Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tosca ~ Giacomo Puccini (1858 - 1924)

Giacomo Puccini short biography

A member of a dynasty of musicians, Giacomo Puccini was the most famous Italian opera composer, next only to Verdi. Puccini began his music education in his native Lucca and continued at the Milan Conservatory where he was a student of Ponchielli and Bazzini. Puccini’s first outstanding success was in 1893 with Manon Lescaut. Puccini wrote 12 operas, a number of orchestral compositions, sacred music and songs. Puccini’s melodic gift made his arias exceedingly popular. News of Puccini’s death in 1924, was announced during a performance of his La bohème in Rome. The orchestra stopped the performance and played Chopin's Funeral March to a sobbing audience.

Georg Solti
National Philharmonic Orchestra
Welsh National Opera Chorus
Kiri Te Kanawa
Leo Nucci
Giacomo Aragall
Spiro Malas
Malcolm King
Piero de Palma

The Decca Record Company Limited 1986
Format: Flac,
Disk 1 : 237 Mb
Disk 2 : 222 Mb
Kiri Te Kanawa was born in Gisborne, New Zealand, on March 6, 1944, into a family that was too poor to keep her. She was adopted the following month by Tom and Nell Te Kanawa, whose respective Maori and European lineage matched that of her natural parents. The aboriginal people of New Zealand, the Maori, are a mixture of Polynesian and Melanesian. Although the family was not especially musical, Nell Te Kanawa encouraged her adopted daughter to sing, and at around the age of six she performed on a local radio broadcast.
In 1956 the family moved to Auckland at the insistence of Mrs. Te Kanawa, so that her daughter could be placed under the tutelage of a respected voice teacher, Sister Mary Leo, at St. Mary's College for Girls.
Her first triumph came as winner of the Auckland Competition in 1960. Two years later she was runner-up in the more prestigious Mobile Song Quest, and in 1965 she won this competition. In the same year she entered aria competitions of both the Sydney and Melbourne Suns, said to be the two most important such events in Australasia. The first awarded her second prize, but her singing of "Leise, leise" (sung in English as "Softly Singing") from Weber's Der Freischütz won her first place in the Melbourne Sun competition.
Disk 1:
Disk 2: