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CD Review

Giuseppe Verdi


  • Sinfonia in C
  • Variazioni per pianoforte
  • La forza del destino – Preludio (1862)
  • Adagio per tromba ed orchestra
  • Aïda – Sinfonia (1872)
  • Variazioni per oboe ed orchestra
  • Otello – Preludio
  • I Lombardi all prima crociata – Preludio Act III
  • Simon Boccanegra – Preludio (1857)
  • Capriccio per fagotto ed orchestra
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Gianluigi Petrarulo, trumpet
Alessandro Potenza, oboe
Luca Santaniello, violin
Andrea Magnard,bassoon
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Riccardo Chailly
Decca 473767-2 81m DDD
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This is a fascinating compilation that should speedily find its way into every Verdian collection. Chailly has already unearthed some similar 'Rossini Discoveries' but this truly full disc is a collector's gem. It obviously goes part and parcel with the choral works also recorded by Chailly already available.

The opening Sinfonia in C is a slight work but is quite enjoyable nonetheless. Thibaudet is a genial interpreter of the delightful Varizione which last around 20 minutes and are indebted to Clementi but one can detect the odd Verdian touch here and there.

The alternative versions to the operas also make for some fascinating listening especially the expansive 'Aïda' overture, a fine bet alongside Sir Edward Downe's similarly ebullient recording on Chandos. The 'Otello' Prelude is an attribution but is also a gem in its own right and is well worth resurrecting. Further tantalizing information about this score may be garnered from Pietro Spada's note in the extensive booklet.

Debts to Rossini may be certainly detected in the wind instrument works. Petrarulo is a committed soloist in the Adagio per tromba whilst the delightful and dulcet tones of Alessandro Potenza's bassoon certainly animate the Varizioni per oboe e orchestra. Chailly is always a persuasive advocate of this light yet beautiful music.

Notes and texts are included in a fascinating booklet which provides all the essential and tantalizing details of these long forgotten works. The recordings are beautifully and atmospherically balanced and I cannot think of a better way to spend an autumn afternoon then listening to this jam packed disc that takes you back in time.

Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech