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Ramon Vargas: Verdi Lieder / Ramon Vargas, tenor; Joanna Parisi, soprano; Charles Spencer, piano

Album Summary

>Verdi, Giuseppe : L'esule, song for voice & piano
>Verdi, Giuseppe : La seduzione, song for voice & piano
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Il poveretto
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Stornello, song for voice & piano
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Romances (6) for voice & piano (1838)
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Romances (6) for voice & piano (1845)
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Tantum ergo, for tenor & orchestra in G major
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Ave Maria
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

For Giuseppe Verdi 'the song had about the same significance that the sketch has for the painter'. It gave him the opportunity 'to sketch emotions and characters in a smaller, more improvised form, genre pictures of passions and destinies he otherwise placed in the wide space of the stage'. Hence, his songs are, as it were, the forerunners of his theatre music, 'they also possess the clout of characterization, the magnificent objectivity of portrayal we admire in the opera arias.' (W. Oehlmann)

Gramophone Magazine, November 2014
[Vargas] is well placed to embrace the outgoing emotion of the opera house and, at least occasionally, the softness of touch needed for the drawing room.

American Record Guide, January/February 2015
The performances here are wonderful. Vargas sings 14 of the songs; Parisi sings 4. He is in glowingly vibrant voice and approaches them with the same excellence he brings to opera. Her singing is perfectly respectable. Very rewarding listening.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Baumgartner Casino, Vienna (05/2013).



Reviews

Solid work from Mr. Vargas
This recording consists primarily of 12 Romances written for piano and voice, 6 written earlier in Verdi’s career and the other 6 written much later. The disc starts off, however, with 4 individual songs dealing with political exile, seduction, poverty, a bitter love song (the latter written much later than the other three.

After that comes the first set of 6 Romances, most of which are not exactly cheerful. No. 2 (“More, Elisa, lo stanco poeta”), is a beautiful song about a poet saying goodbye life, and Mr. Vargas’ tone is just so perfect here. The last two of the six definitely belong in an opera recital, both based on Goethe’s Faust – gorgeous work from Mr. Vargas and Soprano Joanna Parisi. The second set of Romances features lovely work from Ms. Parisi in “La zingara” (also No. 2 in this set), as well as a playful foot-tapping waltz in “Lo spazzacamino” (No. 4). Mr. Vargas shows range, sensitivity, and power in “Brindisi” (No. 6).

The last two pieces are “Tantum ergo” from the time when Verdi was a church composer (per the liner notes) – which is a delightful way to spend 7 ˝ minutes of your life – and an Ave Maria to close.

The piano accompanist is Charles Spencer, and he does a wonderful job being both spritely when appropriate and somber sensitivity as required by the mood of the piece. It is evident that this disc is a pleasing partnership between the soloist and the accompanist, and that they were having fun to boot. This is a solid recording, particularly if you enjoy Mr. Vargas voice. Recommended.

Submitted on 09/28/14 by KlingonOpera 
great album
Gorgeous, eloquent singing by Ramón Vargas, Charles Spencer is impeccable here as usual, and Joanna Parisi has a beautiful, powerful tone. A great one for the collection.
Submitted on 04/03/15 by LisaSovak 
A Highly Recommended Album
I have 5 different versions of the Verdi songs, and each brings something novel to these old ears. I am a big admirer of the career of Ramón Vargas. I have had the opportunity to hear his performances live a number of times. Here the great lyric tenor croons with a subtle, plangent expressiveness, perhaps difficult to appreciate fully in the expanse of an opera house. I enjoyed the inclusion of Verdi's Tantum Ergo, a piece rarely heard with these songs or in general. I find the voice of Vargas highly suited to Lieder and I wish he would record more of it. Surprising agility from the spinto soprano Joanna Parisi, who assists Vargas on 4 of the more vocally challenging tracks with metallic beauty.
Submitted on 10/30/15 by Arthur G. 
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Works Details

>Verdi, Giuseppe : L'esule, song for voice & piano
  • Performers: Charles Spencer (Piano); Ramón Vargas
  • Running Time: 7 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1839

>Verdi, Giuseppe : La seduzione, song for voice & piano
  • Performers: Charles Spencer (Piano); Ramón Vargas
  • Running Time: 3 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1839

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Il poveretto
  • Performers: Charles Spencer (Piano); Ramón Vargas
  • Running Time: 2 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1847

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Stornello, song for voice & piano
  • Performers: Joanna Parisi; Charles Spencer (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1869

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Romances (6) for voice & piano (1838)
  • Performers: Charles Spencer (Piano); Ramón Vargas
  • Running Time: 4 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1838

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Romances (6) for voice & piano (1845)
  • Performers: Charles Spencer (Piano); Ramón Vargas
  • Running Time: 3 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1845

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Tantum ergo, for tenor & orchestra in G major
  • Performers: Charles Spencer (Piano); Ramón Vargas
  • Running Time: 7 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: by 1832

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Ave Maria
  • Performers: Charles Spencer (Piano); Ramón Vargas
  • Running Time: 5 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1880