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Thread: Don Carlo recommendation

  1. #31
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Recordings I have and enjoy

    Attachment 123440

    Terrific performance of the four act version. Unfortunately the engineering is intrusive. Needs remastering.

    Attachment 123441

    Generally well cast and conducted. Very safe recommendation of 5 act Italian version

    Attachment 123442

    First attempt at the French version but by a non-French speaking cast. Interesting with an appendix

    Attachment 123443

    Really good performance spoiled by the bizarre casting of the German, Meier, as Eboli. Was there no-one French to sing the part?

    Attachment 123444

    Two great performances in Christoff and Gobbi but you do have to put up with Santini's lifeless conducting.
    I agree with you generally about these recordings, but just wonder why you single out the casting of the German Meier as bizarre, whereas the casting of a Finnish Elisabeth and an American Posa and Grand Inquisitor presumably isn't.

    Incidentally we have in other sets performances by Spaniards (Domingo, Carreras and Caballé), Bulgarians (Christoff and Ghiaurov) a Greek (Baltsa) and another American (Milnes) as well as Italians of course.

    Why does Meier's nationality make her bizarre casting for the role of Eboli?
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Sep-05-2019 at 11:39.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  3. #32
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    The most complete recording of the French version is this one:

    doncarlos.jpg

    Some of the casting is less than ideal, but most of the singers are Francophones. I'm fairly certain that it pre-dates the Abbado French version.

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  5. #33
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    I agree with you generally about these recordings, but just wonder why you single out the casting of the German Meier as bizarre, whereas the casting of a Finnish Elisabeth and an American Posa and Grand Inquisitor presumably isn't.

    Incidentally we have in other sets performances by Spaniards (Domingo, Carreras and Caballé), Bulgarians (Christoff and Ghiaurov) a Greek (Baltsa) and another American (Milnes) as well as Italians of course.

    Why does Meier's nationality make her bizarre casting for the role of Eboli?
    I don't find her French comes over that well. Germans are not generally noted for their French speaking.

  6. #34
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildThing View Post
    Has anyone heard Haitink's recording?



    Amazon reviews are never reliable, but Ralph Moore and a few others on the site gave it a good review.
    I pulled this off the shelf and am listening to it today. It's pretty much as I remembered it - competent, but ultimately noncompetitive. Many of Haitink's tempo choices are too slow, robbing the music of forward momentum and drama. The best singing certainly comes from Borodina. I had reservations about Hvorostovsky's voice from the beginning of his career, particularly in Italian repertoire; the voice seemed bottled up and artificially darkened, without sufficient squillo - and those features are certainly present on this recording. But if you're a fan, you'll like him here. Margison is adequate vocally, but not really very interesting, and I find his musicality pretty pedestrian. Gorchakova's' voice sounds clotted and her diction is dreadful. Scandiuzzi sounds every bit as old and decrepit as I remembered, and Lloyd sounds too healthy as the Grand Inquisitor.
    Last edited by wkasimer; Sep-06-2019 at 20:46.

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    The live recording from 1977 La Scala performance conducted by Abbado. This version is so precious that it is the original 5-act version in Italian not the Milan 4-act version plus Fontainbleau (like 1961 Santini studio recording). In this version you will hear many paragraphs that are rarely performed. This version is very close to Kaufmann's 2013 Salzburg performance.
    Prince, Posa, queen and King are Carreras, Cappuccilli, Freni and Ghiaurov, repectively. My favorite cast for Don Carlo. The scene in the prison is moving. Carreras is really a sensitive, emotional and sometimes indecisive Don Carlo.

  9. #36
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Last edited by MAS; May-07-2020 at 01:36.

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    Senior Member Op.123's Avatar
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    The best all-round recording is probably Santini's 1960 recording for DG, his conducting has a lot more life to it than the earlier one on EMI. Flaviano Labo is an underrated tenor, not the best exponent of this role but not at all a weak link. Stella is an ideal Elisabeth and just as good as on the earlier set. Cossotto has a more flexible voice for the veil song than Elena Nicolai but doesn't quite match her in 'O don fatale'. Bastianini and Christoff are both excellent here although maybe I'd have preffered someone like Siepi over Christoff. But all-in-all it's very hard to find a recording where all roles are sung as well as they are here.
    “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

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  12. #38
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Op.123 View Post
    The best all-round recording is probably Santini's 1960 recording for DG, his conducting has a lot more life to it than the earlier one on EMI. Flaviano Labo is an underrated tenor, not the best exponent of this role but not at all a weak link. Stella is an ideal Elisabeth and just as good as on the earlier set. Cossotto has a more flexible voice for the veil song than Elena Nicolai but doesn't quite match her in 'O don fatale'. Bastianini and Christoff are both excellent here although maybe I'd have preffered someone like Siepi over Christoff. But all-in-all it's very hard to find a recording where all roles are sung as well as they are here.
    Must confess Santini’s conducting robs this of any dramatic force

  13. #39
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Op.123 View Post
    The best all-round recording is probably Santini's 1960 recording for DG, his conducting has a lot more life to it than the earlier one on EMI. Flaviano Labo is an underrated tenor, not the best exponent of this role but not at all a weak link. Stella is an ideal Elisabeth and just as good as on the earlier set. Cossotto has a more flexible voice for the veil song than Elena Nicolai but doesn't quite match her in 'O don fatale'. Bastianini and Christoff are both excellent here although maybe I'd have preffered someone like Siepi over Christoff. But all-in-all it's very hard to find a recording where all roles are sung as well as they are here.
    Now I've never heard anyone refer to this DG set as the best all-round recording of the opera. Lord Harewood doesn't have much time for it in Opera on Record, though, aside from Stella, he quite likes the cast. Peter G. Davis in The Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera is more damning,

    As the first edition to include the long-unheard Act I, this recording created a considerable amount of iterest when new. Otherwise most of the traditional egregious cuts are observed, and the performance itself is hardly noteworrthy. As in the EMI edition, Santini gives a dull account of the score, although at least he has a superior chorus and orchestra at his disposal. The passage of seven years has not improved Stella's Elisabetta, which sounds even more pallid and worn than in 1954. Christoff, however, offers a carbon copy of his classic Filippo, an amazing set-in-stone interpretation that scarcely changed throughout his long career. Bastianini's blunt but resplendently sung Rodrigo is more enjoyable in retrospect, considering his less generously endowed successors. The same might be said of the young Cossotto who eagerly hurls her fresh, secure mezzo-soprano at Eboli's music with awesome self-confidence if not much nuance. Labo's raw Carlo and Vinco's undersung Inquisitor are both depressingly provincial.

    For a studio recording I continue to prefer Giulini. If the sound weren't such a problem, I'd like the Karajan recording of the Act IV version a lot more than I do, and, for a version in French, I have the Abbado.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    Now I've never heard anyone refer to this DG set as the best all-round recording of the opera. Lord Harewood doesn't have much time for it in Opera on Record, though, aside from Stella, he quite likes the cast. Peter G. Davis in The Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera is more damning,




    For a studio recording I continue to prefer Giulini. If the sound weren't such a problem, I'd like the Karajan recording of the Act IV version a lot more than I do, and, for a version in French, I have the Abbado.
    I agree with Harewood (and you!)

    Whilst I have to have the 1954 Santini for Gobbi, the live recording from the ROH in 1958 is hard to beat, possibly my favourite overall recording of the opera. I also like the Corelli/Janowitz one from Vienna and the Pappano for the original French version (although you don't get the extra parts). The sound and the fact it's the four act version has stopped me from buying the Karajan (there's also a live one with a similar cast, but the sound has similar imperfections there as well).

    N.

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  17. #41
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    I keep proselytizing this recording, but it's really the most consistently good performance i've heard: https://operadepot.com/products/verd...ccilli-karajan
    https://www.operapassion.com/cd1169900.html

    Karajan's 1975 Salzburg Festival performance in excellent sound with Domingo, Freni, Cappuccilli, Ludwig, Ghiaurov--in much better, more natural sound than the artificial and studio bound Karajan recording, and fuller and richer sound than the Orfeo release of the 1979 Salzburg performance.

    As a performance, much preferable too--I admire Carreras's vocalism but I don't feel like he really digs into this character in the way that Domingo does in his live (but not studio) performances. Freni's interpretation is still maturing and not as great as her video Met performance from 1983 but it's still very good here, Ludwig isn't in her best voice and she prematurely slides off a high note on O don fatale, but it's still a seductively feminine performance in a way that stentorian Ebolis like Obratzova and to a lesser extent Cossotto generally aren't. Ghiaurov is towering here as Fillippo, and there's luxury casting with Jose Van Dam as the monk and Tomowo-Sintow as the voice from above.

    It's the 4 act version, since it's Karajan as far as I can tell, he always only did the 4 act version. If you absolutely 100% needed the 5 act version, the 1977 La Scala Abbado that SanyiKocha mentioned above is the most recommendable. Carreras, Freni, Obratzova, Cappuccilli, Ghiaurov, in more complete a version than any others, that includes the woodcutter's chorus in act 1, the exchanging of the masks in act 3, the Lacrimosa duet after Rodrigo's death.
    Last edited by howlingfantods; May-11-2020 at 17:17.

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  19. #42
    Senior Member Op.123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    Now I've never heard anyone refer to this DG set as the best all-round recording of the opera. Lord Harewood doesn't have much time for it in Opera on Record, though, aside from Stella, he quite likes the cast. Peter G. Davis in The Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera is more damning,




    For a studio recording I continue to prefer Giulini. If the sound weren't such a problem, I'd like the Karajan recording of the Act IV version a lot more than I do, and, for a version in French, I have the Abbado.
    To be honest I don't really find any of the available recordings of Don Carlo fully satisfactory. Santini's conducting isn't the most exciting but I find it much better than on the 1954 recording. The entire cast, save Vinco's inquisitor, is very good. I don't agree with Harewood's opinion on Stella I think she is great and her final duet with Labo is gorgeous.

    The 1956 recording Votto is maybe a better option despite the poor sound-quality. I just wish they had got Simionato to sing Eboli instead of Barbieri...

    I wonder what the 1954 set conducted by Rossi and the 1953 with Serfain are like?
    Last edited by Op.123; May-11-2020 at 22:38.
    “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

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  21. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Op.123 View Post
    To be honest I don't really find any of the available recordings of Don Carlo fully satisfactory. Santini's conducting isn't the most exciting but I find it much better than on the 1954 recording. The entire cast, save Vinco's inquisitor, is very good. I don't agree with Harewood's opinion on Stella I think she is great and her final duet with Labo is gorgeous.

    The 1956 recording Votto is maybe a better option despite the poor sound-quality. I just wish they had got Simionato to sing Eboli instead of Barbieri...

    I wonder what the 1954 set conducted by Rossi and the 1953 with Serfain are like?
    For some reason the Giulini recording turned to be a disappointment for me. It looked great on paper for cast and conductor but it never caught fire for me. I should give it a second whirl. That's why I prefer the Santini's in spite of neither of them being ideal. I like Christoff's Filippo and Neri's Inquisitor above everyone else -- just a preference. The DG Santini has a better Don Carlo (Labó as opposed to Filippeschi) than the EMI and adding Bastianini - yes, he is Bastianini but what a voice - makes the tilt for me.

    I also have the Previtali, Rossi-Lemeni, Picchi, Silveri, Neri, Caniglia, and Stignani on Cetra which is also not so bad.

  22. #44
    Senior Member Op.123's Avatar
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    Following the recommendation of someone earlier in the thread I had a listen to the 1955 recording conducted by Kurt Adler starring Tucker, Steber, Thebom, Bastianini, Hines and Moscano. This is a brilliant performance - Steber is a wonderful Elisabeth, the whole cast are in good voice, the conducting is on the fast side but it works. The sound is good for a live recording of it's time, the only issue is the cuts, with the brisk tempo this four act version comes in only a little over two and-a-half hours. In such a brilliant performance the cuts don't bother me too much but I know for some people they will.
    Last edited by Op.123; May-18-2020 at 01:49.
    “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

    - Mozart

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  24. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Op.123 View Post
    Following the recommendation of someone earlier in the thread I had a listen to the 1955 recording conducted by Kurt Adler starring Tucker, Steber, Thebom, Bastianini, Hines and Moscano. This is a brilliant performance - Steber is a wonderful Elisabeth, the whole cast are in good voice, the conducting is on the fast side but it works. The sound is good for a live recording of it's time, the only issue is the cuts, with the brisk tempo this four act version comes in only a little over two and-a-half hours. In such a brilliant performance the cuts don't bother me too much but I know for some people they will.
    Op.123: I assume that it is the 4-act version. Correct?

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