Vincenzo Bellini (Sicilian opera composer)

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Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini (Italian: [vinˈtʃɛntso salvaˈtoːre karˈmɛːlo franˈtʃesko belˈliːni]; 3 November 1801 – 23 September 1835) was an Italian opera composer, who was known for his long-flowing melodic lines for which he was named "the Swan of Catania". Many years later, in 1898, Giuseppe Verdi "praised the broad curves of Bellini's melody: 'there are extremely long melodies as no-one else had ever made before' "

A very large amount of what is known about Bellini's life and his activities comes from surviving letters—except for a short period—which were written over his lifetime to his friend Francesco Florimo, whom he had met as a fellow student in Naples and with whom he maintained a lifelong friendship. Other sources of information come from correspondence saved by other friends and business acquaintances.

Bellini was the quintessential composer of the Italian bel canto era of the early 19th century and his work has been summed up by the London critic Tim Ashley as:

...also hugely influential, as much admired by other composers as he was by the public. Verdi raved about his "long, long, long melodies....." Wagner, who rarely liked anyone but himself, was spellbound by Bellini's almost uncanny ability to match music with text and psychology. Liszt and Chopin professed themselves fans. Of the 19th-century giants, only Berlioz demurred. Those musicologists who consider Bellini to be merely a melancholic tunesmith are now in the minority.

In considering which of his operas can be seen to be his greatest successes over the almost two hundred years since his death, Il pirata laid much of the groundwork in 1827, achieving very early recognition in comparison to Donizetti's having written thirty operas before his major 1830 triumph with Anna Bolena. Both I Capuleti ed i Montecchi at La Fenice in 1830 and La sonnambula in Milan in 1831 reached new triumphal heights, although initially Norma, given at La Scala in 1831 did not fare as well until later performances elsewhere. "The genuine triumph" of I puritani in January 1835 in Paris capped a significant career. Certainly, Capuleti, La sonnambula, Norma, and I puritani are regularly performed today.

After his initial success in Naples, most of the rest of his short life was spent outside of both Sicily and Naples, those years being followed with his living and composing in Milan and Northern Italy, and—after a visit to London—then came his final masterpiece in Paris, ''I puritani. Only nine months later, Bellini died in Puteaux, France at the age of 33.

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Discography

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Album

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1987 I Puritani (London Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Richard Bonynge) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1988 Norma Vincenzo Bellini; Montserrat Caballé, Fiorenza Cossotto, Plácido Domingo, Ruggero Raimondi, Carlo Felice Cillario, London Philharmonic Orchestra 1
1989 Norma (Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano feat. conductor: Tullio Serafin) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1989 Norma (London Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Richard Bonynge, soprano: Joan Sutherland, mezzo-soprano: Marilyn Horne, tenor: John Alexander, bass-baritone: Richard Cross) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1992 I Puritani (Teatro alla Scala di Milano, feat. conductor: Tullio Serafin, singers: Callas, di Stefano, Panerai, Rossi-Lemeni) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1993 I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Coro del Teatro Comunale di Bolgna & Residentie Orkest den Haag feat. feat. conductor: Claudio Abbado, soprano: Margherita Rinaldi, tenor: Giacomo Aragall, tenor: Luciano Pavarotti, baritone: Walter Monachesi, bass: Nicola Zaccaria) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1993 Il Pirata (Orchestra & Chorus of The American Opera Society feat. conductor: Nicola Rescigno) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1995 String Sonatas 1-6 Rossini, Donizetti, Vincenzo Bellini, Luigi Cherubini; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner 1
1995 I Puritani (Ambrosian Opera Chorus & Philharmonia Orchestra feat. conductor: Riccardo Muti) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1996 BBC Music, Volume 4, Number 10: BBC Young Musicians Past Finalists (BBC Philharmonic feat. conductor: Adrian Leaper) Mozart / Bellini / Weber / F. Strauss 1
1996 Italian Oboe Concertos Corelli, Bellini, Cimarosa, Fiorillo, Righini, Barbirolli; Anthony Camden, Julia Girdwood, City of London Sinfonia, Nicholas Ward 1
1997 La Sonnambula (The Netherlands Radio Choir & Chamber Orchestra feat. conductor: Alberto Zedda) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1997 La sonnambula Vincenzo Bellini; Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Antonino Votto, Maria Callas, Nicola Monti, Nicola Zaccaria, Eugenia Ratti, Fiorenza Cossotto 3
1997 I Puritani (Coro e Orchestra del Palacio de las Bellas Artes, feat. conductor: Guido Picco, singers: Callas, di Stefano, Campologhi, Silva) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1997 Il Pirata (American Opera Society, feat. conductor: Nicola Rescigno, singers: Callas, Gualtiero, Ernesto, Itulbo) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1997 La Sonnambula (Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, feat. conductor: Antonio Votto, singers: Callas, Zaccaria, Cossotto, Monti) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1997 Norma (Callas, Ludwig, Corelli, Zaccaria, Serafin, Teatro alla Scala) Vincenzo Bellini 2
1997 Norma (1954 recording) Vincenzo Bellini; Maria Callas, Mario Filippeschi, Ebe Stignani, Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin 1
1997 Norma (Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, feat. conductor: Vittorio Gui, singers: Callas, Stignani, Sutherland, Picci) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1998 Bellini: Il Pirata Vincenzo Bellini 1
1998 Bellini: Il Pirata (disc 2) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1998 I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Münchner Rundfunkorchester feat. conductor: Roberto Abbado) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1998 Norma (Coro e Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino feat. conductor: Vittorio Gui, soprano: Gina Cigna, tenor: Giovanni Breviario, mezzo-soprano: Ebe Stignani, bass: Tancredi Pasero) Vincenzo Bellini 1
1999 Il Pirata Vincenzo Bellini 1
1999 Norma (Florence May Festival Orchestra & Chorus feat. conductor: Riccardo Muti) Vincenzo Bellini 1
2000 Norma (Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Roma della RAI, feat. conductor: Tullio Serafin, singers: Callas, del Monaco, Modesti) Vincenzo Bellini 1
2000 La straniera Bellini; Renata Scotto, Beniamino Prior 1
2001 Norma (Chorus and Orchestra of the San Francisco Opera, feat. conductor Paolo Peloso) Vincenzo Bellini 1
2002 Norma Vincenzo Bellini; Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne, John Alexander, Richard Cross, London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Bonynge 1
2003 Norma (Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala feat. conductor: Tullio Serafin, soprano: Maria Callas, tenor: Mario Filippeschi, mezzo-soprano: Ebe Stignani, bass: Nicola Rossi-Lemeni) Vincenzo Bellini 2
2004 I puritani (Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala feat. conductor: Tullio Serafin, soprano: Maria Callas, tenor: Giuseppe Di Stefano, baritone: Rolando Panerai, bass: Nicola Rossi-Lemeni) Vincenzo Bellini 1
2005 Norma (Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz feat. conductor: Friedrich Haider) Vincenzo Bellini 1
2007 La Sonnambula (Orchestre & Chœurs de l'Opéra de Lyon feat. conductor: Evelino Pidò) Vincenzo Bellini 1
2008 La sonnambula (Orchestra La Scintilla and Chorus of the Opernhaus Zürich feat. conductor: Alessandro De Marchi) Vincenzo Bellini 1
2010 I Puritani (Conductor: Vittorio Gui; The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; The Glyndebourne Chorus) Vincenzo Bellini 1
2010 I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Orchestra of the Royal Opera House feat conductor Riccardo Muti) Vincenzo Bellini 1
2013 Norma (Orchestra La Scintilla, conductor: Giovanni Antonini) Vincenzo Bellini 1
La Sonnambula Vincenzo Bellini; Joan Sutherland 1
La Sonnambula - Sutherland, Pavarotti, Ghiaurov, Bonynge Vincenzo Bellini 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1987 Puccini & Bellini Arias Puccini, Bellini; Maria Callas 1
1993 The Magic of the Oboe, Greatest Concerto Albinoni, Bellini, Cimarosa, Vivaldi; Claudio Scimone, Jean-François Paillard 1
1996 The Art of the Oboe: Famous Oboe Concerti Albinoni, Bellini, Cimarosa, Corelli, Handel, Righini; Anthony Camden, City of London Sinfonia, The London Virtuosi, Nicholas Ward, John Georgiadis 1
2007 Los clásicos de la Ópera, No. 20: Norma (Orquesta y Coro de la RAI de Turín feat. conductor: Georges Prêtre) Vincenzo Bellini 1
2010 Heinz Holliger Plays Bellini, Molique, Moscheles, Rietz, Fiala, Hummel Bellini, Molique, Moscheles, Rietz, Fiala, Hummel; Heinz Holliger 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1995 Norma Vincenzo Bellini 1
2002 La sonnambula Bellini; Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Leonard Bernstein, Maria Callas, Cesare Valletti, Giuseppe Modesti, Eugenia Ratti, Gabriella Carturan 1
2009 I Capuleti e i Montecchi Vincenzo Bellini; Anna Netrebko, Elīna Garanča, Joseph Calleja, Robert Gleadow, Tizziano Bracci, Wiener Singakademie, Wiener Symphoniker, Fabio Luisi 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1995 Norma Vincenzo Bellini 1
I puritani Vincenzo Bellini 1
Scenes and Arias from "La Sonnambula" for Soprano and Orchestra Vincenzo Bellini 1

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