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Thread: What opera are you currently listening to / watching? CD/DVD

  1. #14761
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Two years after the sensational premiere of Visconti's production under Bernstein, La Scala revived the production, also taking it to Edinburgh and Cologne and this studio recording represents the revival cast. We unfortunately lose Valletti and a bit more of the music as Votto makes more cuts in the score than Bernstein did. Votto is nowhere near as imaginative a conductor as Bernstein either.

    That said, Callas is still in good voice and the sound of this studio recording is a good deal better than the 1955 live recording. I also really like the cadenza Callas adopts between the two verses of Ah non giunge, in which she sweeps up to a fortissimo Eb in alt, effecting a diminuendo on the note before cascading down a two octave chromatic scale, all in one breath, the like of which you will not hear from any other soprano. In certain matters at least Callas's technique could fear no comparisons. It's no trick of the gramophone either, as she does exactly the same live in Cologne, though there she does have to snatch a breath before the final chain of rising turns.

    Fuller review here.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Jun-13-2021 at 11:30.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  3. #14762
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    I love this recording. It was my first Cosi and it remains my favourite. I haven't heard another performance that makes the wonderful Ferrando/Fiordiligi duet Fra gli'amplessi quite so erotic.

    I also enjoy the Davis with Caballé and Baker and a live Davis one from Covent Garden with Te Kanawa, Baltsa, Burrows and Allen, mostly, no doubt, because I saw it in the theatre and it was a very memorable occasion.
    The Soave sia Il Vento with Caballe/Baker is out of this world.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mparta View Post
    The Soave sia Il Vento with Caballe/Baker is out of this world.
    It's also wonderful with Schwarzkopf and Ludwig. In fact, I think I might slightly prefer it.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Gounod: Faust

    Angela Gheorghiu (Marguerite), Roberto Alagna (Faust), Bryn Terfel (Méphistophélès), Simon Keenlyside (Valentin) & Sophie Koch (Siébel)

    Orchestra & Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano (conductor) & David McVicar (director)
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    I come to the end of my Bellini listening with Callas's live Cologne performance of La Sonnambula, which looks almost the same as the studio version, but improves on it in so many ways. The prosaic Votto is somehow woken up out of his slumber and here conducts a much more exciting and propulsive performance, if without Bernstein's revelations.

    Callas is in superb voice, singing with a pearly radiance and executing all the florid music with consummate ease, her trills absolutely heavenly. In fact all the principals, especially Monti, are inspired to give of their best. The sound of this live performance is a good deal better than the 1955 La Scala performance and I'd be hard pressed to say which of the two performances I prefer. How fortunate we are to have both.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Les Troyens, Act 1
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    This ones great too!
    Bailey an excellent Sachs. Great sound.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

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    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    “Then he will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!'" Matthew 25:41 (Christian Standard Bible)

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Strauss, R: Der Rosenkavalier

    Gwyneth Jones (Marschallin), Brigitte Fassbaender (Octavian), Lucia Popp (Sophie), Manfred Jungwirth (Baron Ochs), Benno Kusche (Faninal), Francisco Araiza (Italian Singer), David Thaw (Valzacchi), Gudrun Wewezow (Annina)

    Orchester der Bayerischen Staatsoper, Carlos Kleiber
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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  16. #14770
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    What a fabuous score this is. It's not an opera of course, though its final pages are undeniably operatic, but I've always thought it captures the spirit of Shakespeare's play better than any other musical adaptation I've heard.

    This was the third of Davis's recordings of the work, captured live at the Barbican in 2000 and brings back thrilling memories of the concerts themselves, one of which I attended. Davis paces the score brilliantly, bringing out all the difficult cross rhythms and intricate scoring of Berlioz's sparkling score.

    Of the soloists, Kenneth Tarver is excellent, but I think both mezzo and bass have been bettered on other recordings. Nonetheless this is one of the finest versions of this wonderfully original score to be heard.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Faramundo's Avatar
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    monophonic but truly full of charm !


    81g6-5q40cL._SS500_.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by SixFootScowl View Post
    Best recording of Fidelio, hands down.
    Follow me on Instragam: figaro_under_the_moonlight.

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  24. #14774
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parley View Post
    I quite enjoyed this recording when it first came out, but I've noticed it tends to be the last one I pull down from the shelves when I want to listen to the opera. I remember being impressed with the sound, Pappano's conducting and Kaufmann's Radames, but the rest don't really measure up to their counterparts in my other recordings.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  25. #14775
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    This may be the fastest tempo Fidelio I have listened to:

    “Then he will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!'" Matthew 25:41 (Christian Standard Bible)

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