#1430 Bellini and Bel Canto

Thursday, May 23, 1996

George Jellinek devotes this episode to Vincenzo Bellini and the bel canto style of singing. Though the term "bel canto" was not in use until the late nineteenth century, it was a based on the old tradition of singing and Bellini was a master of that kind of writing. Works heard here include "Casta diva" from Norma sung by Montserrat Caballe, the opening of I puritani sung by Maria Callas, an excerpt of Bianca e Fernando sung by Mirella Freni and Renata Scotto, "Mira, o Norma" sung by Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne, an excerpt of La sonnambula sung by Ferruccio Tagliavini, and excerpts of I puritani including one sung by Giuseppe De Luca, one by Ezio Pinza, and one by Maria Callas, Franco Corelli and Nicola Zaccaria. The episode ends with the Piano Concerto in F minor by Chopin who wrote it as a tribute to his friend Bellini after he died.


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