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Macbeth Import

5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Pearl
  • ASIN: B000007TSA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 423,047 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jim Brooks VINE VOICE on 20 Dec. 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is a performance documents the Metropolitan Opera's first ever production of "Macbeth" in 1959 and it's the first complete studio recording of Verdi's opera. The Met mounted this production for Callas and engaged conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos. Following his sudden death and Callas's withdrawal it could easily have turned out to be merely a fascinating might-have-been. Instead it was a triumph for all concerned, especially for Leonie Rysanek. Scheduled to make her debut later in the season, the Austrian soprano stepped in and scored a major personal success with her brilliant, dynamic vocalising and her acting - as always a unique combination of subtlety and operatic grandeur, according to accounts at the time rivalling Duse herself.

One of the great assets of this set is that it is based around the stage performances, so that Rysanek and Warren interact marvellously and the whole opera comes alive in a way that studio-assembled casts usually fail to do. Verdi wanted "la Lady" to have a dark, suffocated tone; in 1959 Rysanek's voice was brilliant and thrusting. Not ideally what Verdi wanted, she was nonetheless well-equipped to bring the ultra-ambitious anti-heroine to life. She is taxed by the coloratura of the Brindisi and the D flat at the end of the Sleepwalking Scene is not her happiest moment, but she gives an unforgettably vivid performance, well matched by Warren's peerless Macbeth, always musical but sung with anguished nobility and involvement by one of the great baritones of the last century. The casting of the young Carlo Bergonzi as Macduff is sheer luxury, and he's unrivalled in the role and if the Banquo, Jerome Hines, if not quite on this level, is much more than adequate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 22 July 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is a hard recording to find these days; I got mine via OperaLovers in Quebec but it keeps re-appearing in various guises from time to time, mainly because, despite pretty indifferent sound quality, the performance is so stupendous. Gencer is a marvel of both nuance and excitement and Taddei presents Macbeth as a real human being, full of fear and weakness and very much dominated by his demonic wife. He uses word-painting in a manner which rivals his great Italian contemporary, Tito Gobbi. Gencer displays incredible agility and power; it wasn't so much a large, as an incisive, voice and she also colours it so variedly. Gui's direction is masterly of pace and the supporting cast is excellent. Stereo/studio sound it ain't, but the intensity of this performance is such that you soon forget the sonic limitations. I swear, too, that ocasionally you can hear a dog barking in the background - but that's probably motor noise and at least that shows that the 1960 tape picked up some good background detail! Don't buy this if you require studio sound; go to the famous Abbado or Leinsdorf sets. But if you want to hear a supreme - and neglected - dramatic soprano at her best in a great blood and fire performance of one of Verdi's most thrilling and approachable operas, go for Gencer in this live recording.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alex on 12 July 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A Very long awaited re-release my only sadness is the packaging feel this Recording deserves more but of course that is reflected in the price. Warren and Rysanek are marvellous. Remember this when it was first issued there was no other Macbeth recording to touch it, it still is in my opinion the best version to have. thanks Alex
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Viva Verdi on 16 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD
I wouldn't be so harsh as the other reviewer. I think Bergonzi - the thinking man's Verdi tenor - is certainly a Macduff. Lady Macbeth needs to be on top of the role and Rysanek is not - though Verdi himself said Lady Macbeth should not be sung "well". He wanted a singing actress rather than fine singing.

I've always liked Leinsdorf, but I'm afraid there are cuts here, and as Macbeth is one of my favourite of Verdi's operas (and not just of his early works) I can't forgive. The three stars also reflects my latent dislike of Leonard Warrren. He has the range but his voice is light and slightly back-of-the-throat. I know there are a lot of admirers out there but I just don't get it. Robert Merrill, another American baritone of that era, was far better.

But getting back to Macbeth - the Cappuccilli/Verrett/Abbado or the Milnes/Cossotto/Muti are the ones to choose from.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. F. Lang on 10 July 2012
Format: Audio CD
An embarrassing recording. Neither of the two leading protagonists is idiomatic in their roles. Credit to Bergonzi in the tenor role. Nossignore!
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