Giuseppe Verdi (10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901)

Today we observe the anniversary of the passing of one of Opera's giants - Giuseppe Verdi.  Perhaps the greatest of Italian Opera composers, his works remain to this day staples of the repertoire of any opera house in the world.

I've always been a great admirer, particularly of his later works and count Don Carlo, Aida and Otello among my favourite operas.  It's difficult to finds one piece in particular as a tribute as there are so many memorable moments from most of his operas.

On this occasion however I'm going to opt for the Dies Irae from his Requiem, written during the break between the composition of Aida and Otello in the latter years of his life.  It's full of fire and brimstone and perhaps the most perfect musical setting of the text ever put to paper.

I've chosen the dynamic new Decca recording by Daniel Barenboim with the forces of La Scala and an incredible line-up of modern day soloists - Anja Harteros, Elina Garanca, Jonas Kaufmann and Rene Pape...enjoy this fitting tribute to a musical colossus.


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