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Tales of Hoffmann (Sills) Original recording remastered

7 customer reviews

Price: £11.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 May 2002)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Westminster
  • ASIN: B000060P63
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,001 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Paul R. Terry on 20 July 2002
Format: Audio CD
This recording brings out all that is best in Offenbach's last, and possibly greatest score. It was made before the re-discovery and editing of a large amount of extra material, and so consists of the standard edition then employed. This means that we hear the probably spurious ensemble with chorus near the end of the Venice Act, but any lack of authenticity in the text is more than compensated by the excellent singing on offer. American reviews have tended to focus on Sills' contribution, and her voice (never an easy one to accomodate on LP) comes over very well. Also, her characterisation is subtly differentiated, with no excessive over-playing. Norman Treigle makes a spirited villain, but again doesn't allow character to obscure the needs of the vocal line. Stuart Burrows is elegant and surprisingly credible in the title-role, not quite effacing memories of Robert Rounseville in Beecham's film version, but probably the best Hoffmann on CD for my money, anyway.
All in all, this is a very stylish reading, which comes up as fresh as ever on CD. The old score began to work its magic as soon as I started to listen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann on 7 May 2010
Format: Audio CD
I waited 30 years for this recording to arrive on CD. I held onto my old LP set for all those years but now it has been gracefully retired. What a tortured history this album has had. Made for ABC records back in 1972, as were most of Sills' most highly regarded recordings, it quickly disappeared along with ABC records (and Westminster which ABC had bought) into the vaults of MCA. Litigation over who owned the rights to these recordings dragged on for many years which is why MCA never released any of the old ABC recordings. MCA was then acquired by Universal Music which bought Polygram who distributed Deutsche Grammophon, Philips and Decca. That is why Deutsche Grammophon has released on Westminster a recording that was on ABC. If you're having trouble following this, you're not the only one. This is just one example of the type of corporate politics that still goes on in the world of classical music recordings and I'll leave it at that.

One of the great things about this opera is that it makes for great theatre as well as great singing. There are other versions of TALES OF HOFFMANN to be had and certainly ones that are more in accordance with Offenbach's intentions. This one makes the most of the Ernest Guiraud version thanks to conductor Julius Rudel who strikes just the right balance between seriousness and gaiety. And then there's the singing. Sills and Norman Triegle are simply tremendous in their various roles performing all of them as Offenbach intended. Listen several times and you'll appreciate the differences they bring to the characters. Stuart Burrows, as is often pointed out, may not be the ideal Hoffmann but he sings clearly and beautifully and it's hard to argue with that in lieu of the many virtues this recording has. Thanks to DG/Universal for making it available for us to enjoy once again. A fine introduction to the art of Beverly Sills for people who don't know her and to Offenbach's HOFFMANN as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Green Knight on 1 Dec. 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Memories stick.

This recording, which I first heard as a child, was my introduction to the stupendous Beverley Sills and also to Offenbach's magical score.

The combination is a treat - for me made even better by the fact that the spoken dialogue which so often spoils other versions has been replaced by the sung recitatives composed for the premiere shortly after Offenbach's death.

Sills, who takes on all four of the libretto's weird and wonderful women, is in magnificent and huge voice. She is perfectly complemented by the excellent ensemble around her, Stuart Burrows being perhaps the most vulnerable and human Hoffmann so far; the remastering for Westminster Classics has given Julius Rudel's joyously vibrant and theatrical recording a whole new lease of life.
Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 15 Oct. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I listened through this recording with virtually unalloyed pleasure; it really is a most satisfying account, using the traditional performing edition and in spectacular Westminster sound. Traditional, too, is the use of one soprano for all four roles: Beverley Sills at her best, despatching trills and roulades with consummate ease and with very little shrillness creeping into her voice. Her pure, girlish sound might not make her a natural courtesan, but the part of Giulietta is relatively brief; otherwise she is simply stunning as Olympia (as she was on stage) and perfect as the vulnerable dying songbird Antonia. Stella, again, is relatively small role; for the lead soprano the real meat of the opera lies in the Antonia scenes.

She is worthily partnered by Stuart Burrows, whose plangent lyric tenor is flawless. He might not be the most characterful or indeed Gallic of singers but his French is good and he hits al Hoffmann's big moments securely head on: I find certain passages of his music to be amongst the most memorable and melodic in all opera. This was Offenbach's stab at Grand Opera, and at times he writes some extraordinarily grand, sweeping tunes, of which Hoffmann has several: "Quant aux traits, aux traits de sa figure"; "Laisse éclore ton âme rayons de l'amour!"; " Passer ton haleine, ton haleine embaumée" - these are ravishing moments and Burrows rises to them. When he and Sills are duetting together, we are in operatic heaven.

Treigle impresses me much more here than as, say, Boito's Mefistofele, and I can hear why he was Samuel Ramey's model.
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