Sergei Rachmaninoff – Monna Vanna (1991)

Posted By: d'Avignon
Sergei Rachmaninoff – Monna Vanna (1991)

Sergei Rachmaninoff – Monna Vanna (1991)
Classical/neo-romantic | APE lossless | cuesheets+log | covers+booklet | 1h13m | 292mb
Label: CHANDOS | cat. no. CHAN 8987

Monna Vanna by Rachmaninoff??
I bet you’re as surprised as I was when I first heard of it. The aforelying opera is based on a vocal score with piano accompaniment Rachmaninoff had prepared for a musical setting of Maurice Materlinck’s play of the same name, but which the Russian never finished. This due to various circumstances; first, performatory obligations came in between; Rachmaninoff was short of time. And second, when he wanted to recommence composing, the rights to use the copyrighted text of the play had been given away to Henry Fevrier. Frustrated, Rachmaninoff left the work unfinished and never returned to it. Left to posterity is Act I of an opera that could have been a significant one in 20th century operatic history.
In the 1970s Rachmaninoff’s sister-in-law requested conductor/arranger Igor Buketoff to orchestrate the piece. Thus it happened. The Russian libretto was translated to English, and the opera saw its premiere in 1984. The recordings of that event is the very album I’m posting here.
Purists might say that Monna Vanna is only half Rachmaninoff; personally, I think one had better half half a Rachmaninoff than none at all.


01. Monna Vanna - Act 1 - Introduction [0:01:29.67]
02. Monna Vanna - Act 1 - Scene 1 [0:05:28.63]
03. Monna Vanna - Act 1 - Scene 2 [0:16:19.10]
04. Monna Vanna - Act 1 - Scene 3 [0:19:29.10]
05. Piano Concerto No 4 in G minor (1927 version) - I Allegro vivace (alla breve) [0:11:47.00]
06. Piano Concerto No 4 in G minor (1927 version) - II Largo [0:07:42.50]
07. Piano Concerto No 4 in G minor (1927 version) - III Allegro vivace [0:11:21.50]


The Icelandic Opera Chorus – Peter Locke

Sherill Milnes – Guido, Commander of the Garrison of Pisa (baritone)
Seth McCoy – Marco, Guido’s father (tenor)
Blythe Walker – Monna Vanna, Guido’s Wife (soprano)
Nickolas Karousatos – Torello, Lieutenant to Guido (baritone)
Jon Thorsteinsson – Borso, Torello, Lieutenant to Guido (tenor)

Iceland Symphony Orchestra – Igor Buketoff
William Black – piano

EAC extraction logfile from 9. March 2011, 19:27 for CD
Rachmaninoff / Premier Recordings (Milnes, McCoy, Black, Buketoff, Iceland SO)

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End of status report