Famous Opera Choruses

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Famous Opera Choruses

  • Fidelio, O, welche Lust!
  • (Les) Troyens, '(The) Trojans', Royal Hunt and Storm
  • Carmen, Les voici!
  • Lucia di Lammermoor, '(The) Bride of Lammermoor', ~, Per te d'immenso giubilo
  • Lucia di Lammermoor, '(The) Bride of Lammermoor', D'immenso giubilo
  • Andrea Chénier, O Pastorelle
  • Cavalleria rusticana, ~, Regina coeli
  • Cavalleria rusticana, ~, Inneggiamo, il Signor (Easter Hymn)
  • Aida, ~, Gloria all' Egitto
  • Nabucco, Va pensiero, sull'ali dorata
  • Otello, Fuoco di gioia!
  • (Il) trovatore, ~, Vedi! le fosche (Anvil Chorus)
  • Lohengrin, Treulich geführt (Wedding March)
  • (Der) Freischütz, Was gleicht wohl auf Erden (Huntsmen's Chorus)
  • Fidelio, O, welche Lust!
  • (Les) Troyens, '(The) Trojans', Royal Hunt and Storm
  • Carmen, Les voici!
  • Lucia di Lammermoor, '(The) Bride of Lammermoor', ~, Per te d'immenso giubilo
  • Lucia di Lammermoor, '(The) Bride of Lammermoor', D'immenso giubilo
  • Andrea Chénier, O Pastorelle
  • Cavalleria rusticana, ~, Regina coeli
  • Cavalleria rusticana, ~, Inneggiamo, il Signor (Easter Hymn)
  • Aida, ~, Gloria all' Egitto
  • Nabucco, Va pensiero, sull'ali dorata
  • Otello, Fuoco di gioia!
  • (Il) trovatore, ~, Vedi! le fosche (Anvil Chorus)
  • Lohengrin, Treulich geführt (Wedding March)
  • (Der) Freischütz, Was gleicht wohl auf Erden (Huntsmen's Chorus)

This could prove a popular record, and I hope it does for it is a good ambassador and will make friends for opera. I suppose, yes, it's a car-radio record, one for doing the washing-up to. But, except for people with particularly lofty principles about excerpts or with a feeling that such things are really rather infra dig., the selection is likely to give wide and keen pleasure. For readers who do not manage to get to the opera very often it provides at the least some of the best of your 'hundred best tunes', and at most a moving reminder of the masterpiece in which these choruses have their place. For those who have been regular visitors to Covent Garden over the last ten, 20 years, the record will evoke many memories. Zefflrelli's beautiful staging of Lucia di Lammermoor and Cavalleria rusticana, the firelight on the faces in Act 1 of the old Otello production, the crowd gathering outside the bull ring in the last act of Carmen, with all its colour and expectancy: it's like turning over the pages of a picture-book as the scenes and the evenings come vividly to mind.
The chorus and orchestra are in fine form. Predsion and responsiveness distinguish their work throughout, and the chorus (as recorded here) are further distinguished among their rivals by having no evident wobblers in their ranks. It is also good to hear the Haberdashers' boys sing out boldly in Carmen. As usual, balance favours the orchestra. Huntsmen in Der Freischutz, prisoners in Fidelio, might almost (not quite, perhaps) be singing offstage, and while the orchestra play on the near bank, the chorus-sing from the other side of the Euphrates in Nabucco. Haitink conducts lively sensitive performances, sometimes failing to cap the excitement at the very end. The lovely Pastoral from Andrea Chenier sighs with delicious grace, and in the climax of the Easter Hymn the tempo broadens generously to let the invincible melody have its sway.'

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