Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Enough Work to Fell an Ox...

Donald Macleod explains how in 1854 Verdi was behind schedule and had to rush to complete his first work for the Paris Opera: the Sicilian Vespers.

Donald Macleod explores Giuseppe Verdi's "middle period". In 1853 Verdi was on the crest of a wave of immense popularity. He had been working unmercifully hard and had completed what became known in Italy as his "popular trilogy", Rigoletto, Il Trovatore and La Traviata. Not that La Traviata had been an instant success with audiences - that didn't happen until it was revived a year later. Verdi was in Paris by then though, behind schedule and slogging away to catch up on his next work: the Sicilian Vespers, which he composed for the Paris Opera - his first experience of dealing with the management of what he called "La Grande Boutique."

Il Trovatore, Act 2 (The Anvil Chorus)
Orchestra and Chorus del Maggio Musicale Florence
Zubin Mehta, Conductor

La Traviata, Act 1 (Libiamo ne lieti calici)
Giuseppe Di Stefano, tenor
Maria Callas, soprano (Violetta)
Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro alla Scala
Carlo Maria Giulini, Conductor

Les Vepres Siciliennes (Overture)
Berlin Philharmonic
Claudio Abbado (Conductor)

Les Vepres Siciliennes (Palerme! O mon pays! Pays tant regrette)
Ayhan Baran, bass (Jean Procida)
BBC Concert Orchestra and Chorus
Mario Rossi (Conductor)

Les Vepres Siciliennes, Act III, S2 (Les Quatre Saisons - Spring, Summer)
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
James Levine, Conductor

I Vespri Siciliani, Act IV (O sdegni, tacete! / Arrigo! Ah, parli a un core)
Cheryl Studer, soprano (Elena)
Chris Merritt, Tenor (Arrigo)
Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro della Scala
Riccardo Muti (Conductor).

1 hour

Last on

Mon 23 Feb 2015 18:30

Music Played

  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Vedi! Le fosche notturne spoglie (The Anvil Chorus) from Il Trovatore

    Orchestra: Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra. Conductor: Zubin Mehta. Choir: Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus.
    • DECCA : 430-694 2.
    • DECCA.
    • 6.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Vedi! Le fosche notturne spoglie (The Anvil Chorus) from Il Trovatore

    Orchestra: Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra. Conductor: Zubin Mehta. Choir: Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus.
    • DECCA : 430-694 2.
    • DECCA.
    • 6.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Libiamo ne lieti calici, from La Traviata

    Singer: Giuseppe di Stefano. Orchestra: Orchestra of La Scala, Milan. Singer: Maria Callas. Conductor: Carlo Maria Giulini.
    • EMI : CMS-7 63628 2.
    • EMI.
    • 8.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Libiamo ne lieti calici, from La Traviata

    Singer: Giuseppe di Stefano. Orchestra: Orchestra of La Scala, Milan. Singer: Maria Callas. Conductor: Carlo Maria Giulini.
    • EMI : CMS-7 63628 2.
    • EMI.
    • 8.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Overture to Les vepres siciliennes

    Conductor: Claudio Abbado. Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON : dg-457 627 2.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 9.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Overture to Les vepres siciliennes

    Conductor: Claudio Abbado. Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON : dg-457 627 2.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 9.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Palerme! O mon pays! / Et toi, Palerme from Les Vepres Siciliennes

    Orchestra: BBC Concert Orchestra. Singer: Ayhan Baran. Conductor: Mario Rossi.
    • OPERA RARA : ORCV-303.
    • OPERA RARA.
    • 5.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Palerme! O mon pays! / Et toi, Palerme from Les Vepres Siciliennes

    Orchestra: BBC Concert Orchestra. Singer: Ayhan Baran. Conductor: Mario Rossi.
    • OPERA RARA : ORCV-303.
    • OPERA RARA.
    • 5.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Spring & Summer from Les Vepres siciliennes

    Orchestra: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Conductor: James Levine.
    • Sony : SK 52 489.
    • 2.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Spring & Summer from Les Vepres siciliennes

    Orchestra: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Conductor: James Levine.
    • Sony : SK 52 489.
    • 2.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    O sdegni, tacete! / Arrigo! Ah, parli a un core from Les Vepres siciliennes

    Performer: Cheryl Studer. Performer: Chris Merritt. Conductor: Riccardo Muti. Orchestra: Orchestra of La Scala, Milan.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    O sdegni, tacete! / Arrigo! Ah, parli a un core from Les Vepres siciliennes

    Performer: Cheryl Studer. Performer: Chris Merritt. Conductor: Riccardo Muti. Orchestra: Orchestra of La Scala, Milan.

Broadcasts

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

The production team reflects on 5 of Donald Macleod’s best stories from the last 20 years

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.