Luciano Pavarotti – Gala Concert At The Royal Albert Hall (1982)

LPFrontCover1Luciano Pavarotti Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (/ˌpævəˈrɒti/, US also /ˌpɑːv-/, Italian: [luˈtʃaːno pavaˈrɔtti]; 12 October 1935 – 6 September 2007) was an Italian operatic tenor who during the late part of his career crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most acclaimed and loved tenors of all time.

He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for his tone, and achieving the honorific title “King of the High Cs”.

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As one of the Three Tenors, who performed their first concert during the 1990 FIFA World Cup before a global audience, Pavarotti became well known for his televised concerts and media appearances. From the beginning of his professional career as a tenor in 1961 in Italy to his final performance of “Nessun dorma” at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Pavarotti was at his best in bel canto operas, pre-Aida Verdi roles, and Puccini works such as La bohème, Tosca, Turandot and Madama Butterfly. He sold over 100 million records, and the first Three Tenors recording became the best-selling classical album of all time. Pavarotti was also noted for his charity work on behalf of refugees and the Red Cross, amongst others. He died from pancreatic cancer on 6 September 2007. (wikipedia)

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This recording was made in April 1982 during a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I’ve bought many Pavarotti concert recordings, but this concert is definitely one of my favourites, with a very nice atmosphere. Pavarotti sings (inter alia) ‘Il Lamento di Federico’, ‘Torna a Surriento’, ‘Nessun Dorma’, ‘Recondita Armonia’ and ‘E lucevan le Stelle’. I especially like ‘Il Lamento di Federico’, because Pavarotti succeeds extremely well in expressing Federico’s extreme desire. The interpretation of ‘E lucevan le Stelle’ is extraordinary. It’s very macabre, even for the great tenor himself. Unfortunately the orchestra doesn’t always play with the same compassion as Pavarotti sings, but that’s not a serious disadvantage for a Pavarotti-fan! (Bjorn)

This is not my kind of music … but: An impressive performance !

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Personnel:
Luciano Pavarotti (vocals)
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Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Kurt Herbert Adler

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Tracklist:
01. Recondita Armonia (from “Tosca) (Puccini) 2.44
02, Ah, La Paterna Mano (from “Macbeth” (Verdi) 3.52
03. Un Giorno Di Regno Overture (Verdi) 5.43
04. La Mia Letizia Indondere (from “I Lombardi”) (Verdi) 2.48
05. Quando Le Sere Al Placido (from “Luisa Miller”) (Verdi) 6.01
06. Fra Poco A Me Recovero (from “Lucia Di Lammermoor”) (Donizetti) 7.41
07. E La Solita Storia (Lamendo Di Federico) (from “L’Arlesiana”) (Cilea) 4.44
08. Royal Hunt And Storm (from “Les Troyens”) (Berlioz) 10.27
09. E Lucevan Le Stelle (from “Tosca”) (Puccini) 3.22
10. Nessun Dorma (from “Turandot”) (Puccini) 3.45
11. Torna A Surriento (De Curtis) 3.41

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Kurt Herbert Adler (2 April 1905 – 9 February 1988) was an Austrian-born American conductor and opera house director.

Adler was born in Vienna, Austria, to a Jewish family; his mother, Ida Bauer, was one of the first patients of Sigmund Freud. His work in the field of music led him to become the assistant to Arturo Toscanini at the Salzburg Festival in 1936 and he also worked in Italy. Following the Nazi occupation of Austria in 1938, as a Jew he was forced to leave and went to the Chicago City Opera Company as assistant chorus director where he worked for five years.

Gaetano Merola, then General Director of the San Francisco Opera, heard of him and, over the telephone, invited him to the San Francisco Opera in 1943 as chorus director.

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In the following ten years, he took on more and more administrative details as Merola’s health and energy diminished. While Adler was not the Board’s natural choice to replace Merola at the time of his death in 1953, after three months of acting as Artistic Director and with the help of its president, Robert Watt Miller, Adler was confirmed as General Director.

Adler’s aims in taking over the company were several. One was to expand the season and, by the 1969 season, eleven operas were given five or six performances each on average while the season ran to late November. He was tireless in seeking out up-and-coming new singers, whether American or European, by attending performances in both major and minor opera houses. Thirdly, his interest in developing stronger connections to opera stage directors in an attempt to strengthen the dramatic and theatrical elements of the works, led to a long relationship with Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.

Other innovations included the Merola Opera Program named after the founder of the San Francisco Opera, and “Opera in the Park”, which, from 1971, has been an annual free concert in Golden Gate Park on the Sunday following opening night of the fall season.

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He was not always regarded as an easy person to work for, but his principal achievements in San Francisco were to greatly raise the standards of the opera company and “to attract a stunning galaxy of European stars, some at the beginning of their careers, to a small city at the other end of the world, often at significantly lower salaries than New York or Chicago would offer”.

He retired in late December 1981 and continued to conduct and be involved with music until his death in Ross, California in 1988.

The Adler Fellowship program was started in his name by Terence A. McEwen to support young singers managed by the San Francisco Opera.

His son Ronald H. Adler is an opera director and has been artistic director at the Bavarian State Opera (2001–08) and the Berlin State Opera (2008–11). (wikipedia)

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