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Verdi never did anything more astonishing than the start of Act 3 where, though never having visited Egypt, he somehow managed to conjure the magic of a night by the Nile, with but the odd cicada punctuating the moon-drenched silence. Equally remarkable in its way is Amonasro's plea to his daughter Aida that only she, by her influence over Radamès, can save her people. Verdi gave Leonora a trial run of the tune in La forza del destino; but it remained for Amonasro to find its proper force and destiny, as tellingly interpreted by Aldo Protti [listen -- CD2 track 7, 6:42-7:50]. Tebaldi at her most seductive and imperious is well on the way to prizing a vital military secret out of Radamès. Ramesses II would have strongly disapproved [listen -- CD2 track 9, 2:12-3:32]. With condemnation of Radamès by the priestly cohorts now inevitable, Amneris laments the love that has destroyed her life [listen -- CD2 track 12, 0:50-2:10]. Amneris achieves tragic grandeur towards the end of the opera in sharp contrast to the tender farewells of Aida and Radamès against the steady invocation by the priestesses to the god Ptah. Erede paces the score with expert judgment, and elicits from the Santa Cecilia orchestra playing that is supple but capable also of maximum excitement.

Copyright © 1 February 2004 Robert Anderson, London UK


Verdi: Aida

8.110129-30 ADD Mono REISSUE (2 CDs) 67'52"/76'41" - TT 144'33" 2003 HNH International Ltd

Renata Tebaldi, soprano (Aida), Mario del Monaco, tenor (Radamès), Ebe Stignani, mezzo-soprano (Amneris), Aldo Protti, baritone (Amonasro); Fernando Corena, bass (Il Re), Dario Caselli, bass (Ramfis), Piero de Palma, tenor (Un messagero), Chorus and Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome; Alberto Erede, conductor

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901): Aida (1871, libretto by A Ghislanzoni after A Mariette). Transfer from British LP pressings of a historical Decca recording made in Rome in August 1952


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