Thursday, August 4, 2011

Recording Reccomendations for Nabucco

There are very few interpreters of Nabucco because of the difficulty of the piece but those who sing it are master of the work.

Nabucco / Act 3 - Chorus: "Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate"This is my favoirte recording of the work as I believe that Ghena Dimitrova is the greatest interpreter of Abigaille. Her voice while lush and beautiful is also dramatic and capable of expressing all of the characters feelings. In addition, she has the perfect voice for the role as she has both the low and high notes. Cappuccilli adds his beautiful voice to the role of Nabucco with such care and understanding for the role. Finally to add to the impressive cast Placido Domingo actually makes something out of the short tenor role of Ismaele

Verdi: Nabucco (complete Opera)Renata Scotto surprisingly recorded the role of Abigaille and believe it or not is wonderfully sung. Her voice may not be the most suitable for the role and sometimes may sound a bit harsh. However this harshness adds to the role of Abigaille. In addition her phrasing in her death scene is some of most dramatic yet subtle singing I have ever heard from Scotto. Matteo Manguerra adds his interpretation to the role of Nabucco and Nicolai Ghiaurov sings in my opinion one of the the best interpretations of Zaccaria ever recorded.  

Verdi: NabuccoIf we talk about Nabucco Elena Suliotis must be in the conversation as her interpretation of Abigaille was acclaimed. Her vocal power and beauty may be for some to pretty but Suliotis adds drama to her singing. Her vocal range is easily displayed by solid top notes and exceptionally powerful low notes. She is accompanied by none other than Tito Gobbi who while recorded it late in his career adds great singing. The chemistry of the leads is also easily heard in their duet.  

Nabucco-Comp OperaI don't want to forget about Maria Callas who basically reinserted the role of Abigaille into the repertoire. Like most of the roles she sang, she adds her dramatic power and a few e flats on the way. It is rare to find this CD as it is one of Callas early roles which sadly she quickly retired. She is a one of a kind Abigaille who I really can not compare with anyone else. 

There are plenty of DVDs out of this opera which include Maria Guleghina's exceptional Met DVD (The current production at the Met) which displays Guleghina in her prime. Here she displays her acting abilities and a good balanced voice. While the voice has never been perfect especially in the coloratura or high notes she demonstrates why she is today's leading interpreter of Abigaille. Guleghina is joined by Juan Pons and Samuel Ramey and conducted by James Levine. The other DVD which I recommend is the Scala DVD which includes none other than Ghena Dimitrova. Here we see not just her vocal abilities but also her acting abilities. Believe me it is not disappointing. It is truly amazing. She is joined by Renato Bruson and Riccardo Muti.   
Verdi: NabuccoVerdi - Nabucco / Muti, Bruson, Dimitrova, Burchuladze, Becaria, Pierotti, La Scala

As for the artists performing this year

Maria Guleghina who is a Verdi specialist has plenty of DVDs available. Other than the Nabucco DVD I would probably recommend the Macbeth from the Met which also stars Zeljko Lucic who will also be starring in Nabucco this. This DVD shows their chemistry and is a great preview for what the Nabucco could be like.  There is also another Nabucco with Leo Nucci from Vienna starring Guleghina.

Product DetailsProduct DetailsFor more information on Nabucco check out my Nabucco preview.



  1. If you compare the baritons Cappuccilli, Gobbi and Manuguerra, which one would you call the very best? Since a long time I wants to buy a recording of this wonderful opera, but I can not decide. You have compared the sopranos detailled. Can you say more about the other actors? Thank you very much.

    1. Out the three recordings I love the gobbi interpretation. I think he is the best suited to the role but like I also added I think he recorded late in his career so it may not be his best recording. Still great. Cappuccilli's has always been my favorite so that may be a bit bias. Cappuccilli always had beauitful phrases to add to the music and his voice is top notch. If you ask me which one I reccommend one these two. But my favorite is the Cappuccilli. I hope this helps

  2. Thank you very much. I think the I buy the Sinopoli-version.
    A Tipp:
    Very good was the live recording from Paris with Sherrill Milnes, Grace Bumbry and Ruggero Raimondi. Unfortunately this jewel is no more available. Sad. But on youtube you can see it.