- Performer: Gino Bechi, Giuseppe Taddei, Giulietta Simionato, Maria Caniglia, Beniamino Gigli, et al.
- Orchestra: La Scala Theater Orchestra
- Conductor: Oliviero de Fabritiis
- Composer: Umberto Giordano
- Audio CD (November 18, 2003)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 2
- Label: Naxos
- Run Time: 129 minutes
- ASIN: B0000CDJJ4
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,608 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Great Opera Recordings: Andrea Chenier
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Top Customer Reviews
Of all the roles he sang, Gigli considered this his best, and it shows. Unlike his "Ballo," "Boheme," "Butterfly," and other operas (not to mention the Verdi Requiem), he keeps his glotting and sobbing to a bare minimum here, singing with not only his usual glorious tone but also with a superb legato and sense of drama one did not always hear from him. Not one note, not one emotion, sounds false or forced or artificial; Gigli identified completely with the poet whose compassion for the poor helped trigger a revolution that he eventually became the unwitting victim of. Gigli IS Chenier the same way that Vickers was Peter Grimes, Siepi Don Giovanni and Flagstad Isolde. It is very much his signature role.
Maria Caniglia gives us a passionate yet highly musical Maddalena; if you can simply accept that her overly-bright voice was not recorded well by the early microphones, you will enjoy her interpretation as multi-faceted and riveting. Moreover, she sings more in tune here than in her later recordings (with Gigli) of "Ballo" and "Aida."
Gino Bechi is a magnificent Gerard; only Bastianini has ever equaled him.Read more ›
In fact I think this opera is mistakenly scorned in some circles; performed as well as it is in this recording (and in the two mentioned above), it takes its place among the most thrilling, well-crafted and memorably tuneful of supposed "second rank" operas.
There is also the advantage of being able to hear two other great artists: Maria Caniglia, Gigli's regular singing partner, better know in recordings made just a little too late in her career but here wonderfully expressive and suffering little from the acidity which afflicted her top notes later on, and Gino Bechi, the huge, black-voiced baritone dubbed by no less than Corelli as "the vocal phenomenon of our age". Comprimario parts are skilfully taken - there is the incidental pleasure of hearing the instantly recognizable timbre of the young Giuseppe Taddei in two roles - and De Fabritiis conducts with his heart on his sleeve - as this great barn-stormer of a score demands.
All of this achieved in early 1941, as if there were no war going on at the time! A classic - buy it.
Gigli, born in the 19th Century, here proves once again why he is one of the greats even now in the 21st. I confess to being a total fan of Caniglia, despite all her faults, but even her harshest critics must be impressed by her performance and the sheer, glorious sound she offers. Bechi sings with all the dramatic intensity of Gobbi and in what is for him a more than usually warm, truly musical sound.
For those of you not familiar with this not-quite standard repertory opera, Andrea Chenier is by far the best Puccini opera that Puccini never wrote and better than some he did write.
This is a great and historic recording at a bargain price. Grab it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am VERY dissatisfied with this download. The sound is terrible -- almost unlistenable. I do not know who is in the cast -- it's supposed to be Gigli and Caniglia -- the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Emery Eaton
Of course Gigli is fabulous in this recording. But so are Maria Caniglia and Gino Bechi. Bechi is my favorite baritone from this period. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Opera Fan
The reviews listed for this are actually for another recording - the live Corelli-Tebaldi recording. This is a different recording with a different cast except for Corelli. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jane DeRocco
Tebaldi and Corelli were meant for each other. I used to her them at the Met and they would go their separate ways and record with other sopranos and tenors. Read morePublished on June 19, 2014 by Daniel G. Madigan
The big draw here in the tenor Gigli. For its age the sound is passable. The stereo era recoding with Del Monaco and Tebaldi is the best of modern times. Read morePublished on May 12, 2014 by Bjoerling Idolater
Beniamino Gigli is the greatest Chenier ever. My cat simply loves him. She has good taste and a better ear.Published on February 26, 2014 by a. p.
THERE IS VERY LITTLE TO BE ADDED TO THE OTHER REVIEWERS' COMMENTS. BEFORE CALLAS AND OLIVERO THERE WAS MARIA CANIGLIA (LISTEN TO HER FRANCESCA DA RIMINI WITH... Read morePublished on March 19, 2008 by Alfredo R. Villanueva