Ah! quel giorno…

*** personal note: If I try and write anything about today’s concert, it will mainly consist of not proper English interjections like “AMAGAAAAD!”  so I will postpone it a litte. Thanks so much for all your support from afar; iIt was really appreciated.  “Ah, quel giorno, ognor rammento… ” fits in more than one way ***

So now! Eyesometric made a lovely guessing game not long ago — I promised to put together one of my own, so here it is.

I picked quite a well-known Rossini aria, the “Ah! quel giorno” from Semiramide.

The opera is one of my favourites by this composer — not the top of my list, but surely a close second or third. (Whenever I listen to the “Giusto ciel,” from L’Assedio di Corinto I cannot help thinking “Why didn’t he write more of that?” but this is personal.)

The “Ah quel giorno,” fulfils various purposes, even more than Semiramide’s introduction aria, “Bel raggio lusinghier.” It is a show-off of the singer’s range and skill, and whether the coloraturas of “Bel raggio…” are quite comfortable to sing, the ones Arsace is given are not at all times. He gets to show many facets in the aria which comprise Arsace’s qualities. He is a real hero.

Suspects in alphabetical order:
Max Emanuel Cenčić
Vivica Genaux
Marilyn Horne
Vesselina Kasarova
Jennifer Larmore
Ewa Podleś

What I noticed while putting the clip together are two things: 1) Why are the “Parto, Parto”s so much more difficult to tell apart? The voices are very different, of course, but then: Di Donato and Kasarova also sound very different.  Rossini seems to be giving a business card of a voice in just a few bars. And…

2) Cenčić listened to Podleś a lot.

Enjoy 😉

Ah! quel giorno
“Semiramide”, Arsace’s aria
Gioachino Rossini — libretto: Gaetano Rossi

Eccomi alfine, in Babilonia
è questo, si, è question di Belo il tempio
Qual silenzio augusto più venerando ancor,
rende il soggiorno della Divinità!
Quale nel seno, a me guerrier
nudrito fra l’orror delle pugne,
ora si desta, del Nume formdabile all’aspetto,
insolito terror, sacro rispetto!
Questo Nume che può voler?
Morendo il genitore quì mi chiamò;
segreto cenno di Semiramide
Mi chiama rapido alla sua Reggia,
ed anelante, ad Azema,
Al suo bene, l’ardente core,
quì volava sull’ali dell’ amore!

Ah! quel giorno ognor rammento,
di mia gloria, e di contento;
che fra barbari potei, vita,
onore a lei serbar;
l’involava in queste braccia,
Al suo vile rapitore!
io sentia contro il mio core,
il suo core palpitar!
schiuse il ciglio,
Mi guardò, mi sorrise, e palpitò!

Oh! comeda quel dì,
tutto, tutto per me cangiò, cangiò!
quel guardomi rapì, si, quest’anima avvampò!
li cielo per me s’aprì, amore, sì, m’animò!
d’Anzema, di quel dì, no, no, no, no,
scordarmi io mai saprò,
No mai, no mai, no mai saprò!
schiuse il ciglio,
Mi guardò, mi sorrise, e palpitò!


4 thoughts on “Ah! quel giorno…

  1. I dunno, Lankin. I think Eyes’ Parto quiz was easier… I had to listen to this one 4 times and I’m still not sure if I have Horne and Genaux switched. 😛 In the end I pegged Genaux as the more agile voice. Kasarova and Podles are extremely easy to identify, of course. I wasn’t familiar with Max Emanuel Cenčić, but #5 sounds very much like a countertenor, so that’s gotta be him. And the remaining female mezzo voice left has to be Larmore. So here’s my guess:

    1. Marilyn Horne ?
    2. Vesselina Kasarova
    3. Vivica Genaux ?
    4. Ewa Podles
    5. Max Emanuel Cenčić
    6. Jennifer Larmore

    Thanks a bunch for this. It’s quite fun! 😀

  2. Follow Smorgy’s bread crumbs to here… and, i was relief it’s not yet a counter-tenor quiz 😀
    So, Smorgy’s answers above distracted me greatly and I had to write my answers to a piece to paper before transferring them here. But, I already saw Marilyn Horne as #1 on Smorgy’s list. I say i’d get that immediately anyway, she has this very round way of singing and pronouncing words… the only 2 people i’m a bit confused by is Larmore and Cencic. However, #6 really sounds like the Larmore I’ve heard, even with some of her pronunciations, so i’d go with Cencic (who I don’t know 🙂 ) at #5 . SO here they are:

    1) Marilyn Horne
    2) Kasarova (!!)
    3) Genaux (this must be from the live performance in NY she did a couple yrs ago?)
    4) Podleś
    5) Cenčić
    6) Larmore

  3. and now you got that tune in my head for the night…. :-), i off to youtube to listen to compilations from LindoroRossini… there’s also 1 version by Lucia Valentini-Terrani posted by coloraturafan that’s also very nice 🙂

  4. One hundred percent! 😉 That was too easy… *grunt*… The next one will be harder, I promise.
    Congratulations, nevertheless! And yes, thả diều… it’s an awful ear-worm. I had some Lucia Valentini-Terrani CD… in one since 5 years un-touched crate in the basement most likely. (iTunes is such a blessing if you only rip or download music. If you have actual CD’s and import them… after 70 Gig of MP3s it makes you want to sob. It was two weeks in total as I remember ONLY doing that.)
    Thank you for remembering me of her!

    And thank you, Smorg, for stopping by!

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