Opera Deep Cuts: Busoni's "Turandot"
For the month of April, Sunday Night at the Opera dives deep into the stacks of the music library and dusts off some rarely-heard gems! On April 2, tune in for "Turandot" by Busoni (yes, Busoni).
Ferruccio Busoni: Turandot
Turandot: Mechthild Gessendorf
Altoum: Franz-Josef Selig
Kalaf: Stefan Dahlberg
Truffaldino: Markus Schäfer
Pantalone: Michael Kraus<
Tartaglia: Wolfgang Holzmair
Barak: Falk Struckmann
Adelma: Gabriele Sima
The Queen: Anne-Marie Rodde
Lyon Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Kent Nagano, conductor
The Turandot story is a famous one in opera. Even if you've never heard of it, chances are you've heard Giacomo Puccini's most famous aria, which comes from Turandot: "Nessun dorma". Just over 2 minutes in length, the little snippet has become synonymous with opera, and is often used in commercials and those hidden-talent shows as a representation of the melodrama and athleticism of operatic singing. Among opera lovers, Puccini's Turandot also has allure because it's Puccini's final (and ultimately unfinished) opera.
In 1916, ten years prior to Puccini's Turdandot, the Italian-born composer Ferruccio Busoni also set about putting the story to music. Both are based on the same 1762 play by Carlo Gozzi, but Busoni's version stays a little more true to the original setting. Where Puccini's setting strives to add realism to the story, Busoni's Turandot pushes back against realism in theater, taking its cues from the larger-than-life stock characters of the Italian commedia dell'arte tradition, a tradition that the Gozzi original belonged to.
Looking forward to diving into this deep cut with you. Here's music from this weekend's recording led by Kent Negano: The Act 2 Slave Girl chorus from Busoni's Turandot (based on "Greensleeves").
ALSO ON THE PROGRAM
GIOACHINO ROSSINI: "Una voce poco fa" from The Barber of Seville
Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto
Montpellier Occitanie National Orchestra and Chorus
Enrique Mazzola, conductor
Album: Si, Si, Si, Si! / Rossini Opera Arias and Duets
ROBERT SCHUMANN: Liederkreis, Op. 39 "Eichendorff"
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone / Alfred Brendel, piano
Album: Schumann - Liederkreis, Op. 39 / "Dichterliebe" Op. 48
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART: Mass in C Major, K. 317 "Coronation"
The English Concert & Choir
Barbara Bonney, soprano
Catherine Wyn Rogers, alto
Jamie MacDougall, tenor
Stephen Gadd, bass
Trevor Pinnock, conductor
Album: Mozart: Krönungsmesse / Vesperae KV 339 U.A. - The English Concert & Choir/Pinnock
GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN: Cantata TWV I:364, "Die stille Nacht" ("Der am Ölberg zagende Jesus")
Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Petra Müllejans, conductor
Album: Bach/Telemann: Sacred Cantatas - Philippe Jaroussky
FRANCIS POULENC: Sept Chansons (Seven Songs) for Mixed Choir, FP. 81
RIAS Chamber Choir
Daniel Reuss, conductor
Album: Poulenc: Figure Humaine / RIAS-Kammerchor - Daniel Reuss
CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI: Book 8 - Madrigals of War and Love: "Altri canti d'Amor" SV146
Les Arts Florissants
Paul Agnew, conductor
Album: Monteverdi: Mardigali, Vol 3 - Venezia / Les Arts Florissants - Paul Agnew