Battaglia di Legnano   (Gui;  Gencer, Limarilli, Taddei, Frosini)   (2-Myto 00243)
Item# OP2033
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Product Description

Battaglia di Legnano   (Gui;  Gencer, Limarilli, Taddei, Frosini)   (2-Myto 00243)
OP2033. LA BATTAGLIA DI LEGNANO, Live Performance, 10 May 1959, w.Gui Cond. Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Ensemble; Leyla Gencer, Gastone Limarilli, Giuseppe Taddei, Mario Frosini, Paolo Washington, Giorgio Giorgetti, etc. (E.U.) 2-Myto 00243. - 0801439902435

CRITIC REVIEWS:

“LA BATTAGLIA DI LEGNANO was written in 1848, when Verdi was in full patriotic mode. The libretto tells of the 12th Century victory of the Lombard League over Frederick Barbarossa and tosses in an irrelevant love triangle. The music moves swiftly, but this is one Verdi opera that has no well-known excerpts, no memorable tunes. Its best moments are in Act 2, when the leaders of Milan and Como hold a council, and Act 3, when the ‘Knights of Death’ meet in the vaults of St Ambrose church to music that eerily prefigures some of DON CARLO….”

- Ralph V. Lucano, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Sept./Oct., 2012





“Leyla Gencer was the greatest Turkish opera singer of the 20th century and a singing actor of formidable power and individuality. Although she came from what she herself referred to as a ‘Muslim and oriental’ background, she had the good fortune, as a student in Istanbul, to study with the famous Italian dramatic soprano Giannina Arangi-Lombardi, so that when she went to Italy in 1953, she was thoroughly grounded in the traditions of Italian opera. Gencer was a very beautiful woman, with large dark eyes, a wide, generous mouth and a natural command of the stage. She made her début as Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA at the open-air summer festival in Naples in 1953, and remained a particular favourite with the Neapolitans. Throughout her career, Gencer had a very wide repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi, Gluck and Mozart to Verdi, Ponchielli and Puccini. During her career she sang virtually every soprano rôle in Verdi's operas, but it was especially in the revival of bel-canto works by Bellini, Donizetti and Pacini that she made her mark. To some extent, Gencer shot to fame in the immediate aftermath of the end of Maria Callas' Italian career - Gencer followed Callas as Anna Bolena at La Scala, and in the rôle of Paolina in Donizetti's POLIUTO - the last new part Callas undertook. As Queen Elizabeth I of England, first in Donizetti's ROBERTO DEVEREUX, and then in Rossini's ELISABETTA, REGINA D'INGHILTERRA, Gencer preceded Montserrat Caballé and Beverly Sills, who later recorded the rôles. Although Gencer's career was mostly in Italy, she appeared in the United States, where she made her début in San Francisco as Lucia in 1957, returning there, as well as to Chicago and Dallas. John Ardoin described her voice in a memorable LUCREZIA BORGIA in 1974, as ‘poignant, compelling’ and mentioned the ‘strange colours and deep pathos of her art’. In England she was heard at Glyndebourne as the Countess in FIGARO, and as Anna Bolena. At Covent Garden she was Donna Anna in Zeffirelli's 1962 production of DON GIOVANNI, then Elisabeth de Valois in DON CARLOS. Gencer's most memorable UK appearances were undoubtedly in the title rôle of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, at the Edinburgh Festival in 1969. The sparks that flew on stage in the confrontation - historically absurd but dramatically thrilling - when Gencer as Mary Stuart ripped off her glove and flung it in the face of Shirley Verrett as Elizabeth I at the words, ‘Vil bastarda’ will surely live in the memory of all who witnessed it. Gencer had no career whatsoever as a recording artist, but many of her broadcasts from Italian radio have now been issued on disc and are a fine memorial to her voice and dramatic ability.”

- Patrick O'Connor, The Guardian, 12 May, 2008





“Gastone Limarilli was a fine lirico-spinto tenor with tremendous squillo who débuted as Canio at the Teatro Nuovo, Milano, 1959. Later, on 23 Dec., 1959, he débuted at La Scala in Pizetti’s FEDRA. These were followed by the Vienna Staatsoper, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, Monte Carlo, Macerata, the Verona Arena and the Baths of Caracalla. His repertoire was primarily Verdi, Puccini, then Pizzetti, Alfano and Porrino.”





"Taddei is splendid, one of Italy’s greatest baritones, with a voice rich and powerful as well as gorgeous…..What a pity Taddei never had a major career at the Met….His great Verdi singing and acting at age 69 [while at the Met] would put many baritones half his age to shame.”

- Michael Mark, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Sept./Oct., 2012





"Known as a versatile artist effective in dramatic and comic roles…[Taddei] had an ample, warm, and smooth voice and was a very fine vocal actor, delivering the many declamatory passages with excellent diction."

- Kurt Moses, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, July/Aug., 2005