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Siberia Live, Original recording remastered


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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 Oct. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Opera D'Oro
  • ASIN: B000086ERO
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 629,333 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Giordano: Siberia: Godi dunque il suo sole 4:03£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Giordano: Siberia: L'epidemia delle donne come Stephana 2:28£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Giordano: Siberia: O bella mia 5:45£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Giordano: Siberia: E Gleby!... Non lo temo! 3:00£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Giordano: Siberia: Ogni giorno in me amor si fa gigante 3:33£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Giordano: Siberia: Signora nel ricamo! 2:43£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Giordano: Siberia: Sei giovane! Soldato! 3:47£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Giordano: Siberia: Introduction 4:26£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Giordano: Siberia: Buon di! Salute a Vostre Signorie! 5:38£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Giordano: Siberia: Malori! Dolori! Languire! Soffrire 4:17£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Giordano: Siberia: La poloo-tappa della Steppa d'Omsk? 3:13£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Giordano: Siberia: Sara la mia!... Orride steppe, torrida estate! 3:13£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Giordano: Siberia: E qui con te il mio destin 6:07£0.89  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Giordano: Siberia: Dalle nuvole ha il cielo snidato 4:12£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Giordano: Siberia: Chi mai sara?... Che ti turba? 3:42£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Giordano: Siberia: Sua Nobilta il Governatore. In rango! 2:49£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Giordano: Siberia: stephana: ho modo per fuggire! 5:22£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Giordano: Siberia: A te portai l'anima mia, o Siberia 2:44£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Giordano: Siberia: Or vedrete che scena! Strano incontro! 2:54£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Giordano: Siberia: La conobbi quand'era fanciulla 2:52£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Giordano: Siberia: Fiele!... Da un'ora!... Contro te! 3:52£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Giordano: Siberia: Perdona a me, Stephana! 2:48£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Giordano: Siberia: Cristo e risorto! 4:29£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Giordano: Siberia: Ah, disgraziata!... Non piangere!... Sollevami! 4:37£0.89  Buy MP3 

Product Description

OPP 1375; OPERA D'ORO - Stati Uniti; Classica Lirica

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Among his own works, "Siberia" (premiere: Teatro alla Scala, 19 December 1903, with a stellar cast - Storchio - Zenatello - De Luca - cond. Campanini) was Umberto Giordano's preferred opera. This is an unavoidable point to take in consideration.
Besides, since its first representation in Paris (1905), it has been very highly regarded by French critics and musicians. (Gabriel Fauré: "Je ne crois pas exagérer en disant que le deuxième acte de Siberia prendra certainement place parmi les pages les plus singulières et les plus captivantes que la musique dramatique moderne puisse offrir.")
Nevertheless, from a musical point of view, nowadays critics put, more or less, at the same highest level of Giordano's production "Siberia" (1903, revised in 1927), "Madame Sans-Gêne" (1915), "La cena delle beffe" (1924), "Il re" (1929). Beniamino Gigli (1890-1957), who, as is known, had in Andrea Chénier one of his signature roles, expressed his preference for "La cena delle beffe" (as, possibly, the majority of the critics).

Another point is that Giordano is often labelled as a Verist composer, but its sole actually Verismo opera is "Mala Vita" (in its first 1892 version), so sharply realistic that the composer had to "edulcorate" it in 1897 ("Il voto"). "Regina Diaz", 1894, was an old-fashioned opera. "Andrea Chénier" (1896) is regarded as a masterly fusion of Verismo and Idealism, while in "Fedora" (1898), being based on the homonymous work (1882) by Victorien Sardou (1831-1908), many crime novel elements are added.

Therefore, it is evident that in 1903, Giordano was already far from a mere Verismo form of artistic inspiration. Even more distant he was at the time of the revision of "Siberia", in 1927.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A curiosity; worthwhile and decently performed 5 Mar. 2009
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Several attempted revivals of Siberia throughout the last hundred years have failed to establish a place for the opera in the repertoire, and it is not really hard to see why. It is far inferior to Andrea Chenier and Fedora, and even to some of Giordano's less well-known operas. The setting is also reminiscent of Alfano's Risurrezione - another verismo opera revived by Opera d'Or and a clearly superior work as well. Siberia is very loosely based on Dostoevsky, but the music doesn't at all reflect the harshness and desolation of its setting. Still, there is some fine music here and some rather effective use of Russian folk music (but the Volga Boatmen theme is overused). But as a whole the work is lacking in inspiration and the whole thing is atmospherically shallow, despite some nice touches. The story and libretto are no more than mediocre. It is, in the end, worth hearing, though - Giordano was a fine craftsman and was able to bring some inventive uses of the rather thin material.

This live performance dates from 1973, and the sound quality is hardly excellent though it includes very little stage-noise. But it is clear enough to display orchestral detail and capture the atmosphere of the score, so it should present absolutely no obstacle to those who are used to these kinds of releases (despite a slightly unreal tinge to the voices which makes them meld rather poorly with the orchestra whose acoustics are more natural). The orchestral playing is in any case pretty good, and Belardinelli's approach is thoughtful, detailed and structurally coherent. The soloists are decent enough, but Maragliano is uneven (although she does have some nice touches and solos in between). Overall, though, the cast is pretty good, with most of the minor roles taken by more than able singers. In the end, this release will hardly make any huge impact, but it is nice enough and worth a listen.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A rare and excellent performance of one of the quite forgotten Giordano's "after Chénier" masterworks. 27 July 2013
By Luca - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Among his own works, "Siberia" (premiere: Teatro alla Scala, 19 December 1903, with a stellar cast - Storchio - Zenatello - De Luca - cond. Campanini) was Umberto Giordano's preferred opera. This is an unavoidable point to take in consideration.
Besides, since its first representation in Paris (1905), it has been very highly regarded by French critics and musicians. (Gabriel Fauré: "Je ne crois pas exagérer en disant que le deuxième acte de Siberia prendra certainement place parmi les pages les plus singulières et les plus captivantes que la musique dramatique moderne puisse offrir.")
Nevertheless, from a musical point of view, nowadays critics put, more or less, at the same highest level of Giordano's production "Siberia" (1903, revised in 1927), "Madame Sans-Gêne" (1915), "La cena delle beffe" (1924), "Il re" (1929). Beniamino Gigli (1890-1957), who, as is known, had in Andrea Chénier one of his signature roles, expressed his preference for "La cena delle beffe" (as, possibly, the majority of the critics).

Another point is that Giordano is often labelled as a Verist composer, but its sole actually Verismo opera is "Mala Vita" (in its first 1892 version), so sharply realistic that the composer had to "edulcorate" it in 1897 ("Il voto"). "Regina Diaz", 1894, was an old-fashioned opera. "Andrea Chénier" (1896) is regarded as a masterly fusion of Verismo and Idealism, while in "Fedora" (1898), being based on the homonymous work (1882) by Victorien Sardou (1831-1908), many crime novel elements are added.

Therefore, it is evident that in 1903, Giordano was already far from a mere Verismo form of artistic inspiration. Even more distant he was at the time of the revision of "Siberia", in 1927.
In any case, this was a generalized situation in the Italian cultural framework, where the literary influence of Gabriele D'Annunzio was prevailing, and an Idealistic philosophical view was achieving a robust theoretical structure thanks to Benedetto Croce and Giovanni Gentile; all that coexisting with a still strong Catholic background. Culturally, also Freemasonry was robustly present. As well, a little of Dostoyevsky and, widely, Tolstoy, mainly through a French intermediation, were starting to gain some cultural influence (as "Siberia" itself and Alfano's "Risurrezione" - 1904 - testify, at least in the operatic field, even if a general and fashionable appeal of exoticism has to be taken in consideration).
From a dramaturgical point of view, Verismo had been someway metabolized in the so called "Teatro di vita", opposed to D'Annunzio's theatre, while, in 1909 gained sudden and world-wide fame the innovative approach of Sem Benelli.

But also from a musical point of view, the Italian cultural framework was really complex. As a matter of fact, all the members of the so called "Giovane Scuola" (a journalistic label used to differentiate Puccini, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Giordano, Catalani, Cilea, Franchetti and Smareglia from the Nineteenth Century tradition), followed a different path in their artistic development. Only a little few of their operas can be connected with Verismo esthetics. Besides, we had Spinelli, Ferroni, Alfano and Montemezzi.
In my opinion, the main common feature of the most part of Italian post-Verdi composers is not Verismo, but the attempt to renew and to reinforce the orchestral aspects of Italian opera, trying also to fill the traditional gap of Italian music in the symphonic field, even if through the Italian leading form of musical expression. At the same time, they were searching for an Italian original answer to Wagner, Strauss, Massenet, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Rimskij-Korsakov.

"Siberia" reflects all this complex background, and, from a musical point of view, it surely can be regarded as an innovative and original masterwork. The weak point of the opera is the libretto, a problem that affects also Alfano's "Risurrezione".
In "Siberia" the problem is caused, in my opinion, by the lack of a subject already structured and tested in a dramatical form, and by some Illica's typical artistic limitations. Luigi Illica (1857-1919) obviously was a skilled and successful librettist, but he was not a first class dramaturgist and poet as Giuseppe Giacosa (1847-1906) was. He was very able, as also "Siberia" demonstrates, to reduce a story in a synthetic and witty theatrical plot, but he was not able to refine its details and to enrich it with a really poetical versification. Awkwardly italianized Russian words are spread in the text; the verses are supported by too many and long stage directions, that is a clear sign of the inability of verses to poetically describe in detail situations and feelings.
This is one of the motivations of critics' preferences (and mine) for "La cena delle beffe", based on the wonderful libretto by Sem Benelli.
Anyway, the story of Stephana and Vassili is moving and involving; the evil personality of Glèby is well depicted; secondary roles are not blurry like in Alfano's "Risurrezione".

From a musical point of view, innovation and originality are everywhere: the omnipresence of the orchestra ("orchestra-personaggio"), the innovative dissonances, the relation between music and voice, the capacity to glacially describe the environment and to passionately, but without rhetoric, underscore emotions, the sudden peaks in the vocal line, the elegant and context-sensitive introduction of Russian themes, and so on.

In a few words, "Siberia" is a highly refined composition, which, once again, manages to harmoniously mix Verismo and Idealism, not only in the story, but also in the musical expression. The typical, more pessimistic than neutral, approach of Verismo and its sense of ineluctability of human condition are counterbalanced by Stephana's spiritual evolution (Act I - "La donna", Act II - "L'amante", Act III - "L'eroina", - "The Woman, The Lover, The Heroine" - as the opera was originally titled during its gestation) towards her final transfiguration, while in the background, in the crude material dimension, another "Living-Chain" ("Catena-Vivente") of prisoners is arriving. Like in Verismo, life goes cruelly on, but, like in Idealism, human spirit is virtually strong enough to find its way towards an higher level of enlightenment, even in the worst material conditions.

These two Opera d'Oro CDs present the opera in the recording of a RAI live broadcast from Milan, dated February 5, 1974: a really rare document!

Luisa Maragliano (b. 1931) is Stephana. Maragliano was an excellent soprano, with a wide repertory and a particular preference for Verdian roles (she played Aida nearly 500 times). She is unduly under-recorded and quite always in live performances. Her powerful voice, but perfectly controlled in dynamics and modulations, allowed her to be a constant presence at Arena di Verona. Maybe here she has just passed her prime, but her voice is still intact and excellent, thanks to a masterly technique. Her emission is a bit old fashioned in the 1970s', but perfectly idiomatic for a 1903-1927 opera.
Stephana is a very difficult role: Maragliano's interpretation is absolutely convincing and involving. She depicts very well the spiritual evolution of the protagonist, her tenderness, her passion and her fiery character. Excellent!

Amedeo Zambon (1934-2000) is a convincing Vassili. Zambon was an excellent dramatic tenor (he sang opposite Olivero, Caballé, Gencer, Zeani, Kabaivanska, Souliotis), with a large voice, steady and open high notes, a good capacity in dynamics control. He was a "sincere" tenor: his technical approach is surely connected with the best Italian tradition. It had that kind of heroic-dramatic voice nowadays quite absolutely disappeared. It had also an "heroic" stage presence, being his body type very athletic.
In my opinion, his only fault was a sort of limitation in his identification with the role: in general, Zambon's performances were vocally excellent (sometimes really outstanding!), but not completely involving from an interpretative point of view.
Besides, his voice was (relatively) small at close distance, but it expanded, sharp and rich of overtones, towards the audience, completely filling wide listening spaces, like the Arena di Verona. This vocal feature is absolutely correct and it testifies the excellence of his singing technique. But this kind of voice very often becomes problematic in recording sessions, and I think this is one main reason of the unduly lack of Zambon's studio recordings (like in the case of Luisa Maragliano).
Here he is an excellent Vassili, but I think the recording does not justice to the best features of Zambon's voice.

Walter Monachesi (?-?) was an excellent baritone. His best known recording is in the role of Paolo Albiani in the famous EMI (Gobbi - Christoff - de los Àngeles - Santini) 1958 production of Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra". Here, his Glèby is very convincing and perfectly renders the evilness and perfidiousness of the disagreeable character.

Among the excellent or very good singers of supporting roles stand out the names of Plinio Clabassi (1919-1984, Il Governatore), Laura Londi (Nikona), Franco Pugliese (Il Capitano), Gino Calò (Walinoff), while Mario Ferrara (Il Principe Alexis), a tenor with a very beautiful voice, meets (here) some problems with high notes.

Danilo Belardinelli, he too unduly under-recorded, was an established international name both as a violinist (there is a recording of his Sibelius' Violin Concerto with Joseph Keilberth) and as a conductor.
Here he works very well, attentive and involved, in an idiomatic and really musical performance.
RAI Orchestra and Chorus of Milan were still in their glorious period and their performance is precise and felt.

The sound is more than acceptable, brighter than usual in similar recordings; also the balance between voices and orchestra is better than other times. Strangely, here the orchestra is better treated than voices: in my opinion, this also due to the generous vocality of Maragliano and Zambon, not easy to catch through microphones.

As usual in this Opera d'Oro series, packaging is cheap and informations consist of a brief introduction and a synthetic synopsis (only in English, by Bill Parker), without the libretto.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"Siberia" released from Siberia 11 Dec. 2012
By dwinps - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Once fairly popular, "Siberia" is today a relatively unknown work from the composer of the perennial favorite "Andrea Chenier." Dramatic, tuneful, and pretty well sung by a a group of semi-unknowns.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Verismo opera 26 April 2009
By ALFRED H. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not for the hi-fi purist but pretty good recorded sound for 34 years ago. Interesting music, but certainly not Giordano's best, with a lot of Russian folk music. The plot, but certainly not the music, reminds me of Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. The singers are all adequate but not great. If you want another evening of pretty good "can-belto" singing this will frequently stir your blood.
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