Music and Vision homepage


<<  -- 4 --  Robert Anderson    HOTHOUSE PASSIONS


Leonora is appalled by their sombre 'miserere', while the distant Manrico bids the chance of love farewell [listen -- DVD2 Act IV, 'Quel suon, quelle preci -- Ah! che la morte ognora']. Close-up highlights the moment Leonora decides to partake of the poison concealed in her ring. Having implied to the Count she will at last be his, she gains access to Manrico, who spurns the guilty freedom she has apparently purchased for him with shame. The truth dawns on him as Leonora collapses in his arms [listen -- DVD2 Act IV, 'Prima che d'altri vivere'].

Leonora (Raina Kabaivanska) collapses in the arms of Manrico (Plácido Domingo) at the end of Verdi's 'Il Trovatore'. © ORF/TDK
Leonora (Raina Kabaivanska) collapses in the arms of Manrico (Plácido Domingo) at the end of Verdi's 'Il Trovatore'. © ORF/TDK

The hothouse passions of Il Trovatore are wonderfully and indeed relentlessly captured in this performance. Occasionally one longed for a wider sweep of the Vienna stage, to give the drama a broader context. Karajan modestly confines himself to initial bows and a last curtain embellished with bouquets. Momentary slippages in ensemble may be ascribed to his penchant for conducting with eyes closed, though this we cannot know. The audience is allowed to be almost too vociferous in its applause, whereas in the privacy of one's room one can only reel exhausted when Manrico's execution allows Azucena the dubious pleasure of declaring that her mother's burning is avenged and the Count has done to death his brother.

Copyright © 21 November 2004 Robert Anderson, London UK


Giuseppe Verdi: Il Trovatore - Live Recording 1978

DV-CLOPIT 2 DVD 5 4:3/PAL, Region 0 DD 5.1 / DTS 5.1 / LPCM Stereo 151' 1978 ORF; 2004 TDK Marketing Europe GmbH

Piero Cappuccilli (Il Conte di Luna); Raina Kabaivanska (Leonora); Fiorenza Cossotto (Azucena); Plácido Domingo (Manrico); José van Dam (Ferrando); Maria Venuti (Ines); Heinz Zednik (Ruiz); Karl Caslavsky (an old gypsy); Ewald Aichberger (a messenger); Chor der Wiener Staatsoper; Helmuth Froschauer, chorus master; Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper; Herbert von Karajan, conductor

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901): Il Trovatore. Dramma in 4 parti. Libretto/Livret: Salvatore Cammarano & Emanuele Bardare. Directed for stage by Herbert von Karajan. Adapted for TV by Günther Schneider-Siemssen. Sets: Teo Otto; Costumes: Georges Wakhevitch; Lighting: Robert Stangl


 << Music & Vision home      Recent CD reviews       Dan Locklair >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.