FULL Sardanapalo (Liszt) Washington DC 2019 Shiner Blue Bruno
Information on the Performance
- Work Title: Sardanapalo
- Composer: Liszt Franz, reconstructed by David Trippett
- Libretto: based on the 1821 verse play Sardanapalus by Lord Byron
- Venue & Opera Company: Library of Congress, Washington DC
- Recorded: April 27, 2019
- Type: Concert Live
- Singers: Alexandria Shiner, Joshua Blue, Timothy J.Bruno
- Orchestra: David Trippett, PIANO
- Chorus: Washington Master Chorale
- Stage Director:
- Costume Designer:
Information about the Recording
- Published by: Library of Congress
- Date Published: 2021
- Format: Streaming
- Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
- Subtitles: nosubs
- Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE
It is exceptionally rare that we have the opportunity to hear a previously unknown work by a major composer, but that is precisely what the Library of Congress offered in its presentation of the piano/vocal version of Franz Liszt’s Sardanapalo. Scholar and pianist David Trippett has reconstructed one act of an opera composed by Franz Liszt that the composer abandoned in 1852. This video features excerpts of this beautiful and exciting work from Trippett’s piano/vocal performance version of the piece presented at the Library. Trippett as pianist and director is joined by singers from the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Program of the Washington National Opera and the Washington Master Chorale.
LISZT/TRIPPETT – Selections from Sardanapalo
1) Act 1, scene i: “Al core affranto della schiava infelice”
Mirra, broken-hearted, laments the loss of her homeland, and begins to weep.
2) Act 1, scene i: “Di rose e pampini ghirlanda il crine”
The chorus of concubines worships Mirra, as the king’s favorite, wishing for her a life of boundless ecstasy and angelic kisses.
3) Act 1, scene ii: “Giù pel piano, sull’erto sentiero”
In a melancholic cavatina, Mirra wanders by a peaceful brook and recalls a dream of home, evoking her mother’s smile. But this vanishes, as she protests at being riven between her former home and present involvement with the Assyrian king, calling herself a “slave, alone, plaything of fate.”
4) Act 1, scene ii: “Ahi! nell’ ansio rapimento il suo sguardo m’affisò”
Mirra’s cabaletta recalls joyfully how she fell in love with the king; his gaze, her “indescribable contentment” at being chosen, and the blissful happiness they found. She weeps tears of happiness.
5) Act 1, scene iii: “Parla! Parla! Ah, tua voce è un incanto”
King Sardanapalo walks in on Mirra looking distressed, and implores her to share her troubles. Trembling, she doesn’t dare, confessing “I forget myself in you.” He seeks to console her. Blushing, she confesses she cannot but love him, saying “this ill-fated flame brings me nothing but shame.” Undeterred, the King blesses their love, and seeks a long happiness together, but Mirra worries about his wife’s wrath.
6) Act 1, scene iv: “e in molli ozi travolgi? La voce del dovere in te non scende?”
Beleso, a priest and elder statesman, enters warning of war, and mocks the king for his indulgences and for ignoring the inner voice of duty. An ancient line of kings (“the eternal elect”) will end, Beleso warns, unless the King heeds his words. The King, in turn, advises him to watch his tongue.
7) Act 1, scene iv: “Oh perchè, perchè quell core”
After the King laments that every glory is a lie if it is bought by human suffering, Mirra wonders aloud why he is not driven to defeat the rebel satraps plotting to overthrow him. Beleso urges action, and Mirra believes her love will awaken him to noble valor.
8) Act 1, scene iv: “Non è vasta assai la terra”
The King, finally, accepts peace is impossible, and agrees to go to war. Immediately, Beleso summons the parliament and calls for rapid action, predicting dark revenge on the rebels. A closing trio sees the King growing more contented as military ruler, Mirra praising his new noble demeanor, and Beleso beating the drums of war as the army mobilizes and begins to march into battle.
For more information, visit https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-9891