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Leonard Warren - Verdi Baritone Arias

Price: £3.47 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
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£3.47 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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1. Otello Act I: "Inaffia l'ugola!"
2. La forza del destino, Act III: "Urna fatale"
3. Rigoletto,  Act III: "Cortigiani, vil razza dannata"
4. Otello,  Act II: "Era la notte" - RCA Victor Orchestra
5. II Trovatore, Act II: Il balen; per me ora fatale
6. La Traviata, Act II: "Di provenza il mar"
7. Rigoletto, Act I: "Pari siamo"
8. A Masked Ball, Act III: "Alla vita che t'arride"
9. A Masked Ball, Act III: "Eri tu" - The RCA Victory Symphony Orchestra
10. Falstaff, Act II:" È sogno? O realtà?" - Rome Opera House Orchestra
11. Otello, Act II: "Credo" - Rome Opera House Orchestra

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Great performances, poor transfers 11 Oct. 2013
By Alex W. Sanders - Published on Amazon.com
I was inspired to return to Warren's recordings after hearing several Hvorostovky performances where his voice lost focus above mezzo forte. Warren's voice was affectionately captured by Victor in many great recordings. These performances were originally issued on 45s and 10 and 12 inch LPs; any of them sounded better than this CD.

Sony's latest engineer Andreas K. Meyer has processed these recordings like they were pop, slicing off the top and bottom frequencies, then trying to use exciters to simulate the fundamentals and overtones, adding in substantial distortion at the top end.
If your ears are already blown by heavy metal, this might be for you. Not me.

One thing you'll notice is that the transfers are done with the meters pegged - this CD is significantly louder than normal, as is true for the others in the series.
The distortions fatigue the ear and distract from the performance. Evidently the engineer, Andreas K. Meyer has ears that are already fried. Sony is not honest enough to list his name on the outside of the package, where we can know to avoid him.
Let us hope that Sony's other reissues are not similarly polluted.
Unfortunately, the record business is still run by marketing men who know little about music, and this line of reissues seems designed for the racks at the mall, trading on some legendary names at minimal production cost.

As colleague Russell notes, the Preiser transfers are the benchmark again, their transfers done on top-of-the-line vacuum tube equipment, on generously filled CDs, at full price but worth the money.

There is also the recent 10 CD Warren box set on Membran/Intense available on Amazon which covers even more recordings, including some live excerpts, all in quite acceptable, natural transfers. The CDs run about one hour each and the set of 10 is sold for around $15. Hard to beat.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
a great voice but badly done on this release 4 Oct. 2013
By Col William Russell (ret) - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Leonard Warren was a great baritone and the main Metropolitan baritone between Tibbett's vocal decline until his death onstage in 1960. He left quite a few recordings that have been available on a number of labels. I admire the voice but I have to give this release only 3 stars because of the sound, the price, and the label claim.

1. the sound. The originals have a clear, focused sound but this digital transfer adds a slight tinny distortion that shouldn't be there. Other releases have done all of these better.
2. price. Others in this series have been about half this price so why start increasing when these are reissues that don't pay royalties to anyone.
3. label. Typical of Sony, they claim "first time on CD" which is hardly ever true and completely false in this case. All of these tracks have been available on a number of CDs and are all among the contents of 4 Preiser releases devoted to Warren. The Preiser Cds are also in cleaner sound. In addiiton, the excerpts from IL TROVATORE, RIGOLETTO, and BALLO have been taken from complete or highlights recordings that have also long been available. The reason I mention this is so someone doesn't buy it and find they already have most or all of these selections.

If you don't know the artistry of Warren, I recommend ordering any of the Preiser single CDs as well as any of his complete operas (especially those with Jussi Bjoerling although their TOSCA is not one of the better recordings of the opera due to the leaden conducting of Erich Leinsdorf, a conductor I do enjoy in Wagner and Beethoven).

I gave this stars out of devotion to Warren but I recommend the Preiser releases.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The greatest baritone since the Prime of Titta Ruffo.t 2 May 2014
By Peter Dietrich - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
According Mario Del Monaco statement , Leonard Warren (1911-1960) was the greatest baritone since Tittq Ruffo.
Listening to the reissue of these of these famous arias and Leonard Warren staples, I am convinced that the great Florentine tenor was absolutely correct. Warren performed in all these operas from which the arias are coming at the MET Opera in New Yorkand elsewhere countless times to great acclaim by the critics and audiences alike. With his most beautiful voice and great unlimited top , he reached the highest standards imaginable . I was very fortunate to witness his six live performances. Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera , with Bjorling , Nelli, ( substituted for Milanov) 1956. Rigoletto , with Hurley, Poggi,Tozzi 1957.Leoncavallo Pagliacci, with Albanese, DA Costa, Marsh.1957.Verdi's Otello, with Milanov, Del Monaco, Elias , Franke, 1958. Puccini's Tosca , with Milanov , Morel, Elias , Franke,1959. Leoncavallo Pagliacci, with Amara , Baum, Sereni,1959. In the present compilation you will hear all the qualities mentioned above. Supported by great musicianship And total involvement in each aria. Recordedin the mid- fifties the sound is excellent for the time it was recorded. Therefore I don't understand the complaints by the previous knowledgable reviewers unless their copies Sounds different than Mine. Highly recommended for Warren Fans , and lover of gerat Opera singing.
Ps. According to RCA and every Major Record Co. Since they own the recordings , any other reissue Not authorized by them is illegal.that is Why they say : The First Time on CD.
Spectacular singing from a man with a great voice. 14 July 2014
By L. Tolstoy - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Please do not let other reviewers' comments about the sound of this release dissuade you from experiencing this recording. I almost did, but thankfully got it anyway. I listened to this on a good audio system and found the sound quite good for the era. I have not heard the Preiser releases, but I have heard the Warren Rigoletto on both Preiser and Sony by the same team and preferred the Sony by a considerable margin. Also, I compared the aria, Eri tu, present on both this disk and the Met’s “Portraits in Memory” disk, and preferred this one. What other reviewers considered overly bright sound, I felt was increased clarity. That’s what makes horse races. Personally, I thought the sound was about as good as it gets from the early to mid 50’s.

Be that as it may, the real point is that lovers of the voice should own this recording in some form. Warren was the baritone in the first two operas I attended, but unfortunately I was too young to have preserved a clear memory. I do, however have clear memories of Merrill, McNeil, Milnes, Bastianinni, and Hvorostovsky, so I have had exposure to the great baritones. This recording preserves spectacular singing from a man with a great voice. Veterans of opera will treasure this as will lovers of the voice. For those new to opera, perhaps from HD broadcasts, it is a chance to hear what the fuss regarding “Golden Age” voices is all about. Treat yourself to this recording.
By Operaman - Published on Amazon.com
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