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Verdi: Ernani

Paata Burchuladze , Joan Sutherland , Luciano Pavarotti , Leo Nucci , Chorus of the Welsh National Opera , et al. Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £26.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Oct 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Universal Classics
  • ASIN: B0000069D5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 347,490 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.

Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - PreludioOrchestra of the Welsh National Opera 3:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - Evviva! Beviam!Chorus of the Welsh National Opera 3:20£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - "Mercé, diletti amici ...Come rugiada al cespite"Luciano Pavarotti 4:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - "Dell'esilio nel dolore"Luciano Pavarotti 3:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - Surta è la notte ... Ernani! Ernani involamiDame Joan Sutherland 6:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - Tutto sprezzo che d'ErnaniDame Joan Sutherland 3:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - Fa che a me vengaLeo Nucci 3:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - Da quel di che t'ho vedutaLeo Nucci 3:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - Non t'ascolto, mia saraiLeo Nucci 3:44£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - Che ma vegg'io! ... Infelice! e tuo credeviPaata Burchuladze 3:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - Infin che un brando vindicePaata Burchuladze 2:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - Uscite ... Ma signorePaata Burchuladze 4:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Verdi: Ernani / Part 1 - Mio signor, dolente i sonoPaata Burchuladze 3:52£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Verdi: Ernani / Part 2 - Esultiamo! Letizia ne inondi!Chorus of the Welsh National Opera 2:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Verdi: Ernani / Part 2 - Jago, qui tosto il pellegrin adduciPaata Burchuladze 2:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Verdi: Ernani / Part 2 - Oro, quant'oro ogn'avidoLuciano Pavarotti 3:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Verdi: Ernani / Part 2 - Tu, perfida!Luciano Pavarotti 1:50£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Verdi: Ernani / Part 2 - Ah, morir potessi adesso!Dame Joan Sutherland 2:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Verdi: Ernani / Part 2 - Scellerati, il mio furorePaata Burchuladze 3:19£0.79  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Verdi: Ernani / Part 2 - Cugino, a che munito il tuo castel ritrovo?Leo Nucci 3:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Verdi: Ernani / Part 2 - Lo vedremo, veglio audaceLeo Nucci 2:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Verdi: Ernani / Part 2 - Fu esplorata el castello ogni latebra più occultaLeo Nucci 2:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Verdi: Ernani / Part 2 - Vieni meco, sol di roseLeo Nucci 3:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Verdi: Ernani / Part 2 - Vigili pure i ciel sempre su tePaata Burchuladze 4:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Verdi: Ernani / Part 2 - D'Ernani i fidi chiedonoAlastair Miles 7:48£1.09  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Verdi: Ernani / Part 3 - E questo il loco?Leo Nucci 3:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Verdi: Ernani / Part 3 - Gran Dio! Costor sui sepolcrali marmiLeo Nucci 1:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Verdi: Ernani / Part 3 - Oh de'verd'anni mieiLeo Nucci 2:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Verdi: Ernani / Part 3 - Ad augusta!Luciano Pavarotti 4:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Verdi: Ernani / Part 3 - Un patto! Un giuramento!Luciano Pavarotti 1:36£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Verdi: Ernani / Part 3 - Qual rumore? Che saràLuciano Pavarotti 2:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Verdi: Ernani / Part 3 - Io son conte, duca sonoLuciano Pavarotti 1:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Verdi: Ernani / Part 3 - O sommo Carlo, più del tuo nomeLeo Nucci 3:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Verdi: Ernani / Part 4 - Oh, come felici gioiscon gli sposi!Chorus of the Welsh National Opera 3:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Verdi: Ernani / Part 4 - "Cessaro i suoni, dispari ogni face"Luciano Pavarotti 5:17£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Verdi: Ernani / Part 4 - "Ecco il pegno"Paata Burchuladze 2:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Verdi: Ernani / Part 4 - "Ferma, crudele, estinguere perché vuoi tu due vite?"Dame Joan Sutherland 8:11£1.09  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 1987 ERNANI 15 Oct 2007
Format:Audio CD
Only the men - Pavarotti (Ernani), Nucci (Don Carlo) and Burchuladze (Silva) - are entirely satisfactory. Not that Sutherland (Elvira) is miscast (or that I criticize her singing because I'm not a fan), but for a soprano who retired three years later, it was frankly too late, her voice betraying signs of wobbly strain throughout: worse, she's more closely miked than her colleagues, though (her poor diction apart) she sings with commitment. The performance's real star is Nucci: I'm now undecided as to whether he, Bruson or Cappuccilli is my favourite Don Carlo, but it's worth getting this set for him alone. Burchuladze's memorable Slavic Silva isn't unlike Christoff's, but definitely not a carbon copy. The WNO chorus and orchestra perform excitingly under the slightly erratic direction of Bonynge, who allows his singers, notably Sutherland, to interpolate (for purists, this could be a bit irritating, though the familiar phrases are spine-tinglingly defamiliarized). The Act 2 finale in this note-complete recording is that specially composed for the Russian tenor Nicolai Ivanov: Pavarotti sings this scene flawlessly, though the rousing cabaletta to his lovely aria 'Odi il voto' is rather slow. Sutherland fans will certainly find plenty to enjoy here, but I really wish another (much younger) soprano were engaged (eg Daniela Dessi or Mariella Devia). Rating: 3 1/2 stars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sutherland Goes Out in Style 21 Oct 2000
By Mike Leone - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I have known and loved Joan Sutherland since 1964, when as a 12-year-old in Baltimore I became acquainted with her first recording of Lucia di Lammermoor. As an adult living in Texas, I had a number of opportunities between 1986 and 1989 to hear her sing in Houston, Dallas and New York. I would always go backstage after the performance and talk to her and Bonynge, but I would gravitate to Bonynge because I found Dame Joan quite formidable in her own quiet way.
When I went to hear her U.S. farewell as The Merry Widow in Dallas in November 1989, I asked Bonynge after the performance what other recordings were "in the can." He said that there was an Adriana Lecouvreur and an Ernani, as well as some arias.
The Adriana was delayed for a couple of years in being released, but once it was I figured the Ernani was soon to follow. Alas I was to wait until April 1998 to see the recording in the shops, almost 11 years after its being recorded in May of 1987. Any concerns I might have had that the recording was delayed because of problems with it were dispelled when I first put it on. I found it to be quite good and I still do.
Sutherland had little contact with the role of Elvira during her career. She recorded "Ernani involami" in an aria recital around 1960, and let us not forget the televised concert from the Met she did with Horne and Pavarotti around 1980 where Horne took the bass role of Silva in a performance of the final trio. But even here, some 37 years after her debut, Sutherland is little short of magnificent. Granted, there is occasionally a beat on a sustained tone and her trill is not quite as clean as it once was, but overall she is in quite good voice and a joy to hear. She decorates the second verse of her cabaletta, which is something I rarely hear, even from much younger singers.
Pavarotti's Ernani on the other hand is a known quantity. He appeared in a "Live from the Met" telecast of the opera in December 1983 which is still available commercially. There is little to choose between that performance and this one, as he is still in his considerable prime here. As he did in the telecast, at the end of Act II he performs the aria "Odi il voto" which Verdi wrote for the tenor Nicolai Ivanov in 1845, the year after the opera's premiere, as a replacement for the chorus "Pronti vedi li tuoi cavalieri." The aria really makes for a much more thrilling ending to the act and I'm surprised that more tenors don't insist on it.
Leo Nucci and Paata Burchuladze as Ernani's two rivals Don Carlo and Silva, while both younger than the soprano and tenor, are fine artists and fit well into the cast. Nucci's "Oh de' verd'anni miei" is beautifully sung and Burchuladze's slightly Slavic sound adds an extra edge to "Infelice."
One of the real surprises of the set is the conducting of Richard Bonynge. I sometimes found him to be a liability on his recordings, but he did improve over the years. Here, his conducting is so good, capturing all of the young Verdi's blood and thunder, that I found myself wishing he could go back and redo all his older recordings (if Sutherland could have been in them all I would have been even happier).
I would have a difficult time choosing between this recording and my other top favorite, Leontyne Price and Carlo Bergonzi under Thomas Schippers on RCA Victor (my third favorite, the rough-and-ready Cetra version with Caterina Mancini and Gino Penno under Fernando Previtali, is sui generis). I would probably end up giving a slight nod to this recording just because of my special affection for Sutherland and my gratitude that the recording finally did come out.
Highly recommended as an outstanding version of the opera and as a chance to hear Pavarotti in a role that suits him like a glove. But most highly recommended as a last recorded glance at Sutherland, still glorious in the twilight of her career.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A stunning interpretation 31 Aug 2000
By John Cragg - Published on
Format:Audio CD
This is a highly interesting production. Joan Sutherland's voice had been deteriorating steadily in the 80's. Its distinctive elements were becoming more pronounced while her musicianship was deepening. Here she turns in a fascinating performance, full of character and beautiful singing. Though her voice may not have been what once it was, and some of the coloratura is approached more cautiously than it would have been a decade earlier when it would have been tossed off effortlessly, the overall effect is like listening to a first rate pianist playing on an upright. One may wish for a concert grand, but even so the performance is not to be missed, the musician being able to draw far more out of the notes than most others could even imagine.
Furthermore, Elvira (Sutherland's character) is far from being all there is to this opera. Pavorotti, whose voice also shows some signs of wear though he is decade younger than Sutherland, produces a non-superficial as well as a brilliantly sung performance. Leo Nucci sings magnificently though with less inflexion than one might want, and to my ear Burchuladze also turns in a stellar performance with a characterization that brings out more than I had thought possible. These last two roles are far from minor.
Bonynge's conducting and handling of the chorus is effective and not quirky. He also seems to have deepened over time. All together, in conjunction with his four strong principal singers, he draws more out of this somewhat second-rate Verdi than one might expect.
The booklet contains a short essay (which does not mention the additional material added later by Verdi for the needs of particular singers,) a synopsis and the libretto with English translation. The track cues are indicted, but there is no separate track index.
While, not surprisingly, the set has been promoted as a farewell star vehicle, it turns out to be a well-balanced effort. I can recommend it on its own grounds and I prefer it to the Gardelli version, which I also own.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting end to a wonderful partnership 1 Nov 2005
By D. Bennett - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Ernani is one of the most special of Verdi's early operas. This recording is my favourite of the opera even in spite of its problems - there is a sense of energy and vitality here that I love, even over the more consistent vocalism of greats such as Del Monaco, Price, and Bergonzi.

The title role of Ernani is the most important role of all and thus how you perceive Pavarotti's Ernani could probably sway wither you buy this CD or not. In my opinion, despite his 50 something years, Pavarotti is nothing short of sensational. Pavarotti's portrayal is remarkable - indeed, he surpasses my expectations in nearly every way.

By the late 1980s, Pavarotti no longer had the effortlessness high notes of his youth but he retained his warm, distinctive timbre and his unmistakeable artistry remains intact. Anyone asking for a tenor nearing his mid fifties to still sound like he did over twenty years earlier is asking for the near impossible, but even so he does compare favourably with many other tenors.

He is an exciting Ernani and his timbre seems more appropriate, to me at least, than Carlo Bergonzi as the bandit, his main competitor on disc.

Joan Sutherland's Elvira seems to be even more controversial than Pavarotti's Ernani.

Considering the rest of her output from this time, such as her second Norma recording and Adriana Lecouvreur with Carlo Bergonzi, I was actually much taken with her Elvira - at last, I felt I could get some idea of what made her Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden from this time such a marvel. She is rather cautious when approaching her high notes but they are usually pure and solid, if less gleaming than in her youth. The voice no longer has as much polish as ten years earlier, let alone fifteen or twenty, but I feel that the progress she started making by the early 1970s in terms of better pronunciation, better acting and a greater dramatic awareness is still obvious in her portrayal. Indeed, in my opinion, her voice seems more agile and controlled here than anything since her Amina in 1980 (again with Pavarotti). Her being 60 something only adds to this being a special achievement.

The supporting cast is as good as any available during this time. The chorus is wonderful, benefiting from the clear sound; where many recordings, some old, some poorly engineered, have restricted the sound of the chorus or, even worse, let the chorus completely overpower everything else, this recording is spacious without being like a church - extremely enjoyable. The solo artists are caught quite close. This highlights some wear and signs of ageing that some listeners may object to, particularly with Sutherland but also allows remarkable clarity e.g. you can hear everyone during big moments such as choral work etc

As the final Sutherland-Pavarotti spectacular in the studio, this deserves to be heard, but it is also a fine recording in itself.

A lovable, if imperfect, recording of a lovable, if imperfect, opera; the end of one of the special opera partnerships of our time.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad at All! 29 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I waited long for this release and got it the very first day it became available. This set deserves an average of at least three stars, so I gave it five in hopes to offset the despicable one-star ratings given by others. Those rating this recording so low offer poorly supported justification for doing so and take it upon themselves to tell the great artists represented here what they should or should not do. The set is, perhaps, not outstanding, but there's definitely much to admire here. First and foremost, it is Richard Bonynge's imaginative energetic conducting and also the wonderful, very detailed choruses. The opera's title is "Ernani", not "Elvira", so discussing it we need to focus on Pavarotti first. Despite all the negative criticism leveled upon him, his singing here is exciting and charismatic. Perhaps his voice and acting are not as "dramatic" as the role requires, but he handles it well, easily going for the repeat in the cabaletta "O Tu Che L' Alma Adora". His Ernani is more a lover than a hero, but it only shows one of the most fascinating aspects of Verdian music - its ability to give a character a three-dimensional view by allowing for singer's individuality. Each thoughtful interpretation is no less valid. Dame Joan Sutherland refused to just rest on her past laurels, which is quite admirable. Also admirable is the fact that she was looking to expand her acting abilities; not just focusing on beautiful singing alone, Sutherland tried to go more "in depth" and convey the feelings and fears of her rather multifaceted heroine. She also makes a conscious attempt to correct her pronunciation and diction clarity for lack of which she has been criticized even during her best years. Those who expect the kind of "vocal pyrotechnics" she had displayed in "Rigoletto" and "Lucia" will be disappointed buying this set, but those with respect and admiration for her artistry won't be. Supporting roles are well cast. Burchuladze's very deep basso may not sound "evil enough" for Silva, but his emphasis is on portraying a proud and offended old man and he does it well. I found some similarities with Siepi, but this could be a subject of disagreements. Leo Nucci sounds surprisingly animated and robust as Carlos. Nucci's fairly light but vibrant and flexible baritone nicely accentuates Carlos' peculiar "change of heart". Seems as the complicated roles like this one or Renato in "Un Ballo" bring out the best in him. As for the matter of "bel canto" singing mentioned by others, pointing to "La fille du regiment" is rather pointless, these two operas are definitely not in the same league when it comes to musical characterization, complexity and subtlety. Comparing "Un Giorno" or "I Lombardi" to Donizetti's operas indeed has some merit, but when it comes to "Ernani", such comparisons fail: you cannot possibly want it to be approached in the same way as Donizetti's charming but pretty shallow comedy. Perhaps, the top "Ernani" choice is the superb "Domingo/Freni/Bruson/Ghiaurov/Muti collaboration, sadly not available any more in this country. There's also a set with Bergonzi, who, all his abilities when it comes to detailing aside, lacks low register and power. Carreras recorded an incredible "Come ruggiada al cespite" but I am not aware of a complete recording. Out of several live recordings, the one with Del Monaco, Cerquetti, and Christoff stands out, but, alas, you are forced to listen to the audience's inevitable noise too. This set, with its untarnished complete score and, once again, fantastic conducting, can stand its ground. Amateur critics, shame on you. Verdi fans are in for a treat.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the twilight, a few stars 26 Aug 2006
By Thomas B. Dawkins - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I bought this recording as a curiosity more than anything. A big fan of the Sutherland/Pavarotti recordings, I wanted to see what the former could do so near the end of her career. (I have recordings of Pavarotti up to 1991 that I still consider quite satisfactory, if not the smooth, easy high-noted tenor he once was.)

Sutherland recorded the major aria for the first time in April of 1959, shortly after her breakthrough as Lucia (the CD, which is available as one of the Decca "Classic Recitals" series, includes the two arias from Lucia, the Bolero from I vespri siciliani, and an aria from Linda di Chamounix). Slightly over 28 years later, she records the entire role. Is her voice the same as it was nearly three decades earlier? Of course not, and it would be absurd to think that any singer could remain the same for so long.

There are weaknesses to her singing that are the result of her age. Some things are not as clean or effortless as they used to be, but then listen to the staccato scales! Every note crisp and separate, something Leontyne Price never dared in her prime. Before anyone jumps on me, I have long been a fan of the Price/Bergonzi recording, but like anything that Price and Sutherland recorded, there are major differences in the voices. Quite frankly, I wouldn't be without either of them in this role or in Il Trovatore.

Something nobody ever notices is that Sutherland's low notes, which could be quite laughable in her youth (who listens to a soprano below the staff anyway?) are very coherent and resonant. I will concede to some wobble, but it is also important to remember that Joan Sutherland at even 50% is still better than many, many people at 100%. And she's probably still around 85% here, and there are still flashes of absolute brilliance. (As a side note, another controversial recording, the DVD of her 1982 Lucia from the MET, which has been rereleased on DG, has some sincerely effortless singing in it. Yes, the entire cavatina of the mad scene is transposed down a step, but this is a wise decision for stamina, especially towards the end of the opera).

Pavarotti is really quite good here too, and while Nucci has never been my favorite baritone, he's a good Don Carlo. Paata Burchuladze, however, is the reason for the star being taken off the overall rating. I don't mind the Slavic diction or the interpretation (a bit more snarly than my preference, but still okay), but he is uniformly just a hair flat, especially in the cabaletta "Infin che un brando vindice" and sounds strained in the mid-high range. Compare to Ezio Flagello (on the Price/Bergonzi recording), and there is no contest.

As to Bonynge, nobody knew Sutherland better than he, and he was probably second in line for the same with Pavarotti (James Levine taking first), and he does his very best to support his wife and one of her longest-term collaborators in their final recording together.
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