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Björling, Rigal, Barbieri, Merrill, Siepi & Hines

Metropolitan Chorus & Orchestra, Fritz Stiedry


Don Carlos

Recorded live at the Metropolitan Opera,

11th November 1950.
Don Carlos
(1886 Modena/1867 Paris versions)
Opera in Five Acts
Libretto: Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle, based on Friedrich Schiller
Italian translation: Achille de Lauzieres and Angelo Zanardini
 Philip II, King of Spain
Don Carlos, Infante of Spain
Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa
The Grand Inquisitor
Elisabeth de Valois, Philip’s Queen
Princess Eboli, Elisabeth’s lady-in-waiting
Tebaldo, Elisabeth’s page
The Count of Lerma
An Old Monk
A Voice from Heaven
Flemish Deputies
Johan Jonatan "Jussi" Björling

Björling went on to become one of the principal singers at the Metropolitan

Opera during the 1940s and 1950s, with an interruption during World War II.
He sang many major tenor roles in operas in the French and Italian reper-
toire, including Il trovatore, Rigoletto, Aida, Un ballo in maschera, Pagliacci,
Cavalleria rusticana, Faust, Roméo et Juliette, La bohème, Madama Butterfly,
Tosca, and Manon Lescaut. Many of his recordings of these roles are still
considered the best by any tenor in this repertoire.
In December 1940, Arturo Toscanini invited him to sing the tenor part in
Beethoven's Missa Solemnis in New York, a recording of which exists. He also
performed the Verdi Requiem under Toscanini in 1939 in Lucerne, Switzer-
land, and in November 1940 in New York, another performance eventually
transferred to recordings.
One of Björling's first LP sets was a 1950 performance of the complete Il
trovatore, with Zinka Milanov, for RCA Victor. In 1953, he recorded the role of
Turridu in a complete version of Cavalleria rusticana opposite Milanov for RCA
Victor, but because Victoria de los Ángeles was under contract to EMI, the
recording of the complete Pagliacci, made concurrently with Cavalleria, was
not released by RCA, but by EMI. Robert Merrill appeared on both albums, but
Leonard Warren was featured only on the Pagliacci one, as Tonio.
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi

Verdi (10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer,
mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th
century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the
world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes
have long since taken root in popular culture - such as "La donna è mobile"
from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from
Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and
the "Grand March" from Aida. Although his work was sometimes criticized
for using a generally diatonic rather than a chromatic musical idiom and
having a tendency toward melodrama, Verdi’s masterworks dominate the
standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition.
Don Carlos

Don Carlos is a five-act Grand Opera composed by Verdi to a French language

libretto by Camille du Locle and Joseph Méry, based on the dramatic play
Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien by Friedrich Schiller. The story is based on
conflicts in the life of Carlos, Prince of Asturias (1545-1568) after his
betrothed Elisabeth of Valois was married instead to his father Philip II of
Spain as part of the peace treaty ending the Italian War of 1551-1559 between
the Houses of Habsburg and Valois. It received its first performance at the
Théâtre Impérial de l’Opéra on 11 March 1867.
Over the following twenty years, cuts and additions were made to the opera,
resulting in a number of versions being available to directors and conduc-
tors. No other Verdi opera exists in so many versions. At its full-length
(including the ballet and the cuts made before the first performance), it
contains about four hours of music, and is Verdi's longest opera.

Act 1
01 Introduction and Chorus: Su, cacciator! Hunters 0:56
02 Narrative: Fontainebleau! foresta immensa Don Carlos 1:53
03 Romance: Io la vidi e al suo sorriso Don Carlos 1:56
04 Scene: Il suon del corno Don Carlos, Tebaldo, Elisabeth 2:36
05 Duet: Che mai fate voi? Elisabeth, Don Carlos 3:55
06 Di qual amor Elisabeth, Don Carlos 3:39
07 Scene: Al fedel ch’ora viene Tebaldo, Elisabeth, Don Carlos 1:26
08 Finale: Inni di festa Elisabeth, Don Carlos, Count of Lerma, People 6:42

Act 2
09 Prelude 1:53
10 Scene and Prayer: Carlo, il sommo imperatore Old Monk, Monks 4:10
11 Scene 1: Scene: Al chiostro di San Giusto Don Carlos, Old Monk 1:48
12 Scene 1: Duet: E lui! desso! l’infante Rodrigo, Don Carlos 3:41
13 Scene 1: Dio, che nell’alma infondere Don Carlos, Rodrigo, Old Monk, Monks 4:41
14 Scene 2: Chorus: Sotto ai folti Ladies-in-waiting, Tebaldo, Princess Eboli 3:27
15 Scene 2: Veil Song: Nel giardin del bello Eboli, Tebaldo, Ladies 4:59
16 Scene 2: Scene: La regina Eboli, Elisabeth, Tebaldo, Rodrigo, Ladies 3:47
17 Scene 2: Romance: Carlo, ch’e sol il nostro amore Rodrigo, Elisabeth, Eboli 2:51 
18 Scene 2: Duet: Io vengo a domandar Don Carlos, Elisabeth 2:52 
19 Scene 2: Perche accusar il cor Elisabeth, Don Carlos 3:36 
20 Scene 2: Sotto al mio pie Don Carlos, Elisabeth 2:01 
21 Scene 2: Scene: Il Re! - Perche sola e la Regina 1:11 
Tebaldo, Philip, Courtiers, Ladies
22 Scene 2: Romance: Non pianger, mia compagna 2:47 
Elisabeth, Rodrigo, Philip, Ladies, Courtiers
23 Scene 2: Scene: Restate! - Presso alla mia persona Philip, Rodrigo 2:17 
24 Scene 2: Duet: O signor, di Fiandra arrivo Rodrigo, Philip 3:06 
25 Scene 2: Quest’e la pace che voi date Rodrigo, Philip 2:48 
26 Scene 2: Oso lo sguardo tuo penetrar Philip, Rodrigo 3:51 

Act 3
27 Scene 1: Introduction: Deh! vieni a me Elisabeth, Eboli 2:09
28 Scene 1: Chorus: Quanti fior e quante stelle Masks, Eboli 2:40
29 Scene 1: Duet: A mezza notte Don Carlos, Eboli 4:17
30 Scene 1: Scene: Qual balen! qual mister Eboli, Don Carlos, Rodrigo 0:50
31 Scene 1: Trio: Al mio furor Eboli, Rodrigo, Don Carlos 1:42
32 Scene 1: Ed io che tremava Eboli, Don Carlos, Rodrigo 1:09
33 Scene 1: Trema per te, falso figliuolo Eboli, Don Carlos, Rodrigo 3:43
34 Scene 2: Finale: Spuntato ecco il di People 2:03
35 Scene 2: Il di, il di Monks, People 2:26
36 Scene 2: Schiusa or sia la porta 3:11
The Royal Herald, Lerma, Philip, Elisabeth, Rodrigo, Don Carlos, People
37 Scene 2: Sire, no, l’ora estrema 4:36
Flemish deputies, Philip, Elisabeth, Rodrigo, Don Carlos, People
38 Scene 2: Sire! Egli e tempo chi’io viva 3:23
Don Carlos, Philip, Rodrigo, Elisabeth, Tebaldo, Monks, People
39 Scene 2: Il di spunto - Volate verso il ciel 1:56
Voice from Heaven, Philip, Monks, Deputies, People
Act 4
40 Scene 1: Prelude 3:06 
41 Scene 1: Scene: Ella giammai m’amo Philip 2:23 
42 Scene 1: Cantabile: Dormiro sol Philip 4:36 
43 Scene 1: Scene: Il Grand’ Inquisitor Lerma, Grand Inquisitor, Philip 3:13 
44 Scene 1: Duet: Nell’ispano suol Grand Inquisitor, Philip 2:36 
45 Scene 1: O Re, se non foss’io Grand Inquisitor, Philip 2:50 
46 Scene 1: Scene: Giustizia, o Sire Elisabeth, Philip 2:54 
47 Scene 1: Ardita troppo Philip, Elisabeth, Eboli, Rodrigo 1:49 
48 Scene 1: Quartet: Ah! sii maledetto Philip, Eboli, Rodrigo 1:23 
49 Scene 1: Che avvenne? O ciel Elisabeth, Eboli, Philip, Rodrigo 2:53 
50 Scene 1: Scene: Pieta! perdon per la rea Eboli, Elisabeth 3:38 
51 Scene 1: Aria: O don fatale Eboli 1:24 
52 Scene 1: O mia Regina Eboli 3:25 

Act 4
53 Scene 2: Prelude 1:25 
54 Scene 2: Scene: Son io, mio Carlo Rodrigo, Don Carlos 2:02 
55 Scene 2: Aria: Per me giunto Rodrigo 1:25 
56 Scene 2: Scene: Che parli tu di morte? Don Carlos, Rodrigo 1:38 
57 Scene 2: Aria: O Carlo, ascolta Rodrigo 3:42 
58 Scene 2: Finale: Carlo, il brando ormai Philip, Don Carlos 2:20 
59 Scene 2: Chi rende a me quest’uom Philip, Don Carlos, Lords 3:32 
60 Scene 2: End of finale: Ciel! Qual suon! 1:53 
Lerma, Elisabeth, Philip, Lords, People
61 Scene 2: Vedete se l’amavo 2:19 
Eboli, Philip, Elisabeth, Grand Inquisitor, Lerma, Lords, Pople
Act 5
62 Prelude 2:33
63 Aria: Tu, che le vanita Elisabeth 2:37
64 Francia, nobile suol Elisabeth 5:35
65 Scene: E dessa! - Un detto, un sol Don Carlos, Elisabeth 2:40
66 Duet: Si l’eroismo e questo Elisabeth, Don Carlos 2:32
67 Ma lassu ci vedremo Elisabeth, Don Carlos 4:02
68 Finale: Si, per sempre 2:06
Philip, Grand Inquisitor, Elisabeth, Don Carlos, Monks
69 Il duolo della terra 1:47
Old Monk as Charles V, Grand INquisitor, Philip, Elisabeth, Monks