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Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia
 
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Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia

Maria Callas/Tito Gobbi/Philharmonia Orchestra/Alceo Galliera
30 Mar 2009 | Format: MP3

£11.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
Song Title Artist
Time
Popularity  
1
6:41
2
2:55
3
4:07
4
1:09
5
1:57
6
0:33
7
4:41
8
3:45
9
2:55
10
1:00
11
8:08
12
6:18
13
1:19
14
0:54
15
1:52
16
3:39
17
0:32
18
2:20
19
5:07
20
1:23
21
4:57
Disc 2
1
0:30
2
8:32
3
3:40
4
3:02
5
4:40
6
0:46
7
2:27
8
2:20
9
0:42
10
5:54
11
0:35
12
0:56
13
2:43
14
9:19
15
0:28
16
3:20
17
2:49
18
1:02
19
5:47
20
1:30
21
0:44
22
2:04


Product details

  • Original Release Date: 30 Mar 2009
  • Release Date: 30 Mar 2009
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • Copyright: (c) 1997 EMI Records Ltd.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 2:10:02
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002VT6A7K
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,626 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D B LAWSON on 12 Aug 2003
Format: Audio CD
I also have the recording made by Prey [late lamented], Alva and Berganza. That is a 4 and a half stars recording. In this recording Callas is just a shade better than Berganza and maybe, Gobbi, just shades it compared with Prey. But the differences are very small in each case. The joy of both recordings, to my mind, is the superb tenor voice of Luigi Alva. His partnership with both Gobbi and Prey is absolutely first class. His drunken billeting officer, wimpish Don Alonso and nervous Lindoro are such joys to which to have the pleasure of listening. Add to that my favourite orchestra[ Philharmonia] and chorus and the expertise of conductor Galleria and the supporting singers Ollendorff, Zaccaria, Carturin and Carlin thw whole performance is an absolute gem. It has to be a must for anyone interested in definitive operatic performances.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By presmark@aol.com on 22 Nov 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a terrific recording of Rossini's most popular opera based on the eponymous Beaumarchais play. Callas positively sparkles and the partnership between her and Tito Gobbi is electric. Add this to Alceo Galliera's effervescent conducting and you get what is still for me the best Barber around.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D B LAWSON on 13 Aug 2003
Format: Audio CD
This really is, in my humble opinion, the definitive performance of this comic opera. All the people involved are excellent. I suppose I am a little biased because the Philharmonia is my favourite symphony orchestra and as is proved on this recording, orchestra, chorus and conductor, Galleria, are superb. The supporting singers, Ollendorf, Zaccaria, Curturan and Carlin are also in fine voice and complement the principals so well. In such a high quality career I don't think Callas has sung better than in this performance. Tito Gobbi, is well, Tito Gobbi, and this is really the definiive Figaro even considering the Prey version. To me though, above all, the performance that sets this apart is that of Luigi Alva as Almaviva. His drunken officer, creepy Don Alonso and nervous Lindoro are a joy to hear. Not to mention his duets with Gobbi such as 'Quel invenzione prelibata'
The total performances are sheer delight.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lady Fancifull TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Dec 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Many years ago I had a jealously, carefully preserved disc of this back in the days of record players. It got copied to cassette (loss of sound quality) pretty quickly for frequent playing to avoid the inevitable scratches. A CD version was a very expensive import, almost unobtainable, and I regretted there was no digital remastered version. Fortunately at some point I reviewed it on Amazon, bewailing the digilack and a kind commentator on my review alerted me that there WAS! (2009 release)

Duly downloaded I discovered an annoying problem, that somehow it had been filed on the PC as Track 1, Track 1, Track 2, Track 2 etc (originally this had been a 2 disc set, but the digi download did not separate the discs. Much work was called for moving files around to be able to play this (a later, more expensive release pf the same production has it as a continuous track for the act, though the Act I overture is listed apart, so I guess this would make for instant playing) though if you wanted to replay specific tracks, harder Rossini: The Barber of Seville

So why would anyone want a version released originally back in the 50s, given the sound engineering was so unsophisticated, compared to today?

Well a more ecstatic, vibrant, incomparable trio of leads is impossible to imagine. First, there is the extraordinary surprise of Maria Callas's fabulous Rosina. Known for the depth and almost unbearable suffering of the tragic bel canto repertory - Norma, I Puritani and verismo roles like Tosca, she could never have been the most obvious casting for Rossini's quicksilver, fizzy, playful Rosina. Well, think (or rather, listen) again.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 25 reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Great performances & excellent ADD Stereo sound for 1958 21 Sep 2001
By Spiff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Callas sung this after her 5 unhappy performances at the La Scala. Her Rosina was described by critics to have "excessive nervous energy and unsuitable vocal color". Today, I've still seen a surprising number of comments stating that this was far from Callas' best performance.
But I don't agree at all! At the centre of the performance is the combination of Gobbi and Callas. They're delightful. Galliera was a fortunate choice, the orchestra excels. Zaccaria is a very good Basilio. Fritz Ollendorff is not my favorite Bartolo, he lacks a bit of that evil comic villainy I've seen in others, but in any case, his performance is still excellent and others might find it perfect. The young Luigi Alva was also brilliant, and was probably very helped by his great performance in this recording.
This version of Il Barbiere was one of the factors that ignited my interest in opera to levels I never expected before. The others were perhaps a few excellent live performances I had the privilege to hear. That's why I recommend this version to my opera-hating friends now, together with some tickets to a good live opera; Great libretto, wonderful music, a riotous romantic comedy, funny, fast action, top quality performances - Not bad for a start.
Most people I know consider "Una voce poco fa" Callas greatest moment in this opera; They might be right, but to my ears, Callas excels in her second duet with Gobbi: "Dunque io son" remains one of my favourite all time duets in opera buffa. You can find Calla's sweet and innocent Rosina at her most here. Incredibly satisfying. Gobbi and Callas are amazing in these 5 minutes. Bliss! I remember hitting "previous track" quite a few times on the player when I first heard it. Couldn't get enough. Well, still can't. :-)
Finally, a small note to those who are worried about the almost 50 years old ADD recording: Fear not! Yes, this was recorded in studio in 1958, while stereo technology was still fairly new, but the sound quality is surprisingly good. I am rather picky with audio quality and sometimes regret not being able to fully enjoy some of the old classics, I just can't fully appreciate the music if the sound quality isn't a good challenge to my ears and equipment. This version was obviously well recorded back in 58 and EMI's remastering in 1997 improved it. Stereo separation is excellent, soundstage is wide. Obviously, don't expect it to match today's cutting edge sound engineering, but vocals are very clear and well defined.. I can only complain of the usual tape hiss (quite subtle in this case) and the usual overload clipping in a few more intense areas, but those are never too irritating (even with headphones). I've often seen many modern ADD and even DDD recordings put to shame by this quality.
Not the only good Barbiere I've heard, but definitely my favourite so far. Get it, chances are you won't regret it at all. Ever.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Pure fun! 9 May 2001
By Ivy Lin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I admit to being very skeptical of this recording. I couldn't picture Callas, the queen of Grand Noble Heroines, in a comedy. But I'm very happy to say I was oh-so-wrong. This recording is pure fun and energy from start to finish.
Callas is delightful here, as is the rest of the cast. Today this role is usually taken by a mezzo-soprano, but Callas sounds very mezzo-like and uses much of the mezzo score. I really can't believe her voice would be shot within a year -- here she sounds amazingly young, fresh and agile. She shows off a lot -- high notes (she holds the high B of "Una voce poco fa" until you're afraid her lungs will burst), trills, ornamentations, but that's part of the fun. She tosses in high notes here and there too, just to remind people that she can. Her Rosina is equal parts "dolce, amorosa" and "vipera." I never knew Tito Gobbi could sound so lighthearted. I particularly love the way he sings his recitatives -- hilarious. Luigi Alva makes his Count slightly silly-sounding, which is very funny, particularly when he pretends to be the music teacher. Galliera leads the Philharmonia orchestra in a spirited, lighthearted rendtion of the score.
This recording is just too fun to pass up. Occasionally, you need to hear an opera where people don't die. Some caveats: there are the traditional cuts, and sound is early stereo, so sometimes the balance isn't quite right between orchestra and voices -- you know its not balanced when you have a hard time hearing Gobbi and Callas! But try this -- you'll like it!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Signore e signori, Il Barbiere! 15 July 2004
By Bogdan Iliescu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
What a recording this is! Witty, funny, grabs you, puts you in the middle of the action and doesn't let you go all the way to the end. You will find yourself cheering happily when it is over and you will think that these are the actual characters coming all the way from Seville to sing for you.
Everybody is in excellent shape but the real difference is made by the unity and the flawless unfolding of the intrigue. Every single role is convincing and consistent throughout the opera, the orchestra plays beautifully and supports with such energy and humour the voices. Callas is in perfect mood and in excellent voice. Her Rossina is the best available. Listen to "Una voce pocco fa" and be amazed by all the nuances you can find there. Mr. Gobbi is again the voice and the actor in one of his best recorded performances. I must agree with one of the reviewers in saying that his Figaro is the best on disc. He displays too a very beautiful voice and an amazing characterization of Figaro. Their duet in the first act is a glorious moment of recorded opera. They tell so much besides what their words are actually communicating. The rest of the cast comes nearly as equals and everybody seemed to understand the in the same way what this opera is about and what each and all of them have to say in it.
All in all it is a great recording. Great music making, solid and expressive characters, good and entertaining drama, good loughs everything the Barbiere should be in my opinion.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
It's not just the stars, but the drama... 21 Dec 2004
By Moray McConnachie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Others have written of the undoubtedly great individual performances of most of the soloists in this recording. The most important feature of this opera in general, though, is the drama - it just doesn't work as highlights. At conveying the drama, this recording absolutely excels, primarily through the quality of the ensemble singing of the soloists. The finale of Act I is the finest piece of dramatic singing anywhere in my collection outside live recordings, and one I return to much more than the "lollipops". The timing is perfect, and the balance exceptional.

I suppose it is obligatory to mention a couple of negatives: firstly there is what sounds like some odd balance or microphone placement in some scenes (although my recording predates the nineties mastering mentioned by someone else here, so I'd be interested to see whether that has changed there). Secondly Callas' singing style doesn't really fit the Rosina part, for me. However, that is more than made up for the brilliance of her coloratura, evident particularly to my ears in the Finaletto to Act II. Could do with a bit more subtlety from the chorus in places, too, but the Chorus is often a weakness in recordings from this period.

This was the first opera I ever bought on CD, and therefore it must have been one of the first reissued on CD. I don't think it's been off the shelves ever since, so if you haven't got it, buy it.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The best Il Barbiere ever! 20 Aug 2002
By Harrmor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Here we have a masterpiece of a recording. This Barbiere di Siviglia is the best on record and hasn't been surpassed by the modern recordings and will not easily be surpassed.
It is true that Callas sang the role of Rosina on stage rarely and she didn't have a success with it. Her performances of the role at La Scala were not at all successful. She overplayed the part making nervous movements and gestures all the time and she was described as "an excitable, nervous, overpowering Rosina". Her voice was not in good form then either. To make you understand just how bad were these performances, I need to mention that after them the conductor Giulini severed his connections with the Theatre and its production team.
Yet, in this recording Callas shines! She is magnificent and her voice is in very fine shape. Her recent success then at Covent Garden as Norma probably helped her a lot psychologically. She gives us a willful Rosina, cunning and smart and surely a "vipera". Just listen to "Una voce poco fa", how gloriously it is sung and acted. To mention but one point: the word "ma" after "mi fo guidarrrrrrr" with that repetitive `r'. Absolutely thrilling.
Her Figaro is Tito Gobbi. We cannot probably imagine Tito Gobbi in a funny role, when we have in mind his Scarpia or his Iago. But here he is magnificent, comical, humorous and absolutely singing AND acting the part.
Luigi Alva still young and in his prime gives us a spectacular account of Almaviva's part and he is quite memorable.
The rest of the cast and the conductor, Alceo Galliera, were all picked up by the famous EMI producer Walter Legge and make a wonderful team. The Philarmonia Orchestra under Galliera's conducting plays skillfully and full of life and give a magic touch to the score.
All in all, a fabulous recording! Get it and you will not miss!!
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