Verdi: Credo; Capriccio; Introduzione, andante e tema con variazioni; Cavatina & Scena, romanza e terzetto from Attila; Sinfonia from Un giorno di regno

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COMPOSERS: Verdi
LABELS: Arts
WORKS: Credo; Capriccio; Introduzione, andante e tema con variazioni; Cavatina & Scena, romanza e terzetto from Attila; Sinfonia from Un giorno di regno
PERFORMER: Fausto Tenzi (tenor), Antonio Abete (bass), Rino Vernizzi (bassoon), Alberto Negroni (oboe); G Verdi Chorus & Orchestra, Busseto/Fausto Pedretti
CATALOGUE NO: 47574-2
This much-trumpeted Verdi centenary should bring useful opportunities to plug gaps in the discography. It’s encouraging to find smaller independent labels taking the initiative, and bypassing the more marketable but already over-subscribed operas in order to explore uncharted territory. This intriguing release from Arts is a case in point; it combines performances of some either completely forgotten or newly exhumed Verdi works (together with several more of doubtful attribution) on a finely engineered disc.

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Fausto Pedretti directs choral and orchestral forces of the Giuseppe Verdi Theatre, Busseto. The opening Credo, attributed to Verdi, received its modern revival as recently as October 1993, and it is enthusiastically delivered here. Precise authorship of the Capriccio for bassoon and orchestra isn’t fully substantiated, but this agreeable work certainly carries hallmarks of Verdi’s early instrumental style. The Introduction, Andante and Theme with Variations is an orchestration by Verdi of an oboe piece by Giacomo Mori, based on a theme from Bellini’s La straniera. Soloist Alberto Negroni’s account isn’t exactly unblemished, but what follows, wind band transcriptions from two lesser-known Verdi operas, is as stylishly played as the music seems inconsequential. Still, here’s a chance to eavesdrop on Verdi’s creative development, through attractive performances and a recording of demonstration quality. Recommended. Michael Jameson