Dedicated to the victims of Covid 19 and to all the volunteers who tended to their needs, and given in a socially distanced setting for its chorus, soloists, orchestra, and audience of masked participants, the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini and the chorus of Parma’s Teatro Regio led by Roberto Abbado deliver a powerhouse performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s 1874 masterwork.
Impeccably recorded by Marco Scalfi in a September 2020 performance, the video-recording features in its sterling quartet of soloists, soprano Eleonora Burato, mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili, tenor Giorgio Berruci, and bass Roberto Tagliavini. Each of them and the superb Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini and the chorus of Parma’s Teatro Regio own just more than a moment throughout the approximately ninety minutes of the CD’s playing time that follows a spoken introduction and a minute of silence that commemorates the dead.
Verdi’ Requiem, dedicated to the Italian writer Alessandro Manzoni takes the text of the Mass for the Dead and turns it by way of its music into a journey that grapples with the mysteries of life and death, voyaging through the darkness of its Kyrie and Dies Irae, then finding temporary relief from life’s vicissitudes as expressed in the Quid sum miser trio and the Recordare duet for soprano and mezzo-soprano, then bluntly interrupted by the fire and brimstone of the bass aria Confutatis Maledictus, and weeping for life’s misery and begging for peace in the central Lachrymosa.
The music ultimately leads to the ecstatically quiet contemplation of Lux aeterna, but Verdi does not gives his composition a placid ending, for it is the lone voice of the soprano who utters a final plea in the unaccompanied Deliver me, Lord from eternal death.
The quartet of soloists performs with formidable vocalism and exquisite musicality. Tenor Giorgio Berrugi sings his Ingemisco with a perfect balance of delicacy and squillo. Roberto Tagliavini uses his fine lyric bass voice to perfection in the ensembles and shines in an earth-shaking Confutatis. Mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili brings a perfect mix of stunning power and calming lyricism to her singing, and soprano Eleonora Burato offers gorgeous pianissimo high notes, the perfect Italianate spinto sound, and solid musicianship in all of her participation.
Roberto Abbado elicits a noble performance from all his forces infused with perfect balance, unmannered tempi, and sensitive attention to the soloists.
The 37895 DVD is available on the Dynamic label.
Rafael de Acha All about the arts