Holy Week. G. VERDI


Holy Week. G. VERDI

Requiem, IGV 24, G. Verdi
Carmen Solis soprano
María Luisa Corbacho mezzosoprano
Joel Montero tenor
Javier Castañeda baritone
Coro de Opera de Malaga
Director Maria del Mar Muñoz Varo
Coro del Teatro Villamarta
Directors Jose Ramon Hernandez and Ana Belen Ortega

1.30 h (w/out intermission)

Program notes Jose Antonio Canton

Sixteen years passed between the operas Aida and Othello, the latter first performed in 1887, during which Giuseppe Verdi only composed Messa da Requiem in 1874 to honour the writer Alessandro Manzoni, outstanding literary figure of the Italian "ottocento" who had died just a year before and whom the composer greatly admired. On Manzoni’s death Verdi immediately had the idea of composing a funeral mass to be premiered on the first anniversary of the famous novelist’s death. The requiem is divided into seven parts following the habitual text of the Catholic mass, the religious content of which enables Verdi to reach a very significant, albeit austere,  symbology. From the point of view of the spiritual effect, the musical style entails a decisive impulse towards the naturalist intonation of the singing, the disappearance of the strophic melody  and frequent musical symmetries that would have been difficult to eliminate in an opera.
It seems that the famous orchestra conductor Hans von Bülow considered the Messa da Requiem as Verdi’s last opera, dressed in ecclesiastic apparel, opinion which is still upheld in certain musicological circles. The Requiem does contain certain operatic elements: it would be strange not to find them in one of the greatest composers in the history of lyric theatre. Hence, the vocal style of the soloists of this requiem can be compared with the style of the characters of Verdi’s operatic repertoire, in particular the soprano’s and mezzosoprano’s, which clearly recall the style of characters such as Aida and Amneris.

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