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Bizet: Carmen [Box set, Limited Edition]

Georges Bizet, Berliner Philharmoniker, Jonas Kaufmann, Simon Rattle, Magdalena Kozena Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Frequently Bought Together

Bizet: Carmen + Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD] [2012]
Price For Both: £34.05

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Product details

  • Performer: Magdalena Kozena, Jonas Kaufmann, Genia Kühmeier, Kostas Smoriginas, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt
  • Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Composer: Georges Bizet
  • Audio CD (20 Aug 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set, Limited Edition
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B0083YRT4U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,056 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Carmen: PréludeSir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker 3:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Carmen, Act 1: No. 1 Introduction "Sur la place, chacun passe, chacun vient, chacun va" (Moralès/Dragons)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Andre Schuen/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper/Chor und Kinderchor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin 2:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Carmen, Act 1: "Regardez donc cette petite qui semble vouloir nous parler" (Moralès/Micaëla/Dragons)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Genia Kühmeier/Andre Schuen/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper/Chor und Kinderchor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin 4:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Carmen, Act 1: No. 2 Marche et Chœur des gamins "Avec la garde montante, nous arrivons, nous voilà!" (Enfants)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Chor und Kinderchor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin 4:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Carmen, Act 1: No. 3 Chœur et Scène "La cloche a sonné; nous, des ouvrières" (Jeunes gens)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jean-Paul Fouchécourt/Simone del Savio/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper/Chor und Kinderchor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin 4:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Carmen, Act 1: "Mais nous ne voyons pas la Carmencita!" … "Quand je vous aimerai?" (Jeunes gens/Dragons/Cigarières/Carmen)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper/Chor und Kinderchor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin 1:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Carmen, Act 1: No. 4 Havanaise "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" (Carmen/Cigarières/Jeunes gens/Dragons)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Simone del Savio/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper/Chor und Kinderchor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin 4:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Carmen, Act 1: No. 5 Scène "Carmen! sur tes pas nous nous pressons tous!" (Jeunes gens/Cigarières)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper/Chor und Kinderchor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin 1:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Carmen, Act 1: "Que est-ce-que ca veut dire, ces façons-là? (Don José/Micaëla)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jonas Kaufmann/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper/Chor und Kinderchor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin/Genia Kühmeier0:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Carmen, Act 1: No. 6 Duo "Parle-moi de ma mère" (Don José/Micaëla)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jonas Kaufmann/Genia Kühmeier 9:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Carmen, Act 1: "Attends un peu" (Don José/Micaëla)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jonas Kaufmann/Genia Kühmeier0:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Carmen, Act 1: No. 7 Chœur "Au secours!" (Zuniga/Cigarières)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Christian van Horn/Rachel Frenkel/Jean-Paul Fouchécourt/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper 2:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Carmen, Act 1: "Eh bien, José? Qu'est-ce qui c'est passé?" (Zuniga/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jonas Kaufmann/Christian van Horn0:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Carmen, Act 1: No. 8 Chanson et Mélodrame "Avez-vous quelque chose à répondre?" - "Tra la, la, la, coupe-moi" (Zuniga/Carmen)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Christian van Horn 3:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Carmen, Act 1: "Laissez-moi échapper" (Carmen/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Magdalena Kozená/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jonas Kaufmann0:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Carmen, Act 1: No. 9 Chanson et Duo "Près des remparts de Séville" (Carmen/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann 4:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Carmen, Act 1: No. 10 Final "Voice l'ordre, partez" (Zuniga/Carmen)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Christian van Horn 2:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Carmen, Act 2: Entr'ActeSir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker 1:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Carmen, Act 2: No. 11 Chanson "Les tringles des sistres tintaient avec un éclat métallique" (Carmen/Frasquita/Mercédès)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel 4:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Carmen, Act 2: No. 12 Chœur et Ensemble "Vivat! vivat le Torero!" (Amis d'Escamillo/Zuniga/Carmen/Frasquita/Mercédès/Moralès)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Kostas Smoriginas/Andre Schuen/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel/Simone del Savio 1:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Carmen, Act 2: No. 13 Couplets "Votre toast, je peux vouz le rendre" …"Toréador, en garde!" (Escamillo/Carmen/Frasquita/Mercédès/Moralès/Zuniga)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Kostas Smoriginas/Christian van Horn/Andre Schuen/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel 5:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen22. Carmen, Act 2: "Dis-moi ton nom" (Escamillo/Carmen)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Kostas Smoriginas0:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Carmen, Act 2: No. 13bis "Toréador, en garde" (Amis d'Escamillo)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Kostas Smoriginas 1:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Carmen, Act 2: "Eh bien monsieur, quelles nouvelles" (Frasquita/Dancairo/Mercédès/Remendado)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel/Jean-Paul Fouchécourt/Simone del Savio0:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen25. Carmen, Act 2: No. 14 Quintette "Nous avons en tête une affaire" (Dancaïro/Frasquita/Mercédès/Remendado/Carmen)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel/Jean-Paul Fouchécourt/Simone del Savio 4:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen26. Carmen, Act 2: "Partez sans moi, j'irai vous rejoindre demain." (Carmen/Frasquita/Mércèdes/Remendado/Dancairo/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel/Jean-Paul Fouchécourt/Simone del Savio 1:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen27. Carmen, Act 2: "Enfin, te voilà!" (Carmen/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann0:38£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Carmen, Act 2: No. 16 Duo "Je vais danser en votre honneur" (Carmen)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená0:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Carmen, Act 2: "La-la-la-la" /"Attends un peu, Carmen" (Carmen/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann 2:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Carmen, Act 2: "Au quartier! pour l'appel?" (Carmen/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann 2:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Carmen, Act 2: "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée" (Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jonas Kaufmann 4:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Carmen, Act 2: "Non! tu ne m'aimes pas!" (Carmen/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann 2:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Carmen, Act 2: "Non! Je ne veux plus t'écouter!" (Don José/Carmen)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann 1:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Carmen, Act 2: No. 17 Final "Holà! Carmen! holà! holà!" (Zuniga/Don José/Carmen)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann/Christian van Horn 1:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Carmen, Act 2: "Bel officier, l'amour vous joue en ce moment un assez vilain tour!" (Carmen/Remendado/Dancaïro/Bohémiens/Zuniga)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Christian van Horn/Jean-Paul Fouchécourt/Simone del Savio/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper 1:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Carmen, Act 2: "Plus tard!" /"La guerre, c'est la guerre!" (Zuniga/Dancaïro/Remendado/Bohémiens/Carmen/Don José/Frasquita/Mercédès/Bohémiens)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann/Christian van Horn/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel/Jean-Paul Fouchécourt/Simone del Savio/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper 2:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Carmen, Act 3: Entr'ActeSir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker 2:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Carmen, Act 3: No. 18 Introduction "Écoute, écoute, compagnon, écoute!" (Bohémiens)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper 2:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Carmen, Act 3: "Notre métier est bien" (Carmen/Don José/Frasquita/Mercédès/Dancaïro/Remendado/Bohémiens et Bohémiennes)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel/Jean-Paul Fouchécourt/Simone del Savio/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper 1:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Carmen, Act 3: "À quoi tu penses?" (Carmen/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann0:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Carmen, Act 3: No. 19 Trio "Mêlons! Coupons!" (Frasquita/Mercédès)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel 3:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Carmen, Act 3: "Voyons que j'essaie à mon tour." (Carmen)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená 1:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Carmen, Act 3: "En vain pour éviter" (Carmen)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená 2:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Carmen, Act 3: "La mort" /"Parlez encor, parlez mes belles;" (Carmen/Frasquita/Mercédès)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel0:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Carmen, Act 3: "Eh bien?" - "Eh bien, c'est plus compliqué que prévu!" (Carmen/Frasquita/Mércèdes/Dancaïro/Remendado)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel/Simone del Savio0:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Carmen, Act 3: No. 20 Morceau d'Ensemble "Quant au douanier" (Carmen/Frasquita/Mercédès/Dancaïro/Remendado/Bohémiens et Bohémiennes)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel/Jean-Paul Fouchécourt/Simone del Savio/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper 3:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Carmen, Act 3: No. 21 Air "Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante" (Micaëla)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Genia Kühmeier 5:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Carmen, Act 3: "Qui êtes-vous, répondez!" (Don José/Escamillo)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jonas Kaufmann/Kostas Smoriginas0:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen22. Carmen, Act 3: No. 22 Duo "Je suis Escamillo, Torero de Grenade!" (Escamillo/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jonas Kaufmann/Kostas Smoriginas0:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Carmen, Act 3: "Elle avait pour amant" (Escamillo/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jonas Kaufmann/Kostas Smoriginas0:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Carmen, Act 3: "Mais pour nous enlever nos filles de Bohème" (Don José/Escamillo)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jonas Kaufmann/Kostas Smoriginas0:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen25. Carmen, Act 3: "Enfin ma colère" - "Quelle maladresse" (Don José/Escamillo)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jonas Kaufmann/Kostas Smoriginas 1:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen26. Carmen, Act 3: Tout beau!" (Escamillo/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Jonas Kaufmann/Kostas Smoriginas 1:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen27. Carmen, Act 3: No. 23 Final "Holá! holá! José!" (Carmen/Escamillo/Don José/Dancaïro)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann/Kostas Smoriginas/Simone del Savio 2:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen28. Carmen, Act 3: "Prends garde à toi Carmen" (Don José/Dancaïro/Bohémiens et Bohémiennes/Remendado/Carmen/Micaëla/Frasquita/Mercédès)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann/Genia Kühmeier/Andre Schuen/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel/Jean-Paul Fouchécourt/Simone del Savio/Chor des Deutschen Staa0:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen29. Carmen, Act 3: "Moi! Je viens te chercher!" (Micaëla)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Genia Kühmeier 1:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen30. Carmen, Act 3: "Va-t'en" - "Tu me dis de la suivre!" (Carmen/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann 3:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen31. Carmen, Act 3: "Toréador, en garde!" (Escamillo)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Kostas Smoriginas0:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen32. Carmen, Act 4: Entr'ActeSir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker 2:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen33. Carmen, Act 4: No. 24 Chœur "A deux cuartos!" (Marchands et Marchandes/Zuniga/Une marchande/Un bohemien)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Christian van Horn/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper 2:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen34. Carmen, Act 4: No. 25 Chœur et Scène "Les voici! Voici la quadrille!" (Chœurs/Enfants)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Chor und Kinderchor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin 3:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen35. Carmen, Act 4: "Si tu m'aimes, Carmen" (Escamillo/Carmen)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Kostas Smoriginas 1:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen36. Carmen, Act 4: "Carmen, un bon conseil" (Frasquita/Carmen/Mercédès)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Christina Landshammer/Rachel Frenkel 1:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen37. Carmen, Act 4: No. 26 "C'est toi" - "C'est moi" (Carmen/Don José)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann 4:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen38. Carmen, Act 4: "Tu m'aimes donc plus" (Don José/Carmen/Chœurs)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Magdalena Kozená/Jonas Kaufmann/Chor des Deutschen Staatsoper 5:56£0.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

EMI 4402852; EMI ITALIANA - Italia; Classica Lirica

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By Trev-R TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The quick review - This is a very good modern Carmen that will not disappoint. You will need to be very critical indeed to find too much wrong with this set. Perhaps this would be ideally suited to someone who is looking at buying their first Carmen or who just wants the opera to add to a collection. The set comes in a booklet form with card slots in the front and back cover for the two discs. The booklet forms the filler pages and is around 60 pages long. The usual multi-lingual offering with track information, synopsis, some photos etc, just what you would expect.

The slightly longer version - Magdalena Kozená has a beautiful mezzo voice but I thought one that was not quite suited to playing the role of Carmen. How wrong I was, she brings her own magic to this recording and somehow seems to balance out the beautiful rich tones of Kaufmann who in my opinion is even more magnificent in this recording than the 2007 Royal Opera House DVD/Blu-ray. Every recording I hear of him he just seems to get better. I wonder however if his voice will soon be just too much for the role of Don Jose and he will have to leave the role behind.

Kostas Smoriginas's Toreador is believable and quite reasonable but not as good as D'Arcangelo from the 2007 ROH recording. In my opinion the singer that surprised me the most was the Soprano Genia Kuhmeier who's Micaëla has the youthful effervescence I associate with the sublime Mirella Freni, still I think unsurpassed in this role.

Apparently Rattle said that his mission was to present the score in its original `Opera Comique' incarnation rather than as grand opera with spoken dialogue rather than the recitatives which were added later.

The real question for me was would Kozená be any good in the role.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Abert
Format:Audio CD
Well, this recording is controversial.
I own at least 6 other sets of Carmen recordings. This one is unique in the sense that -
(1) Kozena is not born to sing this role, since her fach is inapt for the low tessitura, but she manages to depict, by her inflections and nuances, a Carmen that is more wilful and hard-headed than sexy and wild;
(2) Kaufmann sings most probably the best Don Jose for the past decade, Roberto Alagna included;
(3) Rattle's reading of the score places emphases on the despair more than the struggle, and one hears, almost at the outset, the despairs in the respective roles - Carmen, Jose, Escamillo, Micaela.
Kozena's Havanaise is not a mere display of sexual allure - it is an outcry of loneliness. Similarly her Avez-vous quelque chose a repondre? and Pres des remparts de Seville are a lonely heart's outbursts, with her slightly subdued yet nuanced renditions. The real deal of Kozena's Carmen lies in Act III's En vain pour eviter, forming the pillar of Kozena's characterisation.
In a similar veim, the dark bass baritone Kostas Smoriginas's Escamillo is a doomed figure despite the apparent glamour and excitement - he would never win his Carmen despite his aspirations and challenges to Jose.
In yet a similar vein, Rattle's choice for Micaela in Genia Kuhmeier is a cool and aloof 'onlooker' to the saga of Don Jose/Carmen/Escamillo than the involved jilted lover.
The passionate tenor Jonas Kaufmann sung a virtually perfect Jose in this recording, and his passion contrasts striking with the relatively cool castings of Carmen, Micaela and Escamillo. Just savour his Va-t'en...Tu ma disde la suivre!
This is definitely not a conventional 'Carmen' that one would wish for. The non-inclusion of libretto in a deluxe setting further adds to the fact that this purported production of a Carmen is aimed at conoisseurs instead of newbies.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg Carmen 30 Aug 2012
By Entartete Musik TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
A great performance of Carmen should privilege instinct over intellect. Simon Rattle, coming to the score for the first time, has chosen to emphasise the latter. Instead of the brooding tragedy of Abbado's benchmark, Rattle gives us a clipped 'period'-like performance with an all-too-thinking-man's gypsy at its heart. Many of the choices pay dividends - not least when delivered by Rattle's stunning orchestra - but much of this disc feels oddly engineered.

Aside from the Berliner Philharmoniker - you will never hear better solo and ensemble playing in this score - Rattle is gifted the major boon of Jonas Kaufmann. Eschewing crooning for a truly gutsy Don José (the like of which only Domingo has matched), he charts his terrifying journey from propriety to passion with great gusto. Sadly, it only serves to throw other casting elements into relief.

Magdalena Kozená is a surprising choice for the title role. Her cool delivery and often barbed attack - as on her recent recording of Dvořák, Ravel and Mahler with the same forces - is certainly dramatic, but such an ice queen approach inverts the character's trajectory. As Carmen moves from feral pariah to society whore, so Don José gives up rank and regiment in favour of his lover's unbridled fire. Kozená's showpieces are too pre-conceived for such an reflexive creature and, pitted against Kaufmann's lustrous tones, it sounds like she's been sitting sipping cocktails in Escamillo's villa for quite some time. As such, the opera's central tension dissipates.

Although Kostas Smoriginas shows similar vocal promise, the role Escamillo - and specifically when heard opposite Kaufmann - lies similarly out of reach.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must have for all Bizet "Carmen" collectors.
An excellent recording very well packaged and presented. If you are a Fan of Jonas Kaufmann then this is a CD well worth haveing. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
I put on the disc closed my eyes and I was in the theatre It was wonderful .I would highly recommend this item
Published 13 months ago by Lorna Bateman
4.0 out of 5 stars Kozena's big birthday present from Sir Simon
I wonder how this all got started. Magdalena Kozena has enjoyed a successful international career, but how in the world did she land a recording deal to produce a Carmen in Berlin? Read more
Published 17 months ago by Andrew R. Barnard
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fabulous!
I thought I was pretty sick of this opera, it is so will known that it has become rather dull to me. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Evot
5.0 out of 5 stars Every man has his own "Carmen"
Every man has his own Carmen".
This has become clear to me after reading the reviews on Amazon UK and USA. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Stephen Kass
1.0 out of 5 stars A total disaster ...
I am sorry not to agree with the former comments, but I can't let say that this Carmen is a "great modern recording". Since I am french this opera is of great importance to me. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Francois Ganot
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Modern Recording
Carmen has never really appealed to me mainly because of the instinctive abhorrence I feel for the main character and the effort taken by the story teller to potray a vile, selfish... Read more
Published 19 months ago by g.g.2000
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