It is not usual for an encore to be given to symphonic music concerts at La Scala. Far from it, but it happened yesterday in a concert dedicated to the great Verdi choirs that somehow marks the beginning of a cycle.
The concert (which will be repeated on 6 and 8 June) will in fact become an album released by Decca next year. And it will be at the center of a major European tour in September 2023, with a preview on July 22 at the Roman theater in Orange for an ‘Italian night with the Scala in Milan’.
On the other hand, Verdi’s choirs are to opera a bit like the Beatles’ songs to pop, everyone knows them, at least in part.
And for the Milanese theater they are a deeply rooted tradition, also from a recording point of view. In 1971 the recording for Deutsche Grammophon conducted by Claudio Abbado with Rodolfo Gandolfi as choir director and in 1997 the one conducted by Riccardo Muti with Roberto Gabbiani for Emi.
Now it’s up to the couple Riccardo Chailly and Alberto Melazzi as choir director to explore pages ranging from Nabucco, written in 1842, to the second version of Simon Boccanegra of 1881, a forty-year excursus between well-known and lesser-known pages, powerful pieces, choirs ‘furious’ or in pain.
The concert began with the Nabucco symphony, and then moved on to ‘The vestivi furnishings’ and the indispensable’ Va ‘, Pensiero’. Chorus of suffering that left the audience in suspension before the applause. But it was only the warm-up: Jerusalem, The Lombards at the First Crusade and Macbeth, with a prelude, ‘What did you do? … They moved away’ and ‘Homeland oppressed!’ they followed. And after the break, the concert resumed with the prelude by Ernani and ‘Si ridesti il ​​Leon di Castiglia’ and then the prelude I by Trovatore and the famous’ See! The gloomy nocturnal spoils’, the finale of the ballet by the French Don Carlos, and ‘Spuntato here is the day of exultation’ by the Italian Don Carlo, the symphony of the Force of Destiny, ‘In the war is madness’ to end (almost) with the prelude of Aida is Glory to Egypt and Isis. “Almost because Chailly responded to the applause by giving an encore with the cheering chorus ‘Viva Simon’ from Simon Boccanegra who called again applause.