Musicbox Bulgaria

Little known Puccini works

Every month Radio Bulgaria invites you to vote in its music chart, Musicbox Bulgaria. After drawing of lots CDs are sent to three of you who have selected the award-winning song in the respective music genre. To vote, you can send us your choice of song or tune at english@bnr.bg . Results are announced on the 16th of each month.

This month music editor Svetlana Dimitrova presents arias from little known works for the stage by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini.

On 28 April 2017, the one-act opera Le Villi (The Wills of the Fairies) by Giacomo Puccini was presented for the very first time in Bulgaria. We take the occasion to present two more little known operas of the celebrated composer – The Swallow and Edgar.

The first entry in Musicbox Bulgaria this month is an Aria of Roberto from Le Villi performed by Kamen Chanev - Ecco la casa... Dio, che orrenda notte!. The accompaniment is by the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Luciano di Martino.

Le Villi was written for a competition aimed at young Italian composers declared by publisher Eduardo Sonzogno, but Puccini failed to win a prize. The same year, 1883, Puccini performed some excerpts from his work at a party with friends including Arrigo Boito and Alfredo Catalani. With their support the work was premiered in Milan, on 31 May 1884. The work was hugely successful and the finale was encored 18 times. Publisher Giulio Ricordi bought the copyright on condition that the work would be remade to include not one, but two acts. In this revised version it was presented on 26 December 1884 in Turin.

The second entry in the classical music edition of Musicbox Bulgaria this month is an Aria of Frank from Edgar - Questo amor, vergogna mia, in the rendition of Krum Galabov

The premiere of Puccini’s Edgar was on 21 April 1889 at La Scala in Milan. The libretto was the work of Ferdinando Fontana based on the play The Cup and the Lips by Alfred de Musset. This was the second stage work for which Puccini was commissioned by Giulio Ricordi following the great success of Le Villi. Unfortunately, Edgar was a failure and despite a few attempts by Puccini to revise it, was forgotten.

The third entry in the classical music edition of Musicbox Bulgaria this month is an Aria of Ruggero from The Swallow - Parigi! E la citta dei desideri, in the rendition of Jonas Kaufmann, choir and orchestra of the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome, conductor Antonio Pappano.

La rondine (The Swallow) is an opera in three acts premiered on 27 March 1917 in Monte Carlo. It is based on libretto written by Giuseppe Adami. Originally conceived as an operetta it was commissioned earlier – in 1913, by a theater in Vienna. The First World War disrupted the contract for Vienna and when Puccini offered the work to Giulio Ricordi, he rejected it saying it was a poor version of Lehar. The copyright for staging outside Austria was acquired by Lorenzo Sonzogno and this way the work ended up in Monte Carlo.


Congratulations!

Lazaritsa has topped the listeners’ chart of Musicbox Bulgaria for the past month. Lots were drawn for distributing the prizes in the chart. The winners who are going to receive CDs with the latest production of the Bulgarian National Radio are Alexander Ustinovich (Russia), Claudio Gerlach (Brazil) and Hans Verner Lollike (Denmark).

English Daniela Konstantinova


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