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Puccini: Madama Butterfly Box set

6 customer reviews

Price: £13.95
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041W5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,576 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michel on 28 Oct. 2011
Format: Audio CD
This 1957 recording features singers in the two leads with much lighter voices than we usually hear in this opera, it may not have worked on stage but in studio the end result is very refreshing. Anna Moffo sings very sweetly - she is girlish but not coy - and is very touching in her blind devotion to Pinkerton which make the tragic end even more heart-breaking. She may lack a bit of heft for the big moments but hers is nonetheless a very beautiful and moving performance. Cesare Valletti is a youthful Pinkerton more carefree than truly callous - he and Moffo blends exquisitely in the love duet. Rosalind Elias is an excellent Suzuki - the Flower Duet with Moffo is a delight. Renato Cesari portrays a compassionate Sharpless. Chorus and Orchestra may lack a bit of polish but the sound is quite vivid and Erich Leinsdorf paces the opera very well. Not the best version perhaps but a very interesting one and a must for Moffo admirers.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although recorded in 1966, this in my opinion is probably the best of the bunch under the fine and caring musical direction of Sir John Barbirolli. My favourite love duet of all "Vogliatemi bene, un bene piccolino" between Renata Scotto and Carlo Bergonzi is very moving and sung with great feeling with each of their voices blending in naturally with the wonderful Puccini music.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 13 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD
This 1962 recording has been much reviewed and debated since its appearance nearly fifty years ago, yet I haven't found many reviews I've read to be very helpful or informative. Maybe this one won't be either, but I'll try. This set seems either to attract intemperate condemnation, grudging respect or unqualified - and undiscriminating - adulation. Leaving aside for the moment the central question of Price's singing and her suitability to the role of Butterfly, let's look at the secondary issues first, starting with the sound - which is superb: open, full, beautifully balanced and extraordinarily satisfying for so old a recording.

Next, Leinsdorf's conducting. Far from finding him "stiff and unyielding", as one fellow reviewer opines, I find him to be quite the opposite: rather stop-go, one minute indulgent and the next pushing ahead rather erratically - but he conducted a great deal of Italian opera and is responsible for many a favourite of mine, so I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and go with the flow. He certainly belies his reputation for literalism and seems to me to be exceptionally considerate of his singers. He can crank it up, hence he manages very nicely the concerted passage just before the quiet conversation between the newly-weds in which the fate of Butterfly's father is briefly discussed, building to a splendid climax, whereas the subsequent love duet is very leisurely indeed.

The third issue is Tucker's Pinkerton. I think it wholly unfair to accuse him of "bawling"; that is more a reaction to his vocal make-up in general, which some respond to and others do not.
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