Monday, June 24, 2013

Gerald Finley is Il Prigioniero (NY Philharmonic Performance Now Available)

I have admired this work since I first heard the Dorati recording with the National Symphony (right). What drew me to this opera was its thematic connection to Dallapiccola's choral work Canti di Prigioni—both textually and musically. 

I think of Il Prigioniero as Puccini meets Berg. Dallapiccola has taken Berg's heavy romantic approach to the 12-tone system and Italianized it. As 12-tone music goes, it's pretty darned lyrical; and Patricia Racette, Gerald Finley, and Peter Horare make the lyrical most of it in this dramatic performance. 

The NY Phil radio broadcast with Gerald Finley is finally available at InstantEncore. I could not find an English translation, but here is the original Italian libretto. And here are the NY Phil program notes by Alan Gilbert. For more background, here are two reviews: Zerbinetta’s for Bachtrack, and Anthony Tommassini’s for the New York Times


  1. This is the problem with opera blogs - I hear about things and I want to listen to them, and the list gets longer and longer and longer . . .

    I hope your move is going well!

    1. My move could be going worse! At least I had time to listen to Il Prigioniero. The good news is it's about 45 minutes total, so it's not a huge time investment for a once-through. On the other hand, it rewards multiple re-listenings.


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