Lamberto Gardelli

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Lamberto Gardelli (8 November 1915 17 July 1998) was a Swedish conductor of Italian birth, [1] particularly associated with the Italian opera repertory, especially the works of Giuseppe Verdi.

Giuseppe Verdi 19th-century Italian opera composer

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.


Life and career

Born in Venice, Italy, Gardelli studied with Amilcare Zanella and Adriano Ariani at the Liceo Musicale Rossini in Pesaro, and later at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He started his career as a pianist (appearing in public at the age of eight) and double-bass player in Italy. In addition to vocal studies he took composition classes with Goffredo Petrassi, and later spent eight years as an assistant to Serafin, also working with Mascagni during this period. [2]

Venice Comune in Veneto, Italy

Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. The islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice. Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE), which is considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million.

Pesaro Comune in Marche, Italy

Pesaro is a city and comune in the Italian region of Marche, capital of the Province of Pesaro e Urbino, on the Adriatic Sea. According to the 2011 census, its population was 95,011, making it the second most populous city in the Marche, after Ancona. Pesaro was dubbed "Cycling City" by Italian environmentalist association Legambiente in recognition of its extensive network of bicycle paths and promotion of cycling. It is also known as "City of Music" as it is the birthplace of the composer Gioacchino Rossini. In 2015 the Italian Government applied for Pesaro to be declared a "Creative City" in UNESCO's World Heritage sites. In 2017 Pesaro received the European City of Sport award together with Aosta, Cagliari and Vicenza.

Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia university

The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is one of the oldest musical institutions in the world, founded by the papal bull Ratione congruit, issued by Sixtus V in 1585, which invoked two saints prominent in Western musical history: Gregory the Great, for whom the Gregorian chant is named, and Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music. Since 2005 it has been headquartered at the Renzo Piano designed Parco della Musica in Rome.

He made his conducting debut at the Rome Opera with La traviata in 1944. Professionally, he continued to have a major career in Europe in addition to making recordings of many neglected operas.

<i>La traviata</i> 1853 opera by Giuseppe Verdi

La traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La Dame aux camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas fils. The opera was originally titled Violetta, after the main character. It was first performed on 6 March 1853 at the La Fenice opera house in Venice.

Gardelli was permanent guest conductor with the Royal Swedish Orchestra from 1946–1955, and conductor at the Stockholm Opera from 1947, working with singers such as Jussi Björling and Birgit Nilsson. He also conducted at the Drottningholm Theatre, and eventually adopted Swedish nationality and became a Court conductor. [2] He was a conductor of the Danish Radio Orchestra from 1955–1961, then music director at the Hungarian State Opera from 1961 until 1966 and continued to appear in Budapest up until the 1990s. [1] He made guest appearances at the Glyndebourne Festival from 1964 (with Macbeth , which was filmed), the Royal Opera House in London (during the period 1969–1982), the Metropolitan Opera in New York (debut 1966) and Deutsche Oper Berlin. He was chief Conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra from 1982 to 1985 and of the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1986 until 1988.

Jussi Björling Swedish tenor

Johan Jonatan "Jussi" Björling was a Swedish tenor. One of the leading operatic singers of the 20th century, Björling appeared for many years at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and less frequently at the major European opera houses, including the Royal Opera House in London and La Scala in Milan.

Birgit Nilsson Swedish opera singer

Märta Birgit Nilsson was a celebrated Swedish dramatic soprano. Although she sang a wide repertory of operatic and vocal works, Nilsson was best known for her performances in the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. Her voice was noted for its overwhelming force, bountiful reserves of power, and the gleaming brilliance and clarity in the upper register.

<i>Macbeth</i> (opera) opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Macbeth is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, with an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and additions by Andrea Maffei, based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. Written for the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, it was Verdi's tenth opera and premiered on 14 March 1847. Macbeth was the first Shakespeare play that Verdi adapted for the operatic stage. Almost twenty years later, Macbeth was revised and expanded in a French version and given in Paris on 19 April 1865.

Later in his career in Budapest he was noted for performances of Bruckner and Mahler symphonies. He "showed a firm command of a work's structure and used expressive nuance with discernment, eschewing any hint of excess". [3]

Anton Bruckner Austrian composer

Josef Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer, organist, and music theorist best known for his symphonies, masses, Te Deum and motets. The first are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, strongly polyphonic character, and considerable length. Bruckner's compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism, owing to their dissonances, unprepared modulations, and roving harmonies.

Gustav Mahler Late-Romantic Austrian composer

Gustav Mahler was an Austro-Bohemian late-Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. While in his lifetime his status as a conductor was established beyond question, his own music gained wide popularity only after periods of relative neglect which included a ban on its performance in much of Europe during the Nazi era. After 1945 his compositions were rediscovered by a new generation of listeners; Mahler then became one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all composers, a position he has sustained into the 21st century. In 2016, a BBC Music Magazine survey of 151 conductors ranked three of his symphonies in the top ten symphonies of all time.

He was made an "Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" in 1995, by the Ministère de la Culture (France).

He composed five operas, of which only L'impresario delle Americhe of 1959 was performed (Hungarian TV, 1982), [1] while a post-Romantic Requiem was well received at performances in Budapest. [3]

Gardelli died in Munich, Germany, at the age of 82.


Gardelli was considered a specialist in the works of Verdi and he made several recordings of that composer's operas in the 1960s and 1970s, conducting pioneering recordings of the neglected early operas with record companies such as Philips and Orfeo. These included Alzira , Attila , Stiffelio , I masnadieri , Ernani , Oberto , Un giorno di regno , Il corsaro , as well as more well-known works such as Nabucco , Macbeth , La traviata , La forza del destino .

While not limiting himself to Verdi, he recorded the first complete French version of Rossini's Guillaume Tell and Giordano's Fedora with the rarely recorded Magda Olivero. He made studio recordings of four Respighi operas with Hungaroton. He was also mentor to several noted sopranos, including Lucia Aliberti and Sylvia Sass. His non-operatic recordings include orchestral works by G. Bizet, H.D. Koppel, F. Mendelssohn, I. Pizzetti and O. Respighi.

Some of his full opera recordings [4] include:



  1. 1 2 3 Lamberto Gardelli. The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Macmillan, London and New York, 1997.
  2. 1 2 Lamberto Gardelli (biographical note). In: booklet accompanying I Due Foscari, Philips LPs 6700 105, 1977, p4.
  3. 1 2 Blyth, Alan. Obituary for Lamberto Gardelli. Opera , Vol 49 No 10, October 1998, p1165.
  4. Lamberto Gardelli opera recordings at the Opera Discography retrieved 12 June 2013.
  5. Svensk Filmdatabas: Eldfågeln (1952) retrieved 15 June 2013.
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Heinz Wallberg
Chief Conductor, Münchner Rundfunkorchester
Succeeded by
Giuseppe Patanè
Preceded by
Herbert Blomstedt
Principal Conductor, Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Leif Segerstam

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