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  • Nationality: Italian
  • 1813 - 1901
  • You might know him for: the operas Rigoletto, La Traviata, Aida and Il Trovatore


Giuseppe Verdi is probably the most famous and best known Italian opera composer of the 19th century. He was the son of a poor grocer and tavern owner and was born on 10. October 1813 in Le Roncole in the province of Parma. He tried his hand at the village organ at an early age and got music lessons from the organist. Soon he attracted the attention of Antonio Barezzi, a merchant from the neighbouring town of Busseto, who became his sponsor and paid for his musical education with Vicenzo Lavigna in Milan at the “La Scala”.


In 1835 Verdi returned to Busseto, was appointed master of music in the village and married Margherita Barezzi, his sponsor`s daughter. His first opera “Oberto” was produced at “La Scala” in 1839 and was sufficiently successful to secure a commission to write three more. But shortly after the family had moved to Milan, Verdi`s daughter and son died and a year later his beloved wife too. He was overcome by such overwhelming despair that he vowed never to write another opera. But a libretto, based on the story of Nebuchadnezzar, attracted his attention and interest. He set to work again and called the opera “Nabucco” (1842), which was his breakthrough to fame.

Verdi was born in a politically divided country. At the time of his birth he was a citizen of France which had occupied northern Italy. Years later he became an Austrian citizen as the Habsburg monarchy had become master in the north, whereas the south was ruled by the Spanish Bourbons. It is quite possible that the Nabucco-chorus released patriotic feelings in the composer and that the Italian public applied the prayers of the Jews for redemption from captivity to their own situation. His succeeding three operas “I Lombardi” (The Lombards on the First Crusade - 1843), “Ernani” (1844) and “I due Foscari” (The Two Foscaris - 1844) all presented opportunities to express patriotic sentiments despite Austrian censorship. “Long live V-E-R-D-I” became a kind of national slogan as it stood also for “Vittorio Emmanuele Re d`Italia” - Victor Emmanuel later became king of a politically united Italy.

The years to come were less successful for Verdi, although he had sufficient work to do as every year the theatre directors demanded new compositions for the carnival season. He himself called this time his “years in the galleys”, as he felt like a slave working for the opera houses. The composition of “Macbeth” (1847) was an important step forward. He looked for and demanded new, varied and daring subjects and finally found Francesco Piave, a theatre poet, who became his most important librettist for many years. He found suitable material in Victor Hugo`s play “Le Roi s`amuse”, which included a malicious court jester – the triumphant success of “Rigoletto” (1851; name given for censorship reasons) brought worldwide fame. “Il Trovatore” with its heroic action and “La Traviata” (both 1853) increased his fame. From 1855 until 1870 his main occupation was writing works for the Paris opera and Italian theatres, thus composing the operas “Vepres Siciliennes” (The Sicilian Vesper), “Don Carlos”, Simone Boccanegra” and “Un ballo in maschera”.

In 1861 Italy became a united kingdom. A year later Verdi represented his country`s musicians at the Great Exhibition in London; for that occasion he composed a cantata. Also in 1862 his next opera “La Forza del Destino” was performed in St.Petersburg in his presence and in 1871 “Aida” was performed in Kairo to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal. While the former opera increased his popularity the latter crowned his fame.

Verdi had reached the summit of his career. He retired to his estate in Busseto where he wanted to spend the autumn of his life with his second wife Giuseppina. But the publisher Tito Ricordi convinced him to write one more work, which was “Othello” (1887). After an extremely successful European tour even one more opera was to follow. Based on Shakespeare`s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” a perfect comic libretto ad been written – the opera “Falstaff” was first performed at “La Scala” in Milan in 1893. Afterwards Verdi turned to writing ecclesiastical choral compositions and published four pieces in 1897 under the title “Quattro pezzi sacri”. Thus ended his compositional creativity. He died on 27. January in Milan.

Verdi is by far the most performed opera composer worldwide. The unique power of his compositions is not only based on his music but originates also from the colourful appearance of masked, disguised and singing people. As an Italian he could not but give priority to the human voice over the orchestra. It is also to his credit that he managed the transformation of opera into music drama – an achievement that influenced succeeding opera composers to an extent that was only paralleled by Wagner.




Song Title Arrangements Image
A te l'estremo addio... Il lacerato spirito 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Addio, Del Passatto 1
Piano
Addio, Del Passatto
Addio del passato 1
Piano
Addio del passato
All'erta! All'erta!... Di due figli vivea padre beato... Abbietta zingara 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Amici miei ... Soldati ... La rivedra nell'estasi 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Anvil Chorus - Coro di zingari (Il Trovatore) 20
Piano, String Quartet, Violin, Viola, Cello, Lyrics & Chords, Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Vocal
Anvil Chorus - Coro di zingari (Il Trovatore)
Attendo, attendo ... Addio, del passato 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Ave Maria (Franz Peter Schubert - D839) 120
Piano, Vocal, Flute, PVG, Guitar, Lyrics & Chords, Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, SAB, Guitar TAB, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Trumpet, SATB, Ukulele, Tenor Saxophone, Organ, Banjo, Lead Sheet, French Horn, Cello, String Solo, Woodwind Solo, Brass Solo
Ave Maria
Brindisi (from La Traviata) 7
Accordion, Piano, PVG, Vocal, Guitar, Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute
Brindisi (from La Traviata)
Brindisi (from La Traviata) - Orchestra (Giuseppe Verdi) 8
Orchestra, Viola, Violin, Double Bass, Cello, Piano
Brindisi (from La Traviata) - Orchestra
Canzone del velo 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Carnaval de Venise 1
Piano
Carnaval de Venise
Caro Nome (from Rigoletto) (Album: Rigoletto) 2
Piano, Vocal, Lyrics & Chords
Caro Nome (from Rigoletto)
Caro Nome (from "Rigoletto") - Orchestra 9
Orchestra, Violin, Viola, Cello, Guitar, Piano
Caro Nome (from Rigoletto) - Orchestra
Cauldron Dance 1
Vocal
 
Celeste Aida 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Celeste Aida (from Aida) (Album: Aida) 8
Piano, Vocal, Lyrics & Chords, Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, PVG, Guitar
Celeste Aida (from Aida)
Che mai vegg'io!... Infelice! E tuo credevi 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Chorus Of The Hebrew Slaves (Va, Pensiero) (From Nabucco) 17
Piano, PVG, Vocal, Guitar, Lead Sheet, Flute, Clarinet, Instrumental Solo, String Solo
Chorus Of The Hebrew Slaves (Va, Pensiero)
Come in quest'ora bruna 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Condotta ell'era in ceppi 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Dance Of The Priestesses (from Aida) (Album: Aida) 1
Piano
Dance Of The Priestesses (from Aida)
Deh pietoso oh Addolorata 1
Piano, Vocal
Deh pietoso oh Addolorata
Di Provenza Il Mar, Il Suol 2
Piano, Vocal
Di Provenza Il Mar, Il Suol
Di Quella Pira 3
Piano, Vocal
Di Quella Pira
Di Tu Se Fedele (from Un Ballo In Maschera) 1
Piano, Vocal
Di Tu Se Fedele (from Un Ballo In Maschera)
Di' tu se fedele 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Dies Irae From 'Requiem' 1
Piano
Dies Irae From Requiem
Dio! Mi potevi scagliare tutti i mali 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Donna e mobile 1
Piano
 
Drinking Song from La Traviata 1
Piano
Drinking Song from La Traviata
Eccomi solo alfine ... O vecchio cor, che batti 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Ella giammai m'amò 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Force Of Destiny 1
Piano
Force Of Destiny
Grand March (from Aida) (Giuseppe Verdi) (Album: Aida) 11
Lyrics & Chords, Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Piano, Double Bass, Instrumental Solo
Grand March (from Aida)
Gualtier Maldè!...Caro nome 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Je Chante Avec Toi Liberte 1
PVG, Piano, Vocal, Guitar
Je Chante Avec Toi Liberte
La Donna E Mobile (from Rigoletto) (Album: Rigoletto) 40
Piano, Vocal, Accordion, PVG, Guitar, Lyrics & Chords, Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Guitar TAB, Double Bass, Violin, Instrumental Solo, Woodwind Solo
La Donna E Mobile (from Rigoletto)
La Donna E Mobile (from Rigoletto) - Alto Sax and Piano Ensemble 2
Woodwind Solo
La Donna E Mobile (from Rigoletto) - Alto Sax and Piano Ensemble
La Donna E Mobile (from Rigoletto) - Clarinet and Piano Ensemble 2
Woodwind Solo
La Donna E Mobile (from Rigoletto) - Clarinet and Piano Ensemble
La Donna E Mobile (from Rigoletto) - Flute and Piano Ensemble 2
Woodwind Solo
La Donna E Mobile (from Rigoletto) - Flute and Piano Ensemble
La Donna E Mobile (from Rigoletto) -Trumpet and Piano Ensemble 3
Brass Solo, Trumpet, Piano
La Donna E Mobile (from Rigoletto) -Trumpet and Piano Ensemble
La Donna e Mobile (from Rigoletto) - Orchestra 8
Orchestra, Violin, Viola, Cello, Guitar, Piano
La Donna e Mobile (from Rigoletto) - Orchestra
La Donna è Mobile 1
Piano, Vocal
 
La Mia Letizia Infondere Vorrei (from I Lombardi) 1
Piano, Vocal
La Mia Letizia Infondere Vorrei (from I Lombardi)
La Traviata - Orchestra 9
Orchestra, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Piano, Drums
La Traviata - Orchestra
La Traviata (Prélude) 1
Piano
 
La vita è inferno all'infelice ... Oh, tu che in seno agli angeli 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Libiamo (Brindisi) 1
Guitar TAB
Libiamo (Brindisi)
Libiamo Ne'lieti Calici (from 'La Traviata') 1
Piano
Libiamo Nelieti Calici (from La Traviata)
Liriche (Art Songs) 1
Piano, Vocal
Liriche (Art Songs)
M'Appari Tutt' Amor 4
Piano, Vocal
MAppari Tutt Amor
Morir! ... Tremende cosa! ... Urna fatale del mio destino 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Nabucco 1
Piano
Nabucco
Nabucco Overture - Orchestra (Giuseppe Verdi) 7
Orchestra, Double Bass, Violin, Viola, Cello
 
Night Enchanted 1
PVG, Piano, Vocal, Guitar
Night Enchanted
O Mio Rimorso! (from La Traviata) 1
Piano, Vocal
O Mio Rimorso! (from La Traviata)
O don fatal (Don Carlos) 1
Piano, Vocal
O don fatal (Don Carlos)
O don fatale 1
Piano, Vocal
 
O figli, o figli miei! ... Ah, la paterna mano 1
Piano, Vocal
 
O patria, o cara patria... O tu, Palermo 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Oh! Fede negar potessi ... Quando le sere al placido 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Overture from 'La Forza Del Destino' 2
Piano
Overture from La Forza Del Destino
Pace, Pace Mio Dio from 'la Forza Del Destino' 1
Piano
Pace, Pace Mio Dio from la Forza Del Destino
Per me giunto... O Carlo ascolta... lo morrò 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Perfidi! All'Anglo contro me v'unite!... Pietà, rispetto, amore 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Prelude To Act I 1
Piano
Prelude To Act I
Questa O Quella (from Rigoletto) 1
Piano, Vocal
Questa O Quella (from Rigoletto)
Re dell'abisso, affrettati 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Romance Without Words 1
Piano
Romance Without Words
Saper vorreste di che si veste 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Sempre Libera (from La Traviata) 1
Piano
Sempre Libera (from La Traviata)
Soldier's Chorus from Il Trovatore 1
Piano
Soldiers Chorus from Il Trovatore
Son pur queste mie membra?... Dio di Giuda! 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Song Of The Fortune Tellers (from La Traviata) (arr. Melissa Keylock and Jill Friedersdorf) 1
Vocal
Song Of The Fortune Tellers (from La Traviata) (arr. Melissa Keylock and Jill Friedersdorf)
Stella Artois/Jean de Florette Theme 6
Piano
Stella Artois/Jean de Florette Theme
Stride la vampa 2
Piano, Vocal
 
Studia il passo, o mio figlio!... Come dal ciel precipita 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Tacea la notte placida 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Theme from Prelude ('La Traviata') 1
Piano
Theme from Prelude (La Traviata)
Triumphal March 2
Piano
Triumphal March
Triumphal March (from 'Aida') 1
Piano
Triumphal March (from Aida)
Triumphal March (from Aida) - Brass Ensemble 1
Brass Ensemble
Triumphal March (from Aida) - Brass Ensemble
Tutto è deserto... Il balen del suo sorriso... Per me ora fatale 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Uldino! Uldin!... Mentre gonfiarsi l'anima... Oltre quel limite 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Va, Pensiero 1
Vocal
Va, Pensiero
Vanne... Credo in un Dio crudel 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Vieni, o Levita!... Tu sul labbro 1
Piano, Vocal
 
Volta la terrea fronte alle stelle 1
Piano, Vocal