Puccini: Le Willis

£10.00

1 disc set
Single Track Download

Bonus track: No.6 La Preghiera ‘Angiol de Dio’ – free streaming available

Opera Rara’s recording of Le Willis (1884) gives listeners the chance to hear Puccini’s first opera as it has not been heard for more than 120 years. Making use of the new Ricordi edition, Sir Mark Elder conducts a star cast that brings the acclaimed soprano Ermonela Jaho back for her second recording with Opera Rara and introduces the exciting Armenian tenor Arsen Soghomonyan. This recording includes the two celebrated arias that were added to the revised two-act version of Le Villi and showcases the young and prodigiously talented composer in his first exploration of operatic drama.

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  1. Le Willis Preludio Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  2. Le Willis Coro d’introduzione “Evviva I fidanzati” (Chorus, Guglielmo) Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  3. Le Willis Duetto “Non esser, Anna mia” (Roberto, Anna) Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  4. Le Willis “Tu dell’infanzia mia” (Roberto, Anna) Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  5. Le Willis “Presto! Presto in viaggio!’ (Chorus, Roberto, Anna) Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  6. *** FREE STREAMING *** Le Willis, La Preghiera “Angiol di Dio” (Guglielmo, Anna, Roberto, Chorus) Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 6:11
  7. Le Willis L’abbandono Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  8. Le Willis La tregenda Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  9. Le Willis “No! Possibil non è che invendicata” (Guglielmo) Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  10. Le Willis “Anima santa della figlia mia” (Guglielmo) Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  11. Le Willis “Ei giunge! Anna!” (Chorus, Roberto, Anna) Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  12. Le Willis “Tu dell’infanzia mia” (Anna, Roberto, Guglielmo, Chorus) Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  13. Appendix - Le Villi Scena e Romanza di Anna “Se come voi piccina io fossi, o vaghi fior” (Anna, Roberto) Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  14. Appendix Le Villi Scena drammatica e Romanza di Roberto “Ei giunge!... Ecco la casa...’ (Chorus, Roberto) Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35
  15. Appendix Le Villi Scena drammatica e Romanza di Roberto “Torna ai felici dì” (Roberto, Chorus) Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Rara Soloists and Chorus Buy Track 0:35

Description

Opera Rara’s recording of Le Willis (1884) gives listeners the chance to hear Puccini’s first opera as it has not been heard for more than 120 years. Making use of the new Ricordi edition, Sir Mark Elder conducts a star cast that brings the acclaimed soprano Ermonela Jaho back for her second recording with Opera Rara and introduces the exciting Armenian tenor Arsen Soghomonyan. This recording includes the two celebrated arias that were added to the revised two-act version of Le Villi and showcases the young and prodigiously talented composer in his first exploration of operatic drama.

Cast

Anna ............................................ Ermonela Jaho
Roberto ......................................... Arsen Soghomonyan
Guglielmo ...................................... Brian Mulligan

Opera Rara Chorus
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Mark Elder, conductor
Studio recording from the Henry Wood Hall, London, November 2018

Tracklist

1 Preludio
2 Coro d’introduzione “Evviva I fidanzati” (Chorus, Guglielmo)
3 Duetto “Non esser, Anna mia” (Roberto, Anna)
4 “Tu dell’infanzia mia” (Roberto, Anna)
5 Preghiera “Presto! Presto in viaggio!’ (Chorus, Roberto, Anna)
6 Preghiera “Angiol di Dio” (Guglielmo, Anna, Roberto, Chorus)
7 L’abbandono
8 La tregenda
9 Preludio e scena “No! Possibil non è che invendicata” (Guglielmo)
10 “Anima santa della figlia mia” (Guglielmo)
11 Scena finale “Ei giunge! Anna!” (Chorus, Roberto, Anna)
12 “Tu dell’infanzia mia” (Anna, Roberto, Guglielmo, Chorus)
13 Appendix Scena e Romanza di Anna “Se come voi piccina io fossi, o vaghi fior” (Anna, Roberto)
14 Appendix Scena drammatica e Romanza di Roberto “Ei giunge!… Ecco la casa…’ (Chorus, Roberto)
15 Appendix Scena drammatica e Romanza di Roberto “Torna ai felici dì” (Roberto, Chorus)

English

It is spring in the Black Forest. Roberto and Anna are celebrating their engagement with family and friends (No. 2: Introductory Chorus). Everyone is cheerful, except Anna. Roberto must go to Mainz before the ceremony but Anna has a dream that she will die waiting for his return. Roberto tells Anna that she should not worry and that she may doubt anything but not his love for her (No. 3: Duet). Before leaving, Roberto asks Anna’s father Guglielmo for his blessing (No. 4: The Prayer).

In Mainz, Roberto is seduced by a courtesan and forgets about Anna, who dies of a broken heart, turning into a Willi. According to the legend, the Willis will force the heartbreaker to dance until death (Nos. 5a & 5b: Orchestral interlude).

It is winter now, and Guglielmo, still mourning his daughter, asks the Willis to avenge Anna (No. 6: Prelude and Guglielmo’s scene). When Roberto returns to the forest, Anna’s spirit appears and speaks of the sorrows she has experienced. Roberto asks for forgiveness, but Anna compels Roberto to dance until he dies (No. 7: Final Scene).

Italian

È primavera nella Foresta Nera. Roberto e Anna festeggiano il loro fidanzamento insieme a parenti e amici (N. 2: Coro d’introduzione). Tra l’allegria generale, la fidanzata è triste: Roberto deve andare a Magonza prima della cerimonia e Anna ha sognato che morirà in attesa del suo ritorno. Il fidanzato la esorta a non preoccuparsi e a non dubitare mai del suo amore (N. 3: Duetto di Anna e Roberto). Prima di allontanarsi, Roberto chiede la benedizione di Guglielmo, padre di Anna (N. 4: Preghiera).

A Magonza Roberto viene sedotto da una cortigiana e dimentica Anna, che muore di dolore e si trasforma in una Willi. Secondo la leggenda, le Willi obbligano l’uomo che le ha tradite a ballare fino alla morte. (N. 5a e 5b: Intermezzo sinfonico).

Adesso è inverno e Guglielmo, ancora in lutto per la figlia, chiede alle Willi di vendicare Anna (N. 6: Preludio e Scena di Guglielmo). Quando Roberto ritorna nella foresta, compare lo spirito di Anna e descrive i dolori che ha sofferto. Roberto chiede perdono, ma Anna lo obbliga a ballare fino alla morte (N. 7: Scena finale).

German

Im Schwarzwald ist es Frühling. Roberto und Anna feiern mit ihrer Familie und ihren Freunden ihre Verlobung (Nr. 2: Introduktion). Alle sind ausgelassen, bis auf Anna: Roberto muss vor der Hochzeit noch nach Mainz fahren, und im Traum sah sie sich beim Warten auf seine Rückkehr sterben. Roberto beschwört sie, sich keine Sorgen zu machen, sie dürfe nicht an seiner Liebe zweifeln (Nr. 3: Duett). Vor seiner Abreise bittet er Annas Vater Guglielmo um seinen Segen (Nr. 4: Gebet).

In Mainz wird Roberto von einer Kurtisane verführt und vergisst Anna, die an gebrochenem Herzen stirbt und zu einer der Willis wird. Der Legende nach zwingen diese Geister den Herzensbrecher, sich zu Tode zu tanzen (Nr. 5a und 5b: Intermezzo).

Es ist Winter geworden. Guglielmo, der noch um seine Tochter trauert, bittet die Willis, Anna zu rächen (Nr. 6: Vorspiel und Guglielmos Szene). Als Roberto ins Dorf zurückkehrt, erscheint der Geist Annas vor ihm und schildert den Kummer, den sie erlitten hat. Roberto bittet sie um Vergebung, doch Anna zwingt ihn zu tanzen, bis er tot zusammenbricht (Nr. 7: Schlussszene).

French

La Forêt-Noire au printemps. Roberto et Anna fêtent leur fiançailles en compagnie de leurs proches (n° 2: Choeur inaugural). Tous sont en liesse, à l’exception d’Anna. Roberto doit se rendre à Mayence avant la cérémonie de mariage et Anna a rêvé qu’elle mourrait avant son retour. Roberto la rassure en lui disant qu’elle peut douter de tout, sauf de l’amour qu’il lui porte (n° 3: Duo). Avant son départ, Roberto demande au père d’Anna, Guglielmo, de lui accorder sa bénédiction (n° 4: La Prière).

À Mayence, Roberto se laisse séduire par une courtisane. Il en oublie Anna, qui meurt de chagrin et rejoint les Willis, créatures dont la légende dit qu’elles ont le pouvoir de faire danser jusqu’à la mort les traîtres à l’amour (n° 5a et 5b: Intermezzo symphonique).

L’hiver venu, Guglielmo, qui pleure toujours sa fille, en appelle aux Willis pour venger Anna (n°6 : Prélude et Aria de Guglielmo). À son retour dans la Forêt-Noire, Roberto voit Anna venue en esprit lui conter les souffrances qu’elle a endurées. Robert la supplie en vain de le pardonner et elle l’entraîne dans une danse débridée qui le conduit à la mort (n° 7: Le Dénouement).

Press Reviews

"First-class treatment for Puccini's haunting debut"
Opera Choice - 5 stars

BBC Music Magazine, Nov 2019

The first version of Puccini's first opera, rather different from its slightly better known revised form, reveals Puccini's remarkably precocious talent. [...] This disc from Opera Rara restores to the repertoire a valuable rarity, Puccini's first opera in its original version as Le Willis. (★★★★)

Planet Hugill, September 2019

“...Opera Rara, that admirable organisation heroically dedicated to the scholarly exploration, performance and recording of neglected corners of the 19th-century repertory. […] Here is a wonderful Christmas gift for any lover of La bohème or Madama Butterfly.”

The Daily Telegraph, Saturday 20 October 2019

“enormously entertaining, [….] ebullient recording.”

Geoff Brown, The Times, October 2019

“ Opera Rara, half a century old next year, is a goldmine for anyone on a quest for rarities. […] This is the ideal way to explore Puccini’s youthful gift for lyricism and melody “

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, October 2019

“Opera Rara’s dazzling product, in its unadulterated version, is an imperative keep-sake for all Puccini fans.”

ConcertoNet.com, October 2019

“Mark Elder gets high-quality playing from the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Ermonela Jaho is the affecting, sometimes overparted Anna and Arsen Soghomonyan a rather strained Roberto, though he comes into his own in the big scenes from the 1889 version which are added as an appendix. A welcome discovery for the Puccini enthusiast.” ★★★★

The Financial Times, September 2019

“Elder’s energised conducting packs a powerful punch — the orchestral intermezzo, including a Witches’ Sabbath, deserves regular concert outings. The singers are splendid: Ermonela Jaho is touchingly human as Anna, terrible in her spectral revenge; Arsen Soghomonyan, a burly tenore di forza, is a thrilling, visceral Roberto; and Brian Mulligan hurls out his maledictions as Guglielmo when Roberto collapses. Exciting stuff.”

The Sunday Times, September 2019

“Sir Mark Elder knows exactly how Puccini’s brilliant orchestral tutti sections need the power of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s playing to do them justice… With Ermonela Jaho as Anna, we are a guaranteed a perfectly sonorous soprano who is a pleasure to listen to… With this recording, one gets an exciting insight into how sophisticated the young Puccini’s style already was in his first opera.”

J. Bartels, Das Opernglas, July/August 2019

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