Aida (2 CD)
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Verdi: Aida (2 CD)
Audio CD (October 6, 2017)
Original Release Date: October 6, 2017
Number of Discs: 2
Run Time: 142 minutes
Sony Classical is delighted to offer lovers of singing another ten complete recordings from the RCA Red Seal, CBS/Sony Classical and Eurodisc catalogues. The latest instalment of this wide-ranging series not only features some of the greatest voices of the last century but also spotlights once popular works that have been unduly neglected in recent times.
At the Metropolitan in the second half of the last century, the core Italian repertoire was dominated by a formidable triumvirate of stars: soprano Leontyne Price, tenor Plácido Domingo and baritone Sherrill Milnes. Two of their most memorable recordings were set down by RCA in London in the early 1970s, both conducted by Erich Leinsdorf. Price, the supreme Verdi soprano of her time, declared the BBC Music Magazine, is unsurpassed as Aida ... [with] Domingo and Milnes on top form and Grace Bumbry as a formidable Amneris. Gramophone also lauded Leinsdorf s contribution: He catches the grandeur of the public scenes, the delicacy of the intimate ones and carefully judges the weight and pace of each scene.
This grandest of grand operas, Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida features an epic backdrop for what is in essence an intimate love story set in ancient Egypt packed with magnificent choruses, dramatic arias, complex ensembles and elaborate ballets. The opera is, at its core, a profound exploration of the conflict of private emotion and public duty.
The score of this 4-act opera is a sophisticated example of Italian Romanticism as heard in the “Celeste Aida” right at the beginning of Act I, her impassioned “Ritorna vincitor!” that follows and her great internal journey, “Qui Radamès verrà! O patria mia” in Act III. At the center of Act II, is the great Triumphal Scene, which ranks among opera’s most celebrated moments.
Notable performances include a 1955 production conducted by Tullio Serafin with Maria Callas as Aida and Richard Tucker as Radamès, as well as a 1959 performance conducted by Herbert van Karajan with Renata Tebaldi as Aida and Carlo Bergonzi as Radamès.
Today the work holds a central place in the operatic canon, receiving performances every year around the world.
At the Metropolitan Opera alone, Aida has been performed more than 1,500 times since 1886 and was presented again in the Met’s 2018–19 season.
Aida was commissioned by and first performed at Cairo’s Khedivial Opera House on December 24, 1871.
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