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TESS CREBBIN writes about
an interesting CD by Riccardo Chailly


Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly is an explorer and like all explorers, he likes discovering new things. He 'found' the Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, for instance, made a CD with him and the CD became one of the hottest selling classical albums of 2004 thus far. Chailly also happens to be one of the most innovative conductors and a great Verdi fan. That combination has done a lot for the legacy of the Italian composer. In 1993 he helped form the Verdi Orchestra in Milan (Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi) and has since gone on a journey of Verdi discoveries with them. On the like-named album, Chailly introduces several unknown pieces of Verdi, four of them world première recordings.

'I believe that the main purpose of this project is one of discovery, to explore new repertoire and to allow us the chance to make a direct or indirect comparison between compositions which might throw light on an area of Verdi's orchestral music and which were until recently unpublished,' Chailly says.

There is nothing surprising about the fact that Verdi, who started out in life as an organist and wanted to become a pianist, has always felt drawn to instrumental music. He privately studied instrumental music by his contemporaries and by composers of the past.

Riccardo Chailly. Photo © Decca/Sasha Gusov
Riccardo Chailly. Photo © Decca/Sasha Gusov

'I thought it would be interesting to explore Verdi's instrumental music with the orchestra that bears his name,' Chailly continues. 'It has been an enjoyable and exciting experience. Several of the works we recorded offer members of the orchestra the opportunity to tackle extremely challenging solo parts.'

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Copyright © 12 May 2004 Tess Crebbin, Germany


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