THE UNIVERSAL COMPENDIUM
 Home | Subjects | A-Z List | Search | About UC | Contact

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UC Picture Gallery

 



The works of Giuseppe Verdi


Romantic composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) is regarded as the greatest Italian musical dramatist. His early career found him composing works that achieved success within the existing operatic framework. However, Verdi's artistic vision evolved. He placed increasing importance on a tighter integration of drama and music, ensuring a more unified artistic experience. Psychological depth became a hallmark of his operas. Characters were no longer simply heroes or villains, but individuals with complex motivations and emotions that resonated with audiences. This shift in focus resulted in a series of masterpieces renowned for their soaring melodies, powerful choruses, and their exploration of the full spectrum of human experience. Verdi's influence extended beyond opera. He also composed chamber music, sacred pieces, and other instrumental music. This range reflects his diverse musical talents and his ability to excel in various genres and solidifying his place as one of the most important composers of the era.

 
Works
Operas
#

Title

Other Title

Genre

Libretto Author

Source

Premiere

1

Oberto, conte di San Boniface 

  Drama in two acts

Themistocle Solera

Verdi's unperformed 1836 opera Rocester, with libretto by Antonio Piazza. Revised and presented as Oberto.

Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 17 Nov. 1839

2 Un giro di regna Il finto Stanislao Comic melodrama in two acts Felice Romani Romani's libretto for the 1818 play Il into Stanislao by Delbert Growth, after the 1808 play Le faux Stanislaw by Alexander Pineal-Duval.   Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 5 Sept. 1840  
3

Nabucodonosor

Nabucco
· Anato
· Nino
· Sennacherib 

Lyrical drama in four parts 

Temistocle Solera 

The 1836 play Nabucodonosor by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornu, and the 1838 ballet Nabucodonosor by Antonio Cortesi.

Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 9 Mar. 1842

4 I lombardi alla prima crociata     Lyrical drama in four acts   Temistocle Solera   The 1826 poem of the same name by Tommaso Grossi.   Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 11 Feb. 1843  
5 Ernani · Demetrio Alvexi
· Elvira d'Aragona
· Ester
· Le proscrit
· Il proscritto  

Lyrical drama in four parts  

Francesco Maria Piave  

The 1830 play Hernani by Victor Hugo.  

Venice, Teatro La Fenice, 9 Mar. 1844  

6 I due Foscari Aachan   Lyrical tragedy in three acts   Francesco Maria Piave   The 1821 play The Two Foscari by George Byron.   Rome, Teatro Argentina, 3 Nov. 1844  
7 Giovanna d'Arco Orietta di Lesbo

Lyrical drama with a prologue and three acts  

Temistocle Solera  

In part, the 1801 play Die Jungfrau von Orleans by Friedrich Schiller.  

Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 15 Feb. 1845  

8 Alzira     Lyrical tragedy with a prologue and two acts   Salvatore Cammarano   The 1736 play Alzire, ou Les Américains by Voltaire.   Naples, Teatro San Carlo, 2 Aug. 1845  
9 Attila Gli unni e i romani  

Lyrical drama with a prologue and three acts  

Temistocle Solera and Francesco Maria Piave  

The 1808 play Attila, König der Hunnen by Zacharias Werner.  

Venice, Teatro La Fenice, 17 Mar. 1846  

10 Macbeth · Saul
· Sivardo il Sassone  
Opera in four acts   Francesco Maria Piave and Andrea Maffei   The 1605-06 play Macbeth by William Shakespeare.   Florence, Teatro La Pergola, 14 Mar. 1847  
Macbeth (rev. version)     Opera in four acts   French translation by Charles Nuitter and Alexandre Beaumont   Piave and Maffei's 1857 libretto.   Paris, Théâtre Lyrique, 21 Apr. 1865  
11 I masnadieri Adele di Cosenza  

Melodrama in four parts  

Andrea Maffei  

The 1781 play Die Räuber by Friedrich Schiller.  

London, Her Majesty's Theatre, 22 July 1847  

12 Jérusalem Giselda   Opera in four acts   Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz   French version of Verdi's I Lombardi alla prima Crociata.   Paris, Opéra, 26 Nov. 1847  
13 Il corsaro    

Opera in three acts  

Francesco Maria Piave  

The 1814 poem The Corsair by George Byron.  

Trieste, Teatro Grande, 25 Oct. 1848  

14 La battaglia di Legnano · L'assedio di Arlem
· Das heilige Feur
· Patria
· Pour la patrie
· La sconfitta degli Austriaci  
Lyrical tragedy in four acts   Salvatore Cammarano   The 1828 play La bataille de Toulouse by Joseph Méry.   Rome, Teatro Argentina, 27 Jan. 1849  
15 Luisa Miller    

Melodrama in three acts  

Salvatore Cammarano  

The 1784 play Kabale und Liebe by Friedrich Schiller  

Naples, Teatro San Carlo, 8 Dec. 1849  

16 Stiffelio Guglielmo Wellingrode   Opera in three acts   Francesco Maria Piave   The 1848 play Le pasteur, ou L'èvangile et le Foyer by Emile Souvestre and Eugène Bourgeois.   Trieste, Teatro Grande, 16 Nov. 1850  
17 Rigoletto · Clara di Pert
· Lionello
· Triboulet    

Melodrama in three acts  

Francesco Maria Piave  

The 1832 play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo.  

Venice, Teatro La Fenice, 11 Mar. 1851  

18 Il l trovatore The Gypsy's Vengeance   Drama in four parts   Salvatore Cammarano and Leone E. Bardare   The 1836 play El trovador by Antonio García Gutiérrez.   Rome, Teatro Apollo, 19 Jan. 1853  
19 La traviata Violetta  

Opera in three acts  

Francesco Maria Piave  

The 1852 play Le dame aux caméllas by Alexandre Dumas.  

Venice, Teatro La Fenice, 6 Mar. 1853  

20 Les vêpres siciliennes · Giovanna de Guzman
· Batilde di Turenna
· Giovanna di Sicilia
· Il vespro siciliano
· I vespri siciliani  
Opera in five acts   Eugène Scribe and Charles Duveyrier   The 1838 libretto Le duc d'Albe by Scribe and Duveyrier.   Paris, Opéra, 13 June 1855  
21

Simon Boccanegra

   

Opera with a prologue and three acts  

Francesco Maria Piave and Giuseppe Montanelli  

The 1843 play Simón Bocanegra by Antonio García Gutiérrez.  

Venice, Teatro La Fenice, 12 Mar. 1857  

Simon Boccanegra (rev. version)

   

Melodrama with a prologue and three acts  

Arrigo Boito  

Piave's 1857 libretto.  

Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 24 Mar. 1881  

22 Aroldo     Opera in four acts   Francesco Maria Piave   After Piave's 1850 libretto for Stiffelio.   Rimini, Teatro Nuovo, 16 Aug. 1857  
23 Un ballo in maschera · Amelia
· Gustavo III
· Der verhängisvolle Maskenball  
Melodrama in three acts   Antonio Somma   The 1833 libretto Gustave III, ou Le bal masqué by Eugène Scribe.   Rome, Teatro Apollo
17 Feb. 1859  
24

La forza del destino

Don Alvaro   Opera in four acts   Francesco Maria Piave   The 1835 play Don Álvaro, o La fuerza del Sino by Ángel de Saavedra and a scene from the 1799 play Wallensteins Lager by Friedrich Schiller.   St Petersburg, Imperial Theatre, 10 Nov. 1862  
rev. version     Opera in four acts   Antonio Ghislanzoni    Piave's 1862 libretto.   Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 27 Feb. 1869  
25

Don Carlos

 

Opera in five acts  

Joseph Méry and Camille Du Locle  

The 1787 dramatic poem Don Carlos by Friedrich Schiller.  

Paris, Opéra, 11 Mar. 1867  

Don Carlo (rev. version)     Opera in four acts   Italian translation by Achille De Lauzières   Méry and Du Locle's 1867 libretto.   Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 10 Jan. 1884  
26 Aida     Opera in four acts   Antonio Ghislanzoni   A scenario by Auguste Mariette.   Cairo, Opera House, 24 Dec. 1871  
27 Otello     Lyrical drama in four acts   Arrigo Boito   The 1604-05 play Othello by William Shakespeare.   Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 5 Feb. 1887  
28 Falstaff     Lyrical comedy in three acts   Arrigo Boito   The plays The Merry Wives of Windsor (1600-01) and Henry IV (1597-98) by Shakespeare.  

Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 9 Feb. 1893  

Other Operatic Compositions
# Title Type Yr Comp. Text Source Other Details
1 La capricciosa Overture 1825-26     Supposedly written at the age of twelve; premiered Teatro Verdi inauguration, Busseto, 5 Aug. 1868
2 Io la vidi Aria for solo tenor, second tenor and orchestra 1832–36? Calisto Bassi's libretto for Giuseppe Persiani's opera // solitario ed Elodia Probably written as an exercise for his tutor, the composer Vincenzo Lavigna.
3 Pria che scende sull'indegno Duet c. 1837? Antonio Piazza? Duet for Leonora and Cuniza in Oberto that was cut, probably originally from Verdi's opera Rocester.
4 D'innocenza i cari inganní Cavatina 1840 Temistocle Solera? Composed for Luigia Abbadia for her role of Cuniza in Oberto, but it was discarded.
5 Ah Riccardo, al mia ragione Duet 1840 Temistocle Solera? Composed for Luigia Abbadia and Lorenzo Salvi for their roles of Cuniza and Riccardo in Oberto, but was discarded.
6 Dove corri, o sciagurata? Duet 1841    Composed for Antonietta Rainieri-Marini and Ignazio Marini for their roles of Leonora and Oberto in Oberto, but was discarded. The text is unknown.
7 Ma fin che un brando vindice Cabaletta 1841 Temistocle Solera? Composed for Ignazio Marini for the title role in Oberto for a revival in Barcelona in 1841, but was later transferred to Ernani as Infin che un brando vindice.
8 Oh, dischiuso è il firmamento Romanza 1842 Temistocle Solera Alternative setting for Fenena's prayer composed for Almerinda Granchi in that role in Nabucco for its Venetian premiere in 1842.
9 Come poteva un angelo Cabaletta 1843 Temistocle Solera Alternative setting for Oronte's cabaleta composed for Antonio Poggi in that role in I Lombardi for its revival at Senigallia.
10 Odi il voto, O grande iddio Aria 1844 Francesco Maria Piave  Composed for Nicola Ivanoff for the title role of Ernani, replacing the original duet finale with 'Silvia' in the second act.
11 Potrei lasciar la margine Cavatina 1845–46   Composed for Sofia Loewe for the title role of Giovanna d'Arco, for an 1845 revival. Text is unknown, and the music is lost.
12 Sì, lo sento, Iddio mi chiama Cabaletta 1846 Francesco Maria Piave? Composed for Giovanni Mario for his role of Jacopo in I due Foscari.
13 Sventurato! alla mia vita Romanza 1846 Francesco Maria Piave Composed for Nicola Ivanoff for his role of Foresto in Attila, replacing 'Chi non avrebbe il misero' in the final act. The music is inaccessible.
14 Oh dolore! ed io vivea Romanza 1846 Francesco Maria Piave? Composed for Napoleone Moriani f for his role of Foresto in Attila
15 Prends pitié de sa jeunesse Mélodie 1858 The poem Il poveretto, by Manfredo Maggioni   The music of Verdi's romanza ll poveretto was adapted to a French text for the Maddalena rolein Rigoletto at a Brussels staging of the opera.
16 O toi que j'ai chérie Romanze 1863   Composed for the tenor François Pierre Villaret for his role of Henri in the Les vêpres siciliennes revival in Paris, replacing the aria 'O jour de peine'. The text is unknown.
17 Aida Overture 1872   Revised overture withdrawn, but published.
Choral and Religious Works
# Title Composed Text Author Other Details
1 I deliri di Saul, cantata for baritone and orchestra   1828   Vittorio Alfieri      
2 Le lamentazioni di Geremia for baritone   1829 Biblical, arr. by Giovanni Leoni      
3 Laudate pueri in D Major for tenors, bass, chorus and orchestra   c. 1830-32          
4 Qui tollis in F Major for tenor, clarinet and orchestra c. 1830-32    
3 Tantum ergo in F Major for bass and orchestra   c. 1830-32          
5 Tantum ergo in G Major for tenor and orchestra   c. 1830-32          
6 Messe (Kyrie and Gloria), for soprano, tenors, bass and orchestra 1832-34       A collaborative work with Ferdinando Provesi. Premiered Busseto, 15 Sept. 1835.
7 Gloria Domine Deus for tenor, chorus and orchestra   c. 1832-34          
8 Tantum ergo in G Major for tenor, orchestra, and organ   1836       Composed for the tenor Luigi Machiavelli.
9 Suoni la tromba for 3-part male chorus and piano or orchestra   1849  Goffredo Mameli   Also known as Inno popolare.
10 Inno delle nazioni for tenor, chorus and orchestra   1862   Arrigo Boito   Composed for London's Great Exhibition, and premiered at Her Majesty's Theatre, London, 24 May 1862.
11 Libera me, Domine for soprano, chorus and orchestra 1868-69       A collaborative work for the Messa per Rossini.
12 Messa da Requiem for soloists, chorus and orchestra   1874; rev. 1875       Composed to commemorate the anniversary of death of Alessandro Manzoni.. Premiered Milan, San Marco, 22 May 1874.
13 Pater nostro for five-part chorus, a cappella   1880   Attributed to Dante Composed for a benefit concert.
14 Ave Maria for soprano and small string ensemble 1880   Attributed to Dante Composed for a benefit concert.
15 Quattro pezzi sacri:
1. 'Ave Maria sulla scala enigmatica' for four-part unaccompanied chorus
2. 'Laudi alla Vergine Maria' for 4-part women's chorus, a cappella
3. 'Te Deum' for double chorus and orchestra
4. 'Stabat mater' for double chorus and orchestra  
1. 1889,
rev. 1898
2. 1887–88
3. 1895-96
4. 1898  
2. From the final canto of Dante's Paradiso
4. Jacopone da Todi  
   
16 Laudi alla Vergine Maria for 4-part women's chorus, a cappella 1887–88 From the final canto of Dante's Paradiso Published as No. 3 of the Quattro pezzi sacri in 1898.   
17 Ave Maria sulla scala enigmatica for four-part unaccompanied chorus 1889   Published as No. 1 of the Quattro pezzi sacri in 1898.   
18 Pietà, Signor, del nostro error profondo for tenor, solists and piano   1894   Adapted from Arrigo Boito's De profundis Published in the periodical Fata Morgana for the
victims of earthquakes in Sicily and Calabria
19 Te Deum for double chorus and orchestra 1895–96 Jacopone da Todi   Published as No. 4 of the Quattro pezzi sacri in 1898.   
20 Stabat mater for double chorus and orchestra   1896–97?   Published as No. 2 of the Quattro pezzi sacri in 1898.   
Vocal Chamber Music
# Title Yr Comp./Publ. Text Author
1 Brindisi (first version)   1835 Andrea Maffei  
2 Il cinque maggio cantata c. 1836 Alessandro Manzoni  
3 Sei romanze for voice and piano:
1. 'Non t'accostare dall'urna'
2. 'More, Elisa, lo stanco poeta'
3. 'In solitaria stanza'
4. 'Nell'orror di notte oscura'
5. 'Perduta ho la pace'
6. 'Deh, pietoso, oh addolorata'  
1838 1. Poem by Jacopo Vittorelli
2. Poem by Tommaso Bianchi
3. Poem by Jacopo Vittorelli
4. Poem by Carlo Angiolini
5. Poem by Wolfgang Goethe (trans. Luigi Balestra)
6. Poem by Wolfgang Goethe (trans. Luigi Balestra)   
4 Guarda che bianca luna notturno for soprano, tenor, bass, flute and piano   1839 Poem by Jacopo Vittorelli  
5 L'esule (Vedi! la bianca luna) for voice and piano   1839 Poem by Temistocle Solera  
6 La seduzione for voice and piano   1839? Poem by Luigi Balestra  
7 Chi i bei dì m'adduce ancora for voice and piano   1842/1948 Poem by Wolfgang Goethe (trans. Luigi Balestra?)  
8 Cupo è il sepolcre mutolo for voice and piano   1843 Unknown (Andrea Maffei?)  
9 È la vita un mar d'affanni for voice and piano   1844 Unknown  
10 Era bella, ancor più bella for voice and piano   1844 Unknown  
11 Il tramonto for voice and piano (first vers.)    1845 Andrea Maffei  
12 Sei romanze for voice and piano:
1. 'Il tramonto' (second vers.)
2. 'La zingara'
3. 'Ad una stella'
4. 'Lo spazzacamino'
5. 'Il mistero'
6. 'Brindisi' (second version)  
1845 1. Poem by Andrea Maffei
2. Poem by Manfredo Maggioni
3. Poem by Andrea Maffei
4. Poem by Manfredo Maggioni
5. Poem by Felice Romani
6. Poem by Andrea Maffei  
13 Il poveretto romanza 1847 Poem by Manfredo Maggioni  
14 L'abondonée 1849 Poem by Marie and Léon Escudier  
15 Fiorellin che sorge appena berceuse for voice and piano   1850 Poem by Francesco Maria Piave  
16 La fiorara for voice and piano   1853   E. Buvoli  
17 Sgombra, o gentil for voice and piano   1858   Alessandro Manzoni  
18 La preghiera del poeta for voice and piano   1858/1941 Poem by Nicola Sole  
19 Il brigidino stornello for voice and piano   1863/1948 Poem by  Francesco Dall'Ongaro  
20 Stornello (Tu dici che non m'ami) for voice and piano 1869 Anonymous poem
21 O virtù che provvidente for two-part soprano chorus and piano  c. 1900    
Instrumental Music
# Title
Composed
1 Sinfonia per 'Il barbiere di Siviglia' by G. Rossini  
1828
2 Sinfonia in B-flat Major  
c. 1838  
3 Sinfonia in C Major  
1836-38  
4 Sinfonia in D Major  
1836-38  
5 Sonata for Violin and Piano 'Stramberia'  
1836-38  
6 Sinfonia in C Major  
1836-38  
7 Adagio in D Major for trumpet and orchestra  
1837  
8 Variazioni for oboe, and orchestra 'Il canto di Virginia'*
1837
9 L'attente  
1846
10 Valzer for piano  
1859
11 Romanza senza parole for piano  
1865
12 String quartet in E minor  
1873


Notes

* Composed Giacomo Morì; Verdi wrote the orchestral accompaniment.


Sources:
1. Scott L. Balthazar, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Verdi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
2. Julian Budden. Verdi, 3rd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
3. Gregory W. Harwood. Giuseppe Verdi: A Research and Information Guide. New York and Oxon: Routledge, 2012.
4. R. Parker. Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. New York: Grove Dictionaries, Inc., 2001.
   

About UC | Contact
© 2024 The Universal Compendium. All Rights Reserved.