Gianandrea Gavazzeni

Verdi: Il Trovatore

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AllMusic Review by

This live recording of Il Trovatore was made on a tour by La Scala in Moscow in 1964, and it has the kind of old-fashioned, blood-red passion that was perhaps only possible with all-Italian casts. Its level of intensity, even wildness, accentuates the plot's melodramatic qualities and makes it hugely compelling. Of the principals, only Giulietta Simionato as Azucena is vocally inconsistent. Dramatically, its possible to forgive her since she is in fact portraying an old woman, but she doesn't begin with performance with the ideal power, although she grows vocally more secure as the performance progresses, and by the last act she is completely engaging, giving full voice to her character's rage. Gabriella Tucci is an utterly radiant Leonora; her voice soars thrillingly in an impassioned performance. Carlo Bergonzi is an exemplary Manrico, tender and stalwart, singing with a bright, warm, ringing tone. Piero Cappuccilli's di Luna is somewhat diffident; although he is fully vocally adequate, his performance lacks the menace to be fully convincing. Ivo Vinco, on the other hand, offers a vocally and dramatically charged portrayal of Ferrando. Gianandrea Gavazzeni leads the La Scala orchestra and chorus in a blazing, idiomatic, and deeply committed reading of the score. The sound is decidedly mediocre, especially toward the beginning of the opera. The stereo blend is erratic; sometimes all the sound seems to be coming out of only one speaker, but sometimes it's fine. There's generally good balance between the singers and orchestra. The level of ancillary noise is often distracting; in some of the quieter sections it's possible to hear distinct talking in the background. On the basis of Gavazzeni's riveting leadership, and especially Tucci's and Bergonzi's gripping, stellar performances, this is a version that any fan of the passion and abandon of the golden age of bel canto singing will want to investigate.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Il Trovatore, opera
1
3:05
2
0:42
3
3:39
4
1:57
5
1:35
6
2:04
7
3:16
8
0:51
9
1:53
10
1:29
11
1:43
12
1:59
13
2:48
14
3:10
15
2:50
16
1:58
17
0:56
18
5:24
19
2:23
20
3:16
21
1:20
22
2:36
23
1:29
24
3:25
25
0:48
26
2:19
27
2:02
28
2:07
29
4:41
blue highlight denotes track pick