Alahor in Granata


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Alahor in Granata
Opera de Gaetano Donizetti

Orquesta Ciudad de Granada
Juan Diego Florez
Conductor: Josep Pons

CD 1 78' 34"


1.- Obertura 6’51”





2.- "Granata é questa..."  3'31"




3.- "Ombra del padre mio..."   5'07"




4.- "Smania crudele"  2'50"




5.- "Taci ancor..."  7'21"




6.- "Dove Tantico onore,..."  3'38"

(Alamar e Coro di Zegri)



7: "Hassem cadrá..."  2'04"

(Alamar e Ismaele)



8.- "Dolce pensier..."  1'57"




9.- "Ah! Ti sento mio povero cor..."  6'27"

(Zobeida e Coro)


Marcia e Coro

10.-"Senti, s'avanza"  2'57"

(Zobeida e Coro)


Recitativo e Aria con Coro

11.- "Popolo amici"  8'42"

(Hassem, Coro di Zegri e Zobeida)


Recitativo e Duetto

12.- "É di natura istinto"  13'38"

(Hassem, Alamar)



13.- "Felice appien sarei..."  4'10"

(Zobeida e Sulima))



14.-"De' mi splendori antichi"  10'35"

(Alahor e Zobeida)


CD 2  73'56"



1.- "No, che piú vaga"  2'27"

(Coro de Abenceraghi)



2.- "De' mortali il piú beato  10'30"

(Hassem, Alamar, Alahor, Zobeida, Sulima e Coro).





3.- "lid Alamar non veggo"  1'57"

(Ismaele e Alamar)



4.- "Ah, no, non piangere"  3'27"

(Coro di schiave con Sulima e Zobeida)



5.- `Eh che ! tu piangi ?  2'19"

(Hassem e Zobeida)



6.- "Ah! Per te che tanto adoro...)  11'51"

(Hassem e Zobeida)



7.- "Ismaele co'suoi non giunge ancora...."  3'13"

(Alamar, Ismaele e Alahor)


Recitativo e Aria con Coro

8.: "Fidi compagni..."  6'44"

(Alamar e Coro)


Recitativo e Coro

9.- "Sire, deh, vieni affrettati..."  3'20"

(Coro, Hassem e Ismaele)



10.-"Qui dee passare in breve..."  3'53"

(Alamar, Alahor e Hassem)



11.-"A te d'innante..."  10'49"

(Hassem e Alahor)


Recitativo con Coro

12.-"Zobeida il mira..."  5'28"

(Hassem, Zobeida, Alahor Ismaele e Coro)



13.- "Confusa é Palma mia..."  7'46"

(Zobeida, Coro e Tutti)


Grabación realizada durante las represesentaciones en el Teatro de La Maestranza, Sevilla, España, Octubre 1998, excepto 12 (CD1), grabado en el mismo sitio y fecha, pero no en representación pública.

Recordedl ive during performances at the Teatro de La Maestranza, Seville, Spain, October 1998, except 12 (CD1) recorded at the same place and date but not during public performance.

Esta grabación está basada en la edición crítica de Alahor in Granata, realizada por PierAngelo Pelucchi para el Centro de Documentación Musical de Andalucía de Cultura de la Junta de Andalucía.

This recording is based on the critical edition of Alahor in Granata, made by PierAngelo Pelucchi para el Centro de Documentación Musical de Andalucía of the Andalousian Autonomous Goverment.









A year after the two hundredth anniversary of Gaetano Donizetti's birth (1797) and 150 years after his death (1848), the Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla chose to open its 1998-9 operatic season with four per­formances of Alahor in Granata, an almost for­gotten opera by the composer. This is an event al a huge historical importance since it marks the first time that the opera has been performed in the XXth century. Alahor in Granata was first performed in the Teatro Carolino in Palermo on the 7th of January 1826 but, alt­hough the opera was again staged in the same city in 1830, it later passed into oblivion and has never been performed ever since. Up until now, as was the case with many of Donizetti's works, a hundred and seventy two years after its pre­miére, we had very little news about this beauti­full masterpiece's original fate. Perhaps the fact that the music score was never published at the time of its creation, and the fact that Donizetti was to use some of its musical passages in some of his later works, lead us to assume that during his life, the composer gave little or no impor­tance to this operas youthful score.

Thanks to the initiative of the Centro de Documentación Musical de Andalucía (Andalusian Centre for Musical Research), which produced this recording of the opera within the collection titled "Documentos Sonoros del Patrimonio Musical de Andalucía, Donizetti's fans from all over the world will have the opportunity to enjoy this truly historical event.

In order to understand Alahor in Granata within its particular context, perhaps we should note that the Spanish theme was a constant source of fascination and inspired many of the greatest literary and operatic romantic artists. With its exotic nature, highly picturesque and joyful international image, the artists' interest in Spain -particularly for its rich historical and cultural past (especially in the Middle Ages and the Golden Age)- can be found in innumerable novels, dramas, travel books, paintings, illustra­tions, etc. Naturally, this was also true in the operatic world: many Italian, French, British, and German composers found the Spanish theme to be an unlimited source of inspiration. The romantic image of Spain, spread by trave­llers and artists, seduced the minds of many Europeans and became a favoured aesthetic ele­ment which attracted the librettists and opera composers of the day. For the romantic crea­tors, the fact that Spain was the last bastion of Muslim power in Europe (and in a way a piece of the Eastern world in the Western world) is per­haps responsible for the conception the artists had about the country: a mixture of exotism and both medieval and Islamic-Eastern ele­ments. The tendency to look back into the past that many "historicist" writers showed (such as Victor Hugo, Walter Scott, Friedrich von Schiller, Lord Byron, the Duque de Rivas, Antonio García Gutiérrez, etc.) also influenced operatic librettists and composers who consi­dered the Spanish theme to be ideal for their creations. Donizetti was no exception. His fas­cination with this theme was such, that as many as eleven operas of his vast repertory spread throughout his long and fruitful career, had Spain and the Spanish as protagonists: Zoraida di Granata (1822), La Zingara (1822), Chiara e Serafina (1822), Alahor in Granata (1826), Elvida (1826), Sancia di Castiglia (5832), Il furioso all'isola di S. Domingo (1833), La Favorita (1840), Maria Padilla (1841), Dom Sébastien, roi de Portugal (1843) and the unfinished Le duc d'Albe which was to be completed by his pupil Matteo Salvi and which was first performed posthumously in 1882. As if that were not enough, we should also mention that one of Donizetti's project in 5842 was to compose an opera with a libretto by Salvatore Cammarano based on the drama Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo which also had Spain as its basic theme. However, this project never saw the light of day because Donizetti had commitments to attend to in Vienna. Strangely enough, Verdi also had problems with the same literary source. His idea to compose an opera titled Ruy Blas to be performed in San Petersburg's Imperial Theatre was rejected because its plot was considered highly unsuita­ble for the tsars royal court (it was the story of a servant who, pretending to be a member of nobility, conquers the Queen of Spain's heart). The opera was replaced by La forza del Destino based on a well known drama by the Cordovan writer Duque de Rivas.

As we mentioned earlier, this fascination with Spain, which was also shared by Verdi, is a constant element in Donizetti's operatic pro­duction. Most of the titles we have mentioned are related to the medieval and the "Moorish" themes, specially two of his more mature mas­terpieces La Favorita and Maria Padilla. These are two parallel stories of romantic triangles in which the main characters are two Castillian monarchs: Alfonso XI and his son Pedro I "The cruel". They both take place in the XIVth in the old residence of the almohad kings, the Alcazar of Seville.

Of all the possible scenarios, the nasrid kingdom of Granada, perhaps because it was the last territory under Muslim power, was the per­fect setting in which the combination of the three elements mentioned above are best repre­sented. We should perhaps note that this fascination for the exotic town of Granada and espe­cially for its beautiful Alhambra is not found only in the work of Donizetti, who composed three pieces inspired by the city: Zoraida di Granata, Alahor in Granata and Elvida (a typical epic frontier story which is set in "una piazza forte nel Regno di Granata" suggesting that the story must necessarily be set before 1492). Other great pre-romantic and romantic compo­sers also favoured the Granadan theme. Among them we should mention the following:

Giuseppe Nicolini (Abenamet e Zoraide, Milan 1806 with a libretto by Luigo Romanelli), the great Luigi Cherubini (Les Abencérages, Paris 1813, with a libretto by Etienne de Jouy) the pres­tigious Giacomo Meyerbeer himself (L'esule di Granata, Milan 1822, in collaboration with the cdlebrated librettist Felice Romani), the German composer Conradin Kreutzer (Das Nachtlager in Granada, Vienna, 1834) and the Spaniards Baltasar Saldoni (Boabdil, último rey moro de Granada, Madrid 1844) Emilio Arrieta (La Conquista de Granada, Madrid 1850) and Felipe Pedrell (El útimo Abencerraje, which was originally written in Italian and had two different ver­~ons, one dated in 1869 and the other in 1894).

Today nobody disputes that Zoraida di Granata which was performed for the first time in the Teatro di Torre Argentina in Rome on the z8th of January in 1822, is the clear prece­dent of Alahor in Granata. This opera was spe­cially dear to Donizetti because it was exceptio­nally well received by the public and also becau­se the fact that it was performed in a very pres­tigious opera house, contributed to opening the door of fame for the composer. Zoraida marks a watershed in Donizetti's career. With a libretto by Bartolomeo Merelli written for the 1822 ori­ginal version (this was to be rewritten byjacopo Ferreti for a later version performed in 1824) it consists of two acts and its plot has much in common with the themes found in the works by Nicolini and Cherubini which we mentioned aboye. They are ah based in the same literary source: the historical novel Gonzalve de Cordoue, ou Grenade reconquise (Avignon, 1793) by the French author Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian.

After the incredible success of Zoraida, it is hardly surprising that, Donizetti, after having failed with another opera with Spanish theme (Biancha e Serafina) which opened at the Scala in the same year of 1822, persisted in using the nas­rid theme again in another of his works. Thus, Alahor in Granates opened on the 7th of January 1826 at the Real Teatro Carolino in Palermo. This opera was composed by Donizetti during the year long period (from March 1825 until march 1826) which he spent in the Sicilian capital working as the artistic director of the theatre. Amongst his multiple tasks as a director, he undertook the posts of "maestro di capella, direttore della musica e compositore delle opere”.