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Bizet: Carmen Box set


Price: £27.75
Only 1 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Super Duper.
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£27.75 Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by Super Duper.

Product details

  • Performer: Victoria de los Angeles, Nicolai Gedda, Ernst Blanc, Janine Micheau
  • Orchestra: Petits Chanteurs de Versailles, French Radio Choir
  • Conductor: Sir Thomas Beecham
  • Composer: Georges Bizet
  • Audio CD (4 Sept. 2000)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Great Recordings of the Century
  • ASIN: B00004U0C5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,772 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Ouverture
2. Scène et Choeur: Sur la place
3. Choeur: Avec la garde montante
4. Récit: C'est bien là, n'est-ce pas
5. Choeur: La cloche a sonné...Dans l'air, nous suivons des yeux la fumée
6. Récit & Habanera: Quand je vous aimerai?...L'amour est un oiseau rebelle
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Entr'acte
2. Chanson bohème: Les tringles des sistres tintalent
3. Récit: Messieurs, Pastia me dit
4. Choeur: Vivat! vivat le Toréro!
5. Couplets: Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre ... Toréador
6. Récit: La belle, un mot
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Entr'acte
2. Sextuor & Choeur: Ecoute, écoute, compagnon, écoute
3. Récit: Reposons-nous une heure ici, mes camarades
4. Trio: Mêlons! Coupons!
5. Récit: Eh bien?
6. Morceau d'Emsemble: Quant ua douanier, c'est notre affaire
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John Austin HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 8 Dec. 2000
Put this "Carmen" in your trolley and you'll become the owner of exactly what the packaging says, a "Great Recording of the Century". The conductor Sir Thomas Beecham makes it great. This is his "Carmen", rather than the "Carmen" of the particular singers who take the leading roles. Even in the final moments of the opera, when death and despair and being enacted on stage, it is Beecham who dominates. Listen to the magical moment before Jose's final outburst, "Ah! Carmen! ma Carmen adoreé". It is what the orchestra is doing, and very softly too, that communicates the force of the tragedy.
Most of this set's virtues have been detailed in the excellent review by Jed Distler, a member of Amazon.Com's Editorial team. Although most critics and reviewers have agreed that no other recording of "Carmen" has been able to displace this one as first choice in the forty years since it was made, the casting of Victoria de los Angeles in the title role has sparked controversy. I certainly can't believe at times that I am listening to a gypsy who works in a cigarette factory and who is charged with stabbing one of her work mates. Opera lovers will be familiar with my difficulty. We all need to suspend beliefs of one sort or another.
"I love her to distraction," sings Escamillo, the toreador. This is an opera recording that you will love too.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Aug. 2005
In many ways Carmen seems to me more to resemble a modern musical than to be like other contemporary operas. The big ensembles and finales are 'operatic' in the usual sense certainly, and it settles down to being something like a normal 19th century opera by act III. However it's in the nature of things that it fixes its real 'profile' and identity in the listener's mind in the earlier acts. The role of the chorus in act I makes a big impression for one thing - Verdi didn't give his chorus this kind of role, but Bernstein did. Again, there is only one solo in the entire work that I would describe as an 'aria' in the usual sense, namely the one in act III which is explicitly so described, as if the composer was making this point himself. Carmen's Habanera and Seguidilla from act I are not arias but songs, and the distinction is not just a matter of the dance rhythms. Many of Verdi's heroines sing arias to ordinary waltz or bolero rhythms, but what they sing are still arias as we would understand the term in Mozart - if someone were minded to make the opera into an ordinary play these arias could be made into spoken soliloquies. If anyone were to try to make a stage play out of Bizet's Carmen, not only would Carmen's solos still have to be given as songs, much of the music comprising the entire work would probably still have to be there as songs, dances and instrumental interludes for the band. We might notice very little difference, especially if the use of the recitative texts, nowadays unfashionable and not 'correct', were omitted.
Beecham's Carmen has enjoyed the status of a classic from the day it was first issued 45 years or so ago. In my own view it more than deserves this status, and it is gratifying to see this view apparently shared widely.
Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr Swallow on 2 Jun. 2009
If you want the traditional version of Carmen, with recitatives rather than dialogue, then this is probably the best version on the market. Beecham, a master of this score, is bewitching in his conducting, with a turn of the wrist and a light sensuousness. There are other ways with the score (eg Karajan) but this is one of the best conducted Carmens. de los Angeles is also bewitching, but one wonders whether she is just a little too nice to be Carmen. As far as actually singing the role, she is one of the best Carmens on disc. Gedda is a fair Jose as is Blanc as Escamillo. Janine Michau, sadly, sounds more like Jose's mother than girlfriend, but it is a good piece of singing in proper French. The recording shows its age a bit but this is certainly a fine version, a labour of love by conductor and cast.
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By Per Arne Rudberg on 7 Aug. 2011
One of the first operas I listened to. It made a huge impression on me. It was the drama between de los Angeles and Gedda that caught me. Just listen to their duet in the last act. Gedda's voice is so full of desperation that it feels 100% true.
Maybe Beecham is adding a bit too much sugar to the sound, but I forgive him because of the breathtaking lines that he creates.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Allan Blonde on 29 July 2010
No CARMEN recording is perfect but this Beecham directed performance, which has won accolades from the time of its first issue on Lp is one of the best and an absolute steal at the price. The sound in this pressing is also great. Snap it up now or regret not getting it later. Also, it would make a fabulous Christmas present. I just bought a copy of it for that purpose.
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