National Philharmonic: Verdi Requiem
Saturday, April 13, 2019, 8pm
The Music Center
Verdi Reqiuem: Grandeur & Terror
Danielle Talamantes, soprano
Margaret Lattimore, mezzo-soprano
Zach Borichevsky, tenor
Kevin Deas, bass
National Philharmonic Chorale
Piotr Gajewski, conductor
Verdi Messa da Requiem
“We are assembled, gentlemen, hopefully to record the Ingemisco.” Thus began Leonard Bernstein’s monumental project of recording Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the London Philharmonic Orchestra as he made a dramatic entrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London in February 1970. The Ingemisco is the fiendishly difficult aria for the tenor, which taxes even the greatest and most experienced of singers. This moment was the first of many dramas that attended the project, with some witnesses recalling the sessions as revelatory of Bernstein’s musical and diplomatic prowess, “a man of supreme confidence and uncompromising integrity, even when crises threatened to become disasters.” The star tenor, the temperamental Franco Corelli, pulled out of the project, and the young and still inexperienced Placido Domingo, whose reputation was already soaring, stepped in. Bernstein’s larger-than-life personality was the unifying element in a tumultuous project in which clashes of personalities, intentions, and musical conceptions were often at a fever pitch. The grandeur and terror of this powerful work make it one of the most exhilarating musical experiences, as the music unveils unsuspected depths in the human predicament and our search for transcendence.
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