, Pong, Pang / “Tu Che Guardi Le Stelle” (2:25)
15. Ping / “Straniero, To Non Sai” (1:44)
16. Ping / Principessa Divina!” (2:46)
17. Liu / “Signor, Non Parlero!” (1:34)
18. Turandot / “Chi Pose Tanta Forza Nel Tuo Cuore?” (2:59)
19. Turandot / “Strappatele Il Segreto!” (1:32)
20. Liu / “Tu Che Di Gel Sei Cinta” (3:20)
21. Timur / “Liu! Sorgi!” (2:36)
22. Timur / “Liu, Bonta! Liu, Dolcezza!” (3:25)
23. Calaf / “Principessa Di Morte!” (3:53)
24. Turandot / “Che e Mai Di Me?” (2:58)
25. Calaf / “La Tua Gloria Risplende Nell’incanto” (3:35)
26. Turandot / “Piu Grande Vittoria Non Voler!” (1:03)
27. Turandot / “So Il Tuo Nome!” (1:30)
28. La Folla / “Diecimila Anni Al Nostro Imperatore!” (1:49)
29. Turandot / “Padre Augusto” (2:02)

The Players:
Wiener Philarmonier Orchestra And Chorus
Herbert von Karajan: conductor

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 2 hours 11 minutes, 329.21 Mb Covers, info & synopsis included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3 —–   Part4

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quartets No.16 & 18

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quartets No.16 & 18

Recorded at the Sashalon Reformed Church, Budapest from 4th to 8th January, 1991.

About these works:
The String Quartet No. 16 in E flat major, K. 428/421b, was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This is the third of the Haydn Quartets, a set of six string quartets he wrote during his first few years in Vienna in honor of the composer Joseph Haydn. It is in four movements, with the Minuet third:
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Andante con moto
III. Menuetto & Trio
IV. Allegro vivace
The first movement is highly chromatic, with the chromaticized bridge theme in the exposition being one of several examples, the end of the exposition being another. The slow movement invokes the slow movement of Haydn’s Op. 20 no. 1. The ostentatious dissonances of its opening almost have an antique flavour, caused by the collision of semitonal ascents and descents, and this strongly suggests the opening subject of the first movement, so surprisingly isolated there.” Other commentators hear it as pointing forward to Johannes Brahms.

The String Quartet No. 18 in A major K. 464, the fifth of the Quartets dedicated to Haydn, was completed in 1785[1] Mozart’s autograph catalogue states as the date of composition “1785. / the 10th January”. It is in four movements:
1. Allegro
2. Menuetto and Trio
3. Andante
4. Allegro non troppo
The whole piece is characterized by the use of several different contrapuntal devices. In England”this quartet is known as the Drum because the cello part in variation six [of the Andante] maintains a staccato drum-like motion.” This quartet was the model for Beethoven’s String Quartet in A major, Opus 18 No. 5. Throughout the third movement Mozart “makes use of a pedal point in the bass, thus giving the music an entrancing rustic effect.” The last movement “can best be described as being an abridged rondo form.

The Players:
Éder Quartet
Pál Éder: violin
Erika Tóth: violin
Zóltan Tóth: viola
György Éder: cello

Track List:
1. String Quartet No.18 – Allegro (7:28)
2. String Quartet No.18 – Menuetto (6:39)
3. String Quartet No.18 – Andante (13:10)
4. String Quartet No.18 – Allegro (6:27)
5. String Quartet No.16 – Allegro (7:11)
6. String Quartet No.16 – Andante con molo (9:04)
7. String Quartet No.16 – Menuetto, Allegro (6:14)
8. String Quartet No.16 – Allegro vivace (5:28)

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 151,86 Mb, 60:47 minutes. Covers & info included

Part1 —–   Part2

Johann David Heinichen – Dresden Concerti

Johann David Heinichen – Dresden Concerti

Recorded at the Deutschlandfunk, Sendesaal, Köln between February and March 1992.

About the author:
Johann David Heinichen (17 April 1683 – 16 July 1729) was a German Baroque composer and music theorist who brought the musical genius of Venice to the court of Augustus the Strong in Dresden. Although Heinichen’s music is original, rhythmically exuberant and imaginative, it was inexplicably little known for a long time.
He was born in the small village of Crössuln, near Weissenfels. His father Michael Heinichen had studied music at the celebrated Thomasschule Leipzig associated with the Thomaskirche, served as cantor in Pegau and was pastor of the village church in Crössuln. Johann David also attended Thomasschule Leipzig. There he studied music with Johann Schelle and later received organ and harpsichord lessons with Johann Kuhnau. The future-composer Christoph Graupner was also a student of Kuhnau at the time. Heinichen enrolled in 1702 to study law at the University of Leipzig and in 1705-6 qualified as a lawyer (in the early 18th century the law was a favored route for composers; Kuhnau, Graupner and Georg Philipp Telemann were also lawyers). Heinichen practiced law in Weissenfels until 1709. However, Heinichen maintained his interest in music and was concurrently composing operas. In 1710, he published the first edition of his major treatise on the thoroughbass. He went to Italy and spent seven formative years there, mostly in Venice. In 1717, Heinichen became a colleague of Johann Sebastian Bach at the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen, then went on to be Kapellmeister to the Elector of Saxony. His pupils included Johann Georg Pisendel. In 1721, Heinichen married in Weissenfels and the birth of his only child is recorded in January 1723. In his final years Heinichen’s health suffered greatly and on the afternoon of 16 July 1729, he was buried in the Johannes cemetery after finally succumbing to tuberculosis. His music is enjoying a resurgence of popularity, with some of his masses and his final work, a Magnificat, now receiving some attention in the recording world.

About this recording:
Johann David Heinichen worked at the magnificent court of Dresden from 1717 until his death in 1729, and during the early careers of Bach and Telemann many chroniclers would have named him, not one of them, as Germany’s most renowned composer. This 1992 recording gained a great deal of attention when it was released, for at the time his music had not been much recorded. And it does not sound like Bach, like Telemann, or like the Italian models that Heinichen followed in the composition of music in the concerto grosso genre. His orchestra in the music here is large, sounding a bit like that employed by Handel in the Water Music and perhaps intended for outdoor deployment. There are solo passages for horns, oboes, violins, flute, and recorder, and the music’s textures have an appealing kaleidoscopic quality that emerges in full color in the historical-instrument rendition of Musica Antiqua Köln under Reinhard Goebel. There’s also a stolid quality to much of the thematic material, intensified by Goebel’s low-temperature interpretations; the Italianate style benefits from a bit more fire. Goebel makes a good case for the music in his booklet notes. If we want to understand Dresden, he writes, “that uncommonly peaceable German manifestation of absolutism, we should get to know the concertos of Johann David Heinichen: realistic and straightforward, unusually energetic and sumptuous, sometimes sweet but never weak, and never losing sight, in self-absorption, of their duty to represent the King-Elector to the world.” A few minutes with the Water Music will convince one of the need for music to be about something other than duty, but this disc still fills a space on the Baroque shelf and is certainly a must for anyone visiting Dresden’s increasingly large collection of restored treasures.

Track List:
01. Concerto in F Seibel 234 – I- Vivace (2:32)
02. Concerto in F Seibel 234 – II- Adagio (0:44)
03. Concerto in F Seibel 234 – III- Un poco Allegro (2:23)
04. Concerto in F Seibel 234 – IV- Allegro (2:58)
05. Concerto in F Seibel 235 – I- Vivace (4:16)
06. Concerto in F Seibel 235 – II- Andante (2:24)
07. Concerto in F Seibel 235 – III- Presto (3:34)
08. Concerto in F Seibel 235 – IV- Alla breve (3:31)
09. Concerto in F Seibel 235 – V- Allegro (2:57)
10. Concerto in G Seibel 215 – I- Andante e staccato (3:16)
11. Concerto in G Seibel 215 – II- Vivace (3:07)
12. Concerto in G Seibel 215 – III- Largo (2:12)
13. Concerto in G Seibel 215 – IV- Allegro (3:34)
14. Concerto in G Seibel 214 – I- Vivace (2:35)
15. Concerto in G Seibel 214 – II- Largo (2:40)
16. Concerto in G Seibel 214 – III- Allegro (3:29)
17. Concerto in D Seibel 226 – I- Allegro (3:18)
18. Concerto in D Seibel 226 – II- Adagio (2:48)
19. Concerto in D Seibel 226 – III- Allegro (2:56)
20. Concerto in G Seibel 213 – I- Allegro (2:39)
21. Concerto in G Seibel 213 – II- Larghetto (3:05)
22. Concerto in G Seibel 213 – III- Allegro (3:17)
23. Concerto in G Seibel 213 – IV- Entrée (1:35)
24. Concerto in G Seibel 213 – V- Loure. Cantabile (1:42)
25. Concerto in G Seibel 213 – VI- Tempo de Menuet – Air italienne (3:12)
01. Concerto F-dur Seibel 233 (3:11)
02. Concerto F-dur Seibel 233 (2:11)
03. Concerto F-dur Seibel 233 (3:21)
04. Concerto C-dur Seibel 211 (2:16)
05. Concerto C-dur Seibel 211 (2:33)
06. Concerto C-dur Seibel 211 (1:09)
07. Concerto C-dur Seibel 211 (2:10)
08. Concerto F-dur Seibel 231 (2:19)
09. Concerto F-dur Seibel 231 (2:49)
10. Concerto F-dur Seibel 231 (1:51)
11. Concerto F-dur Seibel 232 (2:25)
12. Concerto F-dur Seibel 232 (3:08)
13. Concerto F-dur Seibel 232 (2:25)
14. Concerto G-dur Seibel 217 (3:35)
15. Concerto G-dur Seibel 217 (2:40)
16. Concerto G-dur Seibel 217 (1:55)
17. Concerto G-dur Seibel 217 (6:47)
18. Concerto G-dur Seibel 214 (Venezia 1715) (2:58)
19. Concerto G-dur Seibel 214 (Venezia 1715) (3:02)
20. Concerto G-dur Seibel 214 (Venezia 1715) (3:35)
21. Adagio – Allegro (3:08)
22. Sonate A-dur Seibel 208 (1:39)
23. Sonate A-dur Seibel 208 (0:46)
24. Sonate A-dur Seibel 208 (0:57)
25. Moll Seibel 240: Vivace (3:04)

The Players:

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 325.32 Mb, 2 hours 16 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3 —–   Part4

Joseph Haydn – The Seasons

Joseph Haydn –  The Seasons

Recorded at the Grosser Saal, Musikverein in Viena between April and May 1967.

About this work:
The Seasons (German: Die Jahreszeiten) is an oratorio by Joseph Haydn (H. 21/3). Haydn was led to write The Seasons by the great success of his previous oratorio The Creation (1798), which had become very popular and was in the course of being performed all over Europe. The libretto for The Seasons was provided to Haydn, just as with The Creation, by Baron Gottfried van Swieten, an Austrian nobleman who had also exercised an important influence on the career of Mozart. Van Swieten’s libretto was his own rendering into German of extracts from the long English poem “The Seasons” by James Thomson (1700-1748), which had been published in 1730. The composition process was arduous for Haydn, in part because his health was gradually failing and partly because Haydn found van Swieten’s libretto to be rather taxing. Haydn took two years to complete the work. The premiere, in Vienna on April 24, 1801, was considered a clear success, but not a success comparable to that of The Creation. In fact, this has been the critical verdict on The Seasons ever since, and to this day it is performed considerably less often than the earlier oratorio. It is widely felt that the blame lies not with Haydn, who remained at the height of his powers musically, but with the libretto. Oratorios typically are written on weighty subjects, such as episodes and characters from the Christian religion or heroes of classical mythology, but the libretto of The Seasons is mostly about the weather and about everyday life. The stirring final solo and chorus, which take up weightier matters (the meaning of life, the last trumpet, the eternal afterlife), might be taken to show what a remarkable work Haydn could have composed had he had access to a more serious libretto. Like The Creation, The Seasons is a bilingual work. Since Haydn was very popular in England (particularly following his visits there in 1791-2 and 1794-5), he wished the work to be performable in English as well as German. Van Swieten therefore retranslated the Thomson original back into English, fitting it to the rhythm of the music. The resulting English text has not always proven satisfying to listeners; for example, one critic writes, “Clinging to [the] retranslation, however, is the heavy-handed imagery of Haydn’s sincere, if officious, patron. Gone is the bloom of Thomson’s original. The Seasons is written for a fairly large late-Classical orchestra, a chorus singing mostly in four parts, and three vocal soloists, representing archetypal country folk: Simon (bass), Lucas (tenor), and Hanne (soprano). The solo voices are thus the same three as in The Creation.
There is some evidence that Haydn himself was not happy with van Swieten’s libretto, at least one particular aspect of tone-painting it required, namely the portrayal of the croaking of frogs, which is found during the serene movement that concludes Part II, “Summer”. The version of the anecdote given below is from the work of Haydn scholar H. C. Robbins Landon. In 1801, August Eberhard Müller (1767-1817) prepared a piano version of the oratorio’s orchestra part, for purposes of rehearsal and informal performance. Haydn, whose health was in decline, did not take on this task himself, but he did look over a draft of Müller’s work and wrote some suggested changes in the margins. Amid these changes appeared an off-the-cuff complaint about van Swieten’s libretto: This whole passage, with its imitation of the frogs, was not my idea: I was forced to write this Frenchified trash. This wretched idea disappears rather soon when the whole orchestra is playing, but it simply cannot be included in the pianoforte reduction. Robbins Landon continues the story as follows: “Müller foolishly showed the passage in the enclosed sheet, quoted above, to the editor of the Zeitung fur die elegante Welt,[3] who promptly included it in support of his criticism of Swieten’s wretched libretto. Swieten was enraged, and [Haydn’s friend] Griesinger reported that His Excellency “intends to rub into Haydn’s skin, with salt and pepper, the assertion that he [Haydn] was forced into composing the croaking frogs.” A later letter of Griesinger’s indicates that the rift thus created was not permanent. The term “Frenchified trash” was almost certainly not a gesture of contempt for France or French people; Haydn in fact had friendly relationships with French musicians (see, e.g. Paris symphonies). Rather, Haydn was probably referring to an earlier attempt by van Swieten to persuade him to set the croaking of the frogs by showing him a work by the French composer André Grétry that likewise included frog-croaking.

Track List:
01. Mirad como el duro invierno se va (Bajo) (5:41)
02. Ven dulce primavera (Coro) (3:48)
03. Por fin los rayos del Sol (Bajo) (0:35)
04. Con alegría trabaja el labrador (Bajo) (3:46)
05. El labrador ha hecho su parte (Tenor) (0:33)
06. Se propicio dulce cielo (Tenor-Coro) (6:07)
07. Nuestras plegarias son escuchadas (Soprano) (1:00)
08. Oh, tan amable la primavera (Soprano-Tenor-Coro) (5:04)
09. Gracioso Dios de luz y vida (Sop-Ten-Bajo-Coro) (5:03)
10. Su rostro cubierto de rocío (Tenor-Bajo) (3:47)
11. Desde el redil el pastor las guía (Bajo) (3:06)
12. El Sol remonta (Sop-Ten-Bajo-Coro) (4:34)
13. Todo se anima en el campo (Bajo) (1:32)
14. La naturaleza sucumbe bajo el peso (Tenor) (3:18)
15. Bienveindas sois, umbrosas arboledas (Soprano) (3:52)
16. Que placentero a los sentidos (Soprano) (4:44)
17. Mirad, la oscuridad emerge de las arboledas (Baj-Ten-Sop) (2:30)
18. Oh, la tormenta se aproxima (Coro) (3:54)
19. Las oscuras nubes se separan (Tenor-Soprano) (4:20)
01. Los variados retoños (2:50)
02. Así la naturaleza recompensa ( Trio-Coro) (6:16)
03. Mirad ahora los avellanos (Trio) (1:06)
04. Vosotras alegres y bellas, venid (Tenor-Soprano) (7:34)
05. Donde estuvieron las generosas cosechas (Bajo) (0:58)
06. Mirad las vastas praderas (Bajo) (3:14)
07. Aquí el cerco se cierras sobre la liebre (Tenor) (0:42)
08. Escuchad, las montañas resuenan (Coro) (4:03)
09. El viñedo muestra su abundancia (Soprano) (1:07)
10. Hurra, aquí llega el vino (Coro) (6:22)
11. Introduccion (2:32)
12. Ya zozobra el pálido año (Bajo-Soprano) (2:19)
13. La luz y la vida languidecen (Soprano) (1:42)
14. De cristal se cubre el lago (Tenor) (1:31)
15. El viajero se detiene perplejo (Tenor) (4:05)
16. Como llega la noche (Trio) (1:17)
17. Gira, gira pequeña rueca (Soprano-Coro) (3:17)
18. Una doncella de un señor (Soprano) (3:32)
19. Del este llega (Bajo) (0:39)
20. 43. I – Piensa en esto, insensato (Bajo) (4:01)
21. Entonces rompe el alba gloriosa (Trio-Coro) (5:36)

The Players:

Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 300.09 Mb, 2 hours 11 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–  Part2 —–   Part3 —–   Part4