Tag Archives: finale

Finale 25: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11 in G Minor, Op. 103 “The Year 1905”- 4. The Tocsin

Written and first performed in 1957, Shostakovich’s Symphony #11 was ostensibly about the abortive Russian Revolution of 1905. Everything the composer wrote or said after Stalin squashed him in 1935 because the dictator was offended by Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk has to be decoded. He composed the piece in the wake of the Soviet repression…


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Finale 24 – La Forza Del Destino

Verdi started to threaten to retire before he was 50. After composing Un Ballo in Maschera he said he was done and that the life of a gentleman farmer was to be his for the remainder of his life. In 1861 he was approached by the great tenor Enrico Tamberlick, acting as an agent for…


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Finale 23 – Otello Act 3

I’ve previously written about this finale, but it’s so good that I thought I’d post another version of it to compliment the three posted in June 2018. The great concertatos that fill Verdi’s operas return in a spectacular conclusion to Act 3 of Verdi’s Otello. Though Verdi’s great ensembles are glorious and unsurpassed, they had…


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Finale 21 – Lucrezia Borgia Prologue

Renaissance Italy’s infamous poisoner, at least in her operatic incarnation, was the subject of Gaetano Donizetti’s 24th opera (give or take a few, even the composer himself wasn’t sure how many operas he wrote). It’s a fine work that has received just one performance at the Met. That was in 1904 with Caruso in the…


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Finale 14 – Suor Angelica

Puccini’s three one act operas (Il Trittico) received their world premiere performances at the Met in 1918.When given together their order of performance is Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi. The middle opera has always been the least performed of the three. Puccini’s sister was a nun and he used a lot of detail…


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Finale 12 & 12A: Aida Acts 2 & 4

This article will cover two finales, those to the second and fourth acts of Verdi’s Aida. Verdi’s Egyptian opera dates to the time when Benjamin Britten said Verdi had discovered the secret of perfection. The finale to the second scene of act 2, the triumphal scene, is a god-like demonstration of how to handle large forces. A…


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Finale 2 – Tancredi Act 1

Now for another first act finale by Rossini written at about the same time as the one from L’Italiana. Tancredi was Rossini’s first big success. It was premiered in Venice at La Fenice a few months before L’Italiana. It’s an opera seria, though the finale we’re about to hear could just as well come from…


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Finale 1 – L’Italiana in Algeri Act 1

I decided to post, from time to time, a finale from an Italian opera (all the really good ones are Italian). It can be from either a comic or serious opera. My only criterion is that it be really good. I’ll start with the finale to Act 1 of Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri. Rossini was…


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