The Art of Conducting: Riccardo Muti Episode 2

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On this episode: Riccardo Muti conducts works of Verdi, Elgar, Berlioz, Gluck, and Mason Bates.

Riccardo Muti: Verdi Attila, Teatro Alla Scala
Performers: Cheryl Studer, Samuel Ramey, Giorgio Zancanaro, Kaludi Kaludov, Ernesto Gavazzi, Mario Luperi.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - JULY 28: Maestro Riccardo ...
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - JULY 28: Maestro Riccardo Muti (R) and Clemens Hellsberg, chairman of Wiener Philharmoniker orchestra, attend the birthday celebration of Riccardo Muti with awarding the honoring membership to the Wiener Philharmoniker during the Salzburg Festival on July 28, 2011 in Salzburg, Austria. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Music by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto Act 1 + 2 Temistocle Solera after reject
libretto Francesco Maria Piave. Later Francesco Maria Piave wrote the 3rd Act.
Première Teatro La Fenice Venice March 17. 1846

Time: Mid-5th Century Place: Aquileia, the Adriatic lagoons, and near Rome

Scene 1: The ruined city of Aquileia

Attila and his victorious horde are surprised to see a group of women spared as prisoners of war. Their leader, Odabella, asks why the Huns' women remain at home (Allor che i forti corrono / "While your warriors rush to their swords like lions"). Attila, impressed by her courage, offers a boon and she asks for her sword to avenge the death of her father at Attila's own hand
(Da te questo or m'è concesso / "O sublime, divine justice by thee is this now granted"). The Roman envoy Ezio asks for an audience and proposes a division of the empire: Avrai tu l'universo, Resti l'Italia a me / "You may have the universe, but let Italy remain mine". Attila denounces him as a traitor to his country.

Scene 2: A swamp, the future site of Venice
A boat bearing Foresto and other survivors arrives; he thinks of the captive Odabella (Ella in poter del barbaro / "She is in the barbarian's power!") but then rouses himself and the others to begin building a new city (Cara patria già madre e reina / "Dear homeland, at once mother and queen of powerful, generous sons").

Act 1
Scene 1: A wood near Attila's camp
Odabela laments her father and Foresto (Oh! Nel fuggente nuvolo / "O father, is your image not imprinted on the fleeting clouds?...") believing the latter to be dead. When he appears, she is put on the defensive, denying any infidelity and reminding him of the biblical Judith. The couple is reunited: Oh, t'inebria nell'amplesso / "O vast joy without measure")

Scene 2: Attila's tent
Attila awakes and tells Uldino of a dream in which an old man stopped him at the gates of Rome and warned him to turn back (Mentre gonfiarsi l'anima parea / "As my soul seemed to swell"). In the daylight, his courage returns and he orders a march (Oltre quel limite, t'attendo, o spettro / "Beyond that boundary I await you, O ghost!"). However, when a procession of maidens clad in white approaches, singing a Christian hymn, he recognizes the Roman bishop Leo as the old man of his dream, and collapses in terror.

Act 2
Ezio's camp
Ezio has been recalled, after a peace has been concluded. He contrasts Rome's past glory with the child emperor Valentine (Dagl'immortali vertici / "From the splendid immortal peaks of former glory"). Recognizing the incognito Foresto among the bearers of an invitation to a banquet with Attila, he agrees to join forces (E' gettata la mia sorte / "My lot is cast, I am prepared for any warfare" ). At the banquet, Foresto's plot to have Uldino poison Attila is foiled by Odabella, jealous of her own revenge. A grateful (and unsuspecting) Attila declares she shall be his wife, and places the unmasked Foresto in her custody.

Act 3
The forest
Uldino informs Foresto about the plans for the wedding of Odabella and Attila; Foresto laments Odabella's apparent betrayal (Che non avrebbe il misero / "What would that wretched man not have offered for Odabella). Ezio arrives with a plan to ambush the Huns; when Odabella comes Foresto accuses her of treachery, but she pleads for his trust. Attila finds the three and recognizes their betrayal. As Roman soldiers approach, Odabella stabs him with the sword he had given her. The three conspirators cry that the people have been avenged.

Riccardo Muti: Elgar "In the South" ('Alassio'), Philadelphia Orchestra
1986 radio broadcast

Riccardo Muti: Berlioz Messe Solennelle - 2004
La Scala Philarmonic
Genia Kuhmeier, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Ildar Abdrazakov

Riccardo Muti: Gluck Iphigenie en Aulide, Teatro alla Scala
Urmana,Barcellona, Robertson

Riccardo Muti: Mason Bates,The B-Sides five pieces for orchestra and electronica
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Broom of the System
Aerosol Melody (Hanalei)
Gemini in the Solar Wind—
Temescal Noir—
Warehouse Medicine

Previously on The Art of Conducting: Riccardo Muti
Cherubini Mass in G major for the coronation of Luis XVIII
Cherubini Missa Solemnis in E
Cherubini Requiem in C minor
Cherubini Messa di Chimay
Debussy La Mar, Berliner Philharmoniker, 1994
Donizetti Don Pasquale, Ravenna Festival
Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice Live, Wiener Philharmoniker

Русский: МОСКВА. После окончания концерта орке...
Русский: МОСКВА. После окончания концерта оркестра Миланского театра «Ла Скала» в Большом зале Московской консерватории с дирижером Риккардо Мути. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)