Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Antonio Pappano – Verdi: Aïda (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:25:21 minutes | 2,39 GB | Genre: Classical, Opera
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | @ Warner Classics

This magnificent recording of Aida, made in Rome, rises to all the musical and dramatic challenges presented by Verdi’s richly-coloured Egyptian epic. Antonio Pappano, once again proving his mastery of Italian opera, moves between sumptuous grandeur and touching intimacy. The responses of the Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia are both immediate and vibrant, while the singers – Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Ludovic Tézier and Erwin Schrott – do justice to every facet of their roles.

Gramophone Recording of the Month: “A magnificent achievement that gives enormous pleasure…Karajan has the Vienna Philharmonic but it is arguable that Pappano goes one better, with orchestral playing of rare accomplishment from an Italian ensemble which is alive to the opera’s every word.”

This recording of Verdi’s Aïda makes a good impression even before the first bit of information meets the laser. It’s a non-live recording of an opera, in a time when those were thought to belong to the past. It features the hottest Italian opera conductor, Antonio Pappano, whose fame has apparently reached such levels that he needs only his surname in the cover graphics, along with veteran Italian instrumental forces who know the music almost by heart. The vocal stars, however, are from outside Italy, and part of the appeal of Anja Harteros and Jonas Kaufmann is that when you do get into the music is that they seem to approach the score fresh; although both are certainly competent in Italian music, neither has had much contact with Aïda in the past. The recorded sound is captured in the new Renzo Piano-designed Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, and it turns out to be splendid, right from the orchestral prologue that is tantalizingly shaped by Pappano in a way that wouldn’t be as vivid in a live recording. The bottom line is that the recording justifies the high expectations. You can believe Harteros in her varied moods of nostalgia for home, grief, and undying love, and Kaufmann’s set pieces are, as usual, marvelous exemplars of pure technique. The supporting cast, notably Ekaterina Semenchuk as Amneris and bass Erwin Schrott as the slightly over-the-edge High Priest Ramfis, is uniformly strong. This is state-of-the-art Verdi, musically, sonically, and vocally, and for a lot of listeners it’s going to be the new Aïda they’ve been waiting for.

Tracklist:
01 – Aïda: Preludio
02 – Act 1: “Sì: corre voce che l’Etiope ardisca” (Ramfis, Radamès)
03 – Act 1: “Se quel guerrier io fossi!” (Radamès)
04 – Act 1: “Celeste Aida” (Radamès)
05 – Act 1: “Quale insolita gioia nel tuo sguardo!” (Amneris, Radamès)
06 – Act 1: “Vieni, o diletta, appressati” (Amneris, Aida, Radamès)
07 – Act 1: “Alta cagion v’aduna” (King, Messenger, Radamès, Ramfis, Priests, Ministers, Captains, Aida)
08 – Act 1: “Su! del Nilo al sacro lido” (King, Ramfis, Ministers, Captains, Aida, Radamès, Amneris, Priests, Messenger)
09 – Act 1: “Ritorna vincitor!” (Aida)
10 – Act 1: “Possente, possente Fthà” (Verdi: Aïda, Act 1: “Possente, possente Fthà” (High Priestess, Ramfis, Priests, Priestesses)
11 – Act 1: “Sacred dance of the Priestesses” (Priestesses, Ramfis, Priests)
12 – Act 1: “Mortal, diletto ai Numi” (Ramfis, Priests)
13 – Act 1: “Nume custode e vindice” (Ramfis, Radamès, Priests, Priestesses)
14 – Act 2: “Chi mai fra gl’inni e I plausi” (Slaves, Amneris)
15 – Act 2: Dance of the Moorish slaves
16 – Act 2: “Vieni: sul, crin ti piovano” (Slaves, Amneris)
17 – Act 2: “Fu la sorte dell’armi a’ tuoi funesta” (Amneris, Aida)
18 – Act 2: “Pietà ti prenda del mio dolor” (Aida, Amneris)
19 – Act 2: “Su! del del Nilo a sacro lido” (Chorus, Amneris, Aida)
20 – Act 2: “Gloria all’Egitto, ad Iside” (Chorus, Priests)
21 – Act 2: Triumphal march
22 – Act 2: Ballet
23 – Act 2: “Vieni, o guerriero vindice” (Chorus, Priests)
24 – Act 2: “Salvator della patria” (King, Radamès, Ramfis, Priests)
25 – Act 2: “Che veggo! Egli? Mio padre!” (Aida, Amneris, Radamès, Ramfis, King, Priests, Chorus, Amonasro)
26 – Act 2: “Ma tu, Re, tu signore possente” (Amonasro, Aida, Slaves, Prisoners, Ramfis, Priests, Amneris, King, Radamès)
27 – Act 2: “O Re, pei sacri numi” (Radamès, King, Amneris,Priests, Chorus, Ramfis)
28 – Act 2: “Gloria all’ Egitto, ad Iside” (King,Slaves, Prisoners, Chorus, Ramfis, Priests, Aida, Radamès, Amneris, Amonasro)
29 – Act 3: “O tu che sei d’Osiride” (Priests, Priestesses)
30 – Act 3: “Vieni d’Iside al tempio” (Ramfis, Amneris, Priests, Priestesses)
31 – Act 3: “Qui Radamès verrà!” (Aida)
32 – Act 3: “O patria mia” (Aida)
33 – Act 3: “Ciel! mio padre!” (Aida, Amonasro)
34 – Act 3: “Rivedrai le foreste imbalsamate” (Amonasro, Aida)
35 – Act 3: “In armi ora si desta il popol nostro” (Amonasro, Aida)
36 – Act 3: “Padre! a costoro schiava non sono” (Amonasro, Aida)
37 – Act 3: “Pur ti riveggo, mia dolce Aida” (Radamès, Aida)
38 – Act 3: “Nel fiero anelito di nuova guerra” (Radamès, Aida)
39 – Act 3: “Fuggiam gli ardori inospiti… Là, tra foreste vergini” (Aida, Radames)
40 – Act 3: “Ma, dimmi: per qual via” (Aida, Radamès, Amonasro, Amneris, Ramfis)
41 – Act 4 “L’abborrita rivale a me sfuggia” (Amneris)
42 – Act 4 “Già i sacerdoti adunansi” (Amneris, Radamès)
43 – Act 4 “Ah! tu dei vivere! ” (Amneris, Radamès)
44 – Act 4 “Ohimè! morir mi sento!” (Amneris)
45 – Act 4 “Spirto del nume, sovra noi discendi!” (Ramfis, Priests, Amneris)
46 – Act 4 “Radamès, Radamès, Radamès” (Ramfis, Priests, Amneris)
47 – Act 4 “A lui vivo, la tomba!” (Amneris, Ramfis, Priests)
48 – Act 4 “La fatal pietra sovra me si chiuse” (Radamès, Aida)
49 – Act 4 “Presago il core della tua condanna” (Aida, Radamès)
50 – Act 4 “Vedi? di morte l’angelo” (Aida, Priests, Priestesses, Radamès)
51 – Act 4 “O terra, addio” (Aida, Radamès, Priests, Priestesses, Amneris)

Performers:
Anja Harteros – Aida
Jonas Kaufmann – Radamès
Ekaterina Semenchuk – Amneris
Ludovic Tezier – Amonasro
Erwin Schrott – Ramfis
Marco Spotti – Il Re d’Egitto
Paolo Fanale – Un Messaggero
Eleonora Buratto – Sacerdotessa
Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma; Coro dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma – Conducted by Antonio Pappano.

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