Primarily an opera conductor, Antonio Pappano enjoyed an astonishingly fast rise to the top of his profession in the 1990s. He was born in London of Italian parents, but his main musical education was in the United States, where he studied piano with Norma Verilli, composition with Arnold Franchetti, and conducting with Gustav Meier. He was a rehearsal accompanist at the New York City Opera when he was just 21 years old. His work with the Lyric Opera of Chicago led to his becoming an assistant to Daniel Barenboim in preparation for Barenboim's Bayreuth productions of Tristan, Parsifal, and a complete Ring cycle. Pappano's own operatic conducting debut was at the Norwegian Opera in 1987, which led quickly to an appointment as music director there and, soon after, performances with the English National Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Berlin Staatsoper, and Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris. In 1992 he was appointed music director of Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie, where he was responsible for both opera and concert performances for 10 years. He made a spectacular debut at the Vienna Staatsoper in 1993, replacing Christoph von Dohnànyi at the last minute to lead a new production of Wagner's Siegfried. Pappano was principal guest conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (1997-1999) and has also conducted the Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre de Lyon, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra. In March 1999, he was announced as successor in the role of music director of Britain's Royal Opera House Covent Garden following the retirement of Bernard Haitink in 2002. During his tenure there, he conducted the world premiere of Birtwistle's The Minotaur (2008). Pappano also became the music director for Rome's Santa Cecilia Accademia orchestra in 2005. 2013 marked his Salzburg Festival debut. Pappano records for the EMI Classics label. His album of Puccini's La Rondine won two Grammophone Awards (Best Opera Recording and Record of the Year), as well as the French Choc du Monde de la Musique, two Diapason d'Or awards, the USA Critics' Award, and the German Deutsche Schallplattenkritik award. His recording with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia of Verdi's Requiem won a Classical BRIT Award. Other recordings of operas include Philippe Boesman's Wintermärchen, Tristan und Isolde (with Placido Domingo), Don Carlo (the French version), Tosca, La bohème, Guillaume Tell (the French version), and the 2011 world premiere production of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole.
© Rovi Staff /TiVo
© Rovi Staff /TiVo
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Classical - Released September 1, 2013 | Warner Classics International
Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
Benjamin Britten's War Requiem of 1958 remains one of the composer's most popular works, and a host of new recordings and reissues surfaced in connection with the composer's centennial year of 2013. This one from conductor Antonio Pappano and musicians and singers from the venerable Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia has a satisfying way of seeming to reflect Britten's own aims for the work. There are smoother choristers in some of the purely English versions of the work. But internationalism was part of Britten's plan. He wrote the work for soloists from the countries of the wartime combatants: a Russian soprano (Galina Vishnevskaya), a British tenor (Peter Pears), and a German baritone (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau). Here the German baritone is replaced by American Thomas Hampson. But the fundamental contrasts Britten built into the work, among its three singers and among its various sections of text, are nicely realized. The highlight is Anna Netrebko in the Vishnevskaya soprano part. The soprano sections are restricted to the portions of the work drawn from the traditional Requiem mass, and Britten defines these as operatic in character. Those Latin texts are interspersed with poems by the antiwar World War I writer Wilfred Owen, who was killed in action a week before the armistice. The power of the work derives from its mixture of formal mourning and direct evocation of the experience of war, accomplished in the music as well as in the texts. This is a performance that brings that contrast to life. The dynamic level of the whole is extremely low, but the work's considerable dynamic range doesn't seem to be squeezed. © TiVo