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Ermonela Jaho, Arsen Soghomonyan, Brian Mulligan, Opera Rara Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Mark Elder|Puccini: Le Willis

Puccini: Le Willis

Ermonela Jaho, Arsen Soghomonyan, Brian Mulligan, Opera Rara Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Mark Elder

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In Slavic mythology, willis (or vily) are fantastical creatures comparable to Greek nymphs. They are often linked to ballet (Giselle) and to Romantic opera. It is this theme that the young Puccini chose for his entry in a competition organised by the music publisher Sonzogno in Milan. This first opera is set in the Black Forest: we see women who have died on the eve of their weddings, who meet at midnight to find the young man whom they will force to dance until he dies.


First performed in 1884, the work met with lively success, and the press were swift to call it a "masterpiece", underlining, correctly, that the young writer was "the composer that Italy has awaited for a long time". While Le Villi seems a little weak in hindsight, and seen alongside Puccini's later masterpieces, it is still strange that it should be so little-known. This trial run is already a masterly work, and Puccini's skill and language leap out at us.


At the head of a star cast, Sir Mark Edler recreates an opera which has not been heard since its first outings. His version takes on board the two-act revision made by Puccinia and published in a new critical edition of Ricordi. A very successful recording which may give opera directors some ideas for a stage performance. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Puccini: Le Willis

Ermonela Jaho, Arsen Soghomonyan, Brian Mulligan, Opera Rara Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Mark Elder

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1
Le Willis: Preludio
Sir Mark Elder
00:02:34

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

2
Le Willis: Coro d'introduzione "Evviva I fidanzati" (Chorus, Guglielmo)
Sir Mark Elder
00:05:46

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist - Opera Rara Chorus, Chorus - Brian Mulligan, Baritone Vocals

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

3
Le Willis: "Non esser, Anna mia" (Roberto, Anna)
Sir Mark Elder
00:01:46

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Ermonela Jaho, Soprano Vocals - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist - Arsen Soghomonyan, Tenor Vocals

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

4
Le Willis: "Tu dell'infanzia mia" (Roberto, Anna)
Sir Mark Elder
00:03:35

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Ermonela Jaho, Soprano Vocals - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist - Arsen Soghomonyan, Tenor Vocals

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

5
Le Willis: "Presto! Presto in viaggio!' (Chorus, Roberto, Anna)
Sir Mark Elder
00:02:00

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Ermonela Jaho, Soprano Vocals - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist - Opera Rara Chorus, Chorus - Arsen Soghomonyan, Tenor Vocals

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

6
Le Willis: "Angiol di Dio" (Guglielmo, Anna, Roberto, Chorus)
Sir Mark Elder
00:06:10

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Ermonela Jaho, Soprano Vocals - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist - Opera Rara Chorus, Chorus - Brian Mulligan, Baritone Vocals - Arsen Soghomonyan, Tenor Vocals

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

7
Le Willis: L'abbandono
Sir Mark Elder
00:05:15

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

8
Le Willis: La tregenda
Sir Mark Elder
00:03:39

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

9
Le Willis: "No! Possibil non è che invendicata" (Guglielmo)
Sir Mark Elder
00:03:27

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist - Brian Mulligan, Baritone Vocals

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

10
Le Willis: "Anima santa della figlia mia" (Guglielmo)
Sir Mark Elder
00:02:06

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist - Opera Rara Chorus, Chorus - Brian Mulligan, Baritone Vocals

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

11
Le Willis: "Ei giunge! Anna!" (Chorus, Roberto, Anna)
Sir Mark Elder
00:03:30

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Ermonela Jaho, Soprano Vocals - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist - Opera Rara Chorus, Chorus - Arsen Soghomonyan, Tenor Vocals

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

12
Le Willis: "Tu dell'infanzia mia" (Anna, Roberto, Guglielmo, Chorus)
Sir Mark Elder
00:06:20

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Ermonela Jaho, Soprano Vocals - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist - Opera Rara Chorus, Chorus - Brian Mulligan, Baritone Vocals - Arsen Soghomonyan, Tenor Vocals

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

13
Le Villi: "Se come voi piccina io fossi, o vaghi fior" (Anna, Roberto)
Sir Mark Elder
00:06:53

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Ermonela Jaho, Soprano Vocals - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist - Arsen Soghomonyan, Tenor Vocals

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

14
Le Villi: "Ei giunge!... Ecco la casa...' (Chorus, Roberto)
Sir Mark Elder
00:02:32

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist - Opera Rara Chorus, Chorus - Arsen Soghomonyan, Tenor Vocals

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

15
Le Villi: "Torna ai felici dì" (Roberto, Chorus)
Sir Mark Elder
00:09:39

Giacomo Puccini, Composer - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor, MainArtist - Opera Rara Chorus, Chorus - Arsen Soghomonyan, Tenor Vocals

© 2019 Opera Rara ℗ 2019 Opera Rara

Album Description

In Slavic mythology, willis (or vily) are fantastical creatures comparable to Greek nymphs. They are often linked to ballet (Giselle) and to Romantic opera. It is this theme that the young Puccini chose for his entry in a competition organised by the music publisher Sonzogno in Milan. This first opera is set in the Black Forest: we see women who have died on the eve of their weddings, who meet at midnight to find the young man whom they will force to dance until he dies.


First performed in 1884, the work met with lively success, and the press were swift to call it a "masterpiece", underlining, correctly, that the young writer was "the composer that Italy has awaited for a long time". While Le Villi seems a little weak in hindsight, and seen alongside Puccini's later masterpieces, it is still strange that it should be so little-known. This trial run is already a masterly work, and Puccini's skill and language leap out at us.


At the head of a star cast, Sir Mark Edler recreates an opera which has not been heard since its first outings. His version takes on board the two-act revision made by Puccinia and published in a new critical edition of Ricordi. A very successful recording which may give opera directors some ideas for a stage performance. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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