Postcard from Venice
Barcarolles, carnival masks and the bustling Piazza San Marco – Venice has been a favourite tourist destination since the days of The Grand Tour. But La Serenissima has its darker side too, when mist shrouds the city or when the sirocco blows in from the Sahara. Climb into a gondola on our musical tour of the city.Read more…
- Vivaldi•Gloria in D major RV 589•1. Gloria in excelsis Deo
- Gabrieli•Canzon 1 a 5•I. Canzon 1 a 5
- Verdi•I due Foscari•Act I • Overture (Prelude)
- Verdi•I due Foscari•Act III • 2. "Tace il vento"
- Bellstedt•Carnival of Venice•I. Carnival of Venice
- Fauré•Barcarolle No. 4 in A flat major op. 44•
- Liszt•La lugubre gondola S 200/1•Andante mesto, non troppo lento
- Ponchielli•La Gioconda op. 9: 'Cielo! e mar!' (Enzo, Act II)•Cielo! e mar!
- Ponchielli•La Gioconda op. 9: Danza delle ore (Dance of the Hours)•La Gioconda: Danza delle ore (Dance of the Hours)
- Vivaldi•Aria 'Zeffiretti che sussurate' RV 749.31 (attributed)•Zeffiretti che sussurate
- Rossini•Otello, ossia Il moro di Venezia•Act I • Overture
- Offenbach•Les contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann)•Act ll • 1. "Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour"
- Chopin•Barcarolle in F sharp major op. 60 B. 158•Allegretto
- Strozzi•Cantate, ariette, e duetti per due voci e basso continuo op. 2•14. L'Eraclito amoroso (Udite amanti)
- Strozzi•Diporti di Euterpe op. 7•4. Lamento (Lagrime mie)
- Rubinstein•Pieces for Piano op. 30•1. Barcarolle F minor. Moderato
- Fauré•Barcarolle No. 6 in E flat major op. 70•
- Verdi•La traviata•Act I • 1. Prelude
- Fauré•Barcarolle No. 5 in F sharp minor op. 66•
- Mendelssohn Bartholdy•Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words) op. 30 MWV SD 9 (Arr. for Clarinet and Piano)•6. Allegretto tranquillo in F sharp minor (MWV U 110) "Venetian boat song"
- Rachmaninoff•Morceaux de salon op. 10•3. Barcarolle in G minor (Moderato)
- Vivaldi•Concerto for Flute, 2 Violins, Bassoon and Basso continuo in G minor RV 104 'La Notte' (Arr. for Recorder, Strings and Basso continuo)•I. Largo
- Vivaldi•Concerto for Flute, 2 Violins, Bassoon and Basso continuo in G minor RV 104 'La Notte' (Arr. for Recorder, Strings and Basso continuo)•II. Fantasmi. Presto – III. Largo – Andante – IV. Presto
- Vivaldi•Concerto for Flute, 2 Violins, Bassoon and Basso continuo in G minor RV 104 'La Notte' (Arr. for Recorder, Strings and Basso continuo)•V. Il Sonno. Largo
- Vivaldi•Concerto for Flute, 2 Violins, Bassoon and Basso continuo in G minor RV 104 'La Notte' (Arr. for Recorder, Strings and Basso continuo)•VI. Allegro
- Verdi•Rigoletto•Act III • 2. "Bella figlia dell'amore"
- Vivaldi•Orlando furioso RV 728: 'Sol da te mio dolce amore' (Ruggiero, Act I)•Sol da te mio dolce amore
- Vaughan Williams•Serenade to Music (1938) (Version for 16 Solo Voices and Orchestra)•How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank
- Rossini•Semiramide (Semiramis)•Act I • 15. "Serbami ognor"
- Rossini•Semiramide (Semiramis)•Act I • 16. "Alle più calde immagini"
- Monteverdi•L'incoronazione di Poppea SV 308•Sinfonia
- Monteverdi•L'incoronazione di Poppea SV 308: 'Pur ti miro' (Poppea, Nero, Act III)•Pur ti miro
- Marcello•Arianna S. A493: 'Come mai puoi vedermi piangere?' (Arianna, Act II)•Come mai puoi vedermi piangere?
- Rossini•La regata veneziana•1. Anzoleta avanti la regata
- Rossini•La regata veneziana•2. Anzoleta co passa la regata
- Rossini•La regata veneziana•3. Anzoleta dopo la regata
- Britten•Death in Venice op. 88 (1973)•Act I • 5. Overture
- Britten•Death in Venice op. 88 (1973)•Act I • 6. 'Ah Serenissima!' (Aschenbach, Old Gondolier, Chorus, Boatman, Hotel Porter)
- Britten•Death in Venice op. 88 (1973)•Act I • 7. 'Mysterious gondola' (Aschenbach)
- Mahler•Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor•III. Abteilung • IV. Adagietto. Sehr langsam
- Britten•String Quartet No. 3 in G major op. 94•V. Recitative and passacaglia (La serenissima). Slow
Venice was home to many important composers from Giovanni Gabrieli, writing for St Mark's Basilica, to Barbara Strozzi, whose compositions are being rediscovered each year, and Monteverdi, the creator of opera as an art form, whose controversial 'L'incoronazione di Poppea' was premiered during the Venetian carnival of 1643.
The composer most associated with the city is undoubtedly Antonio Vivaldi, dubbed “The Red Priest” on account of his flame-coloured hair, who composed for the girls in the Ospedale della Pietà. He's most famous for his Four Seasons, but listen here to two of his other great concertos, including the nightmarish “La notte” which has movements entitled Ghosts and Dreams.
Key operas premiered in Venice are included in this playlist, such as Verdi’s 'La traviata' and 'Rigoletto' and Rossini’s 'Semiramide', all of which had their first performances at the city’s gem of an opera house, La Fenice. There are several operas located in Venice too, so we join the crowds watching the gondola races in 'I due Foscari', cavort in The Dance of the Hours from 'La gioconda' and rock in the gentle Barcarolle from 'The Tales of Hoffmann'.
Barcarolles – the gentle song traditionally sung by gondoliers – were often composed as piano solos by composers in the 19th century. Gabriel Fauré wrote thirteen of them, but others were composed by Chopin and Rachmaninoff.
Thomas Mann’s novella 'Death in Venice' is represented at the end of our listening – Britten's opera and the last movement from his final string quartet – along with the Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony which featured so hauntingly in the soundtrack to Visconti’s 1971 film, starring Dirk Bogarde.
[Due to geo-blocking restrictions, some tracks might be unavailable in certain territories.]