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Umberto Giordano

Umberto Menotti Maria Giordano (28 August 1867 – 12 November 1948) was an Italian composer, mainly of operas.

He was born in Foggia in Apulia, southern Italy, and studied under Paolo Serrao at the Conservatoire of Naples. His first opera, Marina, was written for a competition promoted by the music publishers Casa Sonzogno for the best one-act opera, remembered today because it marked the beginning of Italian verismo. The winner was Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana. Giordano, the youngest contestant, was placed sixth among seventy-three entries with his Marina, a work which generated enough interest for Sonzogno to commission the staging of an opera based on it in the 1891–92 season.

The result was Mala vita, a gritty verismo opera about a labourer who vows to reform a prostitute if he is cured of his tuberculosis. This work caused something of a scandal when performed at the Teatro Argentina, Rome, in February 1892. It played successfully in Vienna, Prague and Berlin and was re-written as Il Voto a few years later, in an attempt to raise interest in the work again.

Giordano tried a more romantic topic with his next opera, Regina Diaz, with a libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci (1894), but this was a failure, taken off the stage after just two performances.

Giordano then moved to Milan and returned to verismo with his best-known work, Andrea Chénier (1896), based on the life of the French poet André Chénier. Fedora (1898), based on Victorien Sardou's play, featured a rising young tenor named Enrico Caruso. It was also a success and is still performed today. His later works are much less known, but occasionally revived and in the case of La cena delle beffe (based on the play of the same title by Sem Benelli) recognised by musicologists and critics with some respect. He died in Milan at the age of 81.

The most important theater in his home town of Foggia has been dedicated to Umberto Giordano. A square in Foggia is also named after him and contains several statues representing his most famous works.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 28th, 1867 (Foggia), Died November 12th, 1948 (Milan)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1900 - 1929

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 91 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1006 7-in. July 1900 Un dì all'azzurro spazio Carlo Caffetto Tenor vocal solo composer  
Victor A-253 7-in. 8/12/1903 Andrea Chénier : Selections Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-253 10-in. 8/12/1903 Andrea Chénier : Selections Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor C-253 12-in. 8/12/1903 Andrea Chénier : Selections Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor C-3244 12-in. 4/3/1906 Un dì m'era di gioia Gustavo Bernal-Resky Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-3926 10-in. 10/18/1906 O grandi occhi lucenti Elda Cavalieri Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-3928 10-in. 10/18/1906 La mamma morta Elda Cavalieri Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-4161 12-in. 12/30/1906 Improvviso Enrico Caruso Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4316 12-in. 3/17/1907 Un dì all'azzurro spazio Enrico Caruso Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-4890 10-in. 10/22/1907 Come un bel dì di Maggio Carlo Albani Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4898 12-in. 10/28/1907 Un dì all'azzurro spazio Carlo Albani Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6045 12-in. 3/20/1908 Un di m'era di gioia Mario Ancona Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-8391 12-in. 11/19/1909 Un dì all' azzurro spazio Victor Orchestra ; Nicola Zerola Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-9841 10-in. 1/24/1911 Amor ti vieta Alberto Amadi Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-10550 10-in. 6/20/1911 T'incontrai per via Alberto Amadi Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-18659 10-in. 11/3/1916 Come un bel dì di maggio Enrico Caruso Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-24171 10-in. 6/17/1920 Amor ti vieta di non amar Edward Johnson Tenor vocal solo, with piano and orchestra composer  
Victor B-24621 10-in. 10/11/1920 Son sesant'anni Titta Ruffo Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-24622 12-in. 10/11/1920 Nemico della patria? Titta Ruffo Baritone vocal solo, with piano and orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-24622 12-in. 2/18/1929 Nemico della patria? Titta Ruffo Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-27009 10-in. 10/5/1922 Come un bel dì di maggio Beniamino Gigli Tenor vocal solo, with piano and orchestra composer  
Victor C-27011 12-in. 10/5/1922 Un dì all'azzurro spazio Beniamino Gigli Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-29230 10-in. 12/28/1923 Son gente risoluta Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-29231 10-in. 12/28/1923 Dio di giustizia Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-32816 10-in. 5/19/1925 Sempre così Frances Alda Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
(Results 1-25 of 91 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Giordano, Umberto," accessed August 4, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102526.

Giordano, Umberto. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 4, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102526.

"Giordano, Umberto." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 4 August 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102526

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