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Verdi: La Battaglia Di Legnano

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Mar. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B007GDT9JW
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 198,922 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Format: Audio CD
To my knowledge there are only two studio recordings of this opera: this one, which is one of the many excellent mono recordings made by the RAI forces from 1951, conducted by Previtali with the usual sturdy cast of that era and the 1977 Gardelli set starring Carreras, Ricciarelli and Manuguerra as part of the wonderful Philips "Early Verdi" series. It's rarely performed; Italians tend to regard it a rather passé "pièce d'occasion" and the rather clumsy attempt by Cammarano to meld a personal tragedy with another patriotic rallying-call, in combination with his penchant for dramatic confrontation regardless of psychological verisimilitude, can leave the audience less than involved. In addition, the hero acts like a total oaf: his vicious condemnation of the hapless Lina for marrying his best friend when she believed he had been killed in battle is unattractive and incomprehensible.

Musically, there doesn't seem to be quite the spark and invention which make the neglect of other operas of that era such as "Stiffelio" so puzzling; nonetheless, even second-rank Verdi always affords many pleasures and there is still some lovely music here. Try, for example, the duet at the beginning of Act 3 between husband and wife or Lina's scena and cavatina in Act 1.

Furthermore, both recordings feature singers of the first rank. In the Previtali set, baritone Rolando Panerai will be familiar to many. His distinctive, flexible, flickering voice featured in so many recording over forty years, but some might also be surprised by the quality of the relatively unknown tenor Amedeo (sometimes "Amadeo") Bertini and soprano Caterina Mancini: big-voiced, stalwarts who would be much more celebrated were they singing today.
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