Giuseppe Verdi

Born 10 October 1813. Died 27 January 1901.
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Verdi: Requiem

In this Proms Music Guide, Suzy Klein talks about Verdi's Requiem.

Featured in BBC Music Clips


Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (9 or 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer primarily known for his operas. He is considered, together with Richard Wagner, the preeminent opera composer of the nineteenth century. Verdi dominated the Italian opera scene after the eras of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture, as "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata, "Va, pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, the "Coro di zingari" (Anvil Chorus) from Il trovatore and the "Grand March" from Aida.

Moved by the death of compatriot Alessandro Manzoni, Verdi wrote Messa da Requiem in 1874 in Manzoni's honour, a work now regarded as a masterpiece of the oratorio tradition and a testimony to his capacity outside the field of opera. Visionary and politically engaged, he remains – alongside Garibaldi and Cavour – an emblematic figure of the reunification process of the Italian peninsula (the Risorgimento).

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Messa Da Requiem (feat. conductor: Riccardo Mutti; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Chicago Symphony Chorus)

    Messa Da Requiem (feat. conductor: Riccardo Mutti; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Chicago Symphony Chorus) 2010

    Reviewed by Daniel Ross
    Muti and company tackle the work confidently, and with vim to spare.
  2. Review of Messa da Requiem

    Messa da Requiem 2009

    Reviewed by Charlotte Gardner
    Without a doubt, this will prove to be a seminal recording.
  3. Review of Falstaff

    Falstaff 2007

    Reviewed by John Armstrong
    ...a facelift for a much-loved masterpiece...
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