Verdi´s Requiem in Firenze
MESSA DA REQUIEM
per soli, coro e orchestra
Opera di Firenze, Italy
2017 March 4th
Review by Fabio Bardelli, foto: Silvia Venturi.
FIRENZE/ITALY: At the death of Gioachino Rossini in 1869 Giuseppe Verdi participated with a piece (Libera me Domine) to the project of a Mass that was to be composed by many hands by various musicians in honor of the dead composer, but the project failed.
The death of the poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni offered him the opportunity to complete, alone, the composition of a Requiem Mass and to dedicate it to the great Italian writer that Verdi loved and esteemed very much.
So on 1874 May 22nd, exactly one year after the death of Alessandro Manzoni, in the San Marco Church in Milan the complete Requiem Mass composed by Giuseppe Verdi was premiered. The performance was conducted by Verdi himself and had as soloists Teresa Stolz, Maria Waldmann, Giuseppe Capponi and Ormondo Maini.
Requiem by Verdi is a perfect example of the “secular religiousness” of a musician who was a great opera composer, a composition that at each hearing touches in the deep the soul of those who are well prepared to follow this extraordinary secular meditation on the theme of death. The conductor Myung-Whun Chung seems to accompany hand in hand each listener in this deep search inside everyone’s soul, perhaps choosing a little theatrical but of refined beauty and depth way.
Chung is now 64 year old, and seems to take a thoughtful look on the world, the music and the mystery of death: an intense stare and a deep meditation, accompanied by an almost minimal gesture of the conductor on the podium.
Exemplary was the orchestra’s dense color, the timbric never intrusive underscores, the breaths and the minimum breaks that the conductor gets from his collaborators, an Orchestra in a state of grace and a Choir with a few terms of comparison, trained with extraordinary care by Lorenzo Fratini. An intimate way seems highlighted in the folds of notes written by Verdi, a deep sense of nostalgia tenderness and consolation.
The vocal quartet was more than acceptable, with soprano Maria Jose Siri generous but stingy of nuances, mezzo Elena Zhidkova correct but a little anonymous, tenor Gregory Kunde still soaring in the upper register less focused in medium and low, Gianluca Buratto correct enough.
The large audience was very generous in applause for everyone and all the musicians had a real triumph.
Direttore, Myung-Whun Chung
Soprano, Maria Josè Siri
Mezzosoprano, Elena Zhidkova
Tenore, Gregory Kunde
Basso, Gianluca Buratto
Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Maestro del coro, Lorenzo Fratini