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Verdi: La Forza Del Destino
 
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Verdi: La Forza Del Destino

27 Dec. 1999 | Format: MP3

£17.49 (VAT included if applicable)
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Disc 2
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4:35
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3:16
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4:27
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3:33
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1:14
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5:37
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 28 July 1998
  • Release Date: 27 Dec. 1999
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: RCA Classics
  • Copyright: (P) 1977 BMG Music
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 2:51:13
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001UJB85Q
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 404,242 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 April 2006
Format: Audio CD
Verdi's "La Forza del Destino" is one of the most difficult of his operas to cast properly. The musical demands are quite formidable,and require a command of vocalism and technique that only the greatest singers can offer. It further requires the leadership of an immaginative conductor to bring cohesion and eloquence to Verdi's somewhat sprawling score. This recording of "La Forza del Destino" towers over the others in best meeting the aforementioned 'criteria'. Maestro James Levine demonstrates his mastery of the score throughout, creating intimacy in the more personal passages of the opera (no more so than in the moving Convent Scene), contrasted with the bustling energy of scenes in the countryside and battlefield. His conducting has the "sweep" and verve so neccessary to illuminating and energizing the overall(Russian-influenced?)gloom of this often turbulent score. Spanish tenor PLACIDO DOMINGO is simply the finest "Alvaro" of his generation. The dark richness and power of his beautiful instrument captures the ever- changing and volatile moods of the tragic, star-crossed lover. Mr. Domingo's great musicality abets the drama, making "O tu che in seno" heart-wrenching. Elsewhere, he is ardent with Leonora, and passionate in his duets with Don Carlo. There is no one better. Leonora di Vargas is sung by American LEONTYNE PRICE, the pre-eminent Verdi soprano of the past 30 years. This is one of the diva's most-celebrated roles, and, having recorded it twice, we are the more fortunate for having both to experience and enjoy.
The vibrant and lyrical quality of the Schippers "Forza" (1964) has been replaced with a throbbing, darker, heavier sound in the middle, and a lower voice that's alternately chesty or slightly raspy. Ms.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Guy Whit on 18 Jan. 2009
Format: Audio CD
I would largely agree with most of what the other reviewer here says of this opera (5 April 2006), but would go further. It's almost impossible to convince an audience of its dramatic viability. For long stretches we lose sight completely of the heroine; the Don Alvaro and Don Carlo swagger sits ill with all the jollity round the camp fire (Trovatore also suffers in this respect); the action takes place over a ridiculous five year span. There are other dramatic weaknesses... But, what can one do in the face of such remorselessly inventive music? Sprawling it certainly is - episodic to a dangerous degree even - but it all works so magnificently, the inspiration unflagging.

What of this performance then? Levine is the star, holding it all together superbly - and he has the dream cast to work with (not forgetting the LSO in wonderful form). Milnes must stand out as the most thrilling of Carlos, his range of expression wide and his voice creamily dolorous. The glorious Leontyne Price is simply magnificent: tender, deeply emotional and smokey-toned - a ravishing performance. Even the comprimario parts are cast to thrilling effect - I mean, Kurt Moll for the 20 minute part of Calatrava in Act One? Luxury indeed. When a performance is this white hot, this intense, then one is almost persuaded that Forza is Verdi's masterpiece. Well, almost.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
The QUINTESSENTIAL "Forza" 19 Mar. 2003
By Donizetti's Kid - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Verdi's "La Forza del Destino" is one of the most difficult of his operas to cast properly. The demands of the music for the 5 principals are quite formidable, and require a command of vocalism that only the greatest singers can offer. It further requires the leadership of an immaginative conductor to bring cohesion to "Forza's" somewhat sprawling score. This recording towers over the others in best meeting the aforementioned 'criteria'. Maestro James Levine demonstrates his mastery of the score throughout, creating intimacy in the more personal passages of the opera (no more so than in the moving Convent Scene), contrasted with the bustling energy of scenes in the countryside and battlefield. His conducting has the "sweep" and verve so neccessary to illuminating and energizing the overall (Russian-influenced?) darkness of this turbulent score. Tenor Placido Domingo is simply the finest "Alvaro" on record. The dark richness and power of his beautiful instrument captures the ever- changing and volatile moods of the tragic, star-crossed lover. Mr. Domingo's great musicality abets the drama, making "O tu che in seno" heart-wrenching. Elsewhere, he is ardent with Leonora, and passionate in his duets with Don Carlo. There is no one better. Leonora is sung by Leontyne Price, the pre-eminent Verdi soprano of the past 30 years. This is one of the diva's greatest roles, and we are able to hear why.
The vibrant and lyrical quality of the Schippers "Forza" (1964) has been replaced with a throbbing, darker, heavier sound in the middle, and a lower voice that's alternately chesty or slightly raspy. Ms. Price's upper voice is sovereign and resplendent. She mixes gorgeous pianissimi with requisite forte high notes that are powerfully intoned. Throughout, the soprano is dramatically alert, bringing desperation and urgency to the Convent Scene, fear and uncertainty to her duet with Alvaro, and
sorrow and lamentation in her justly-famous singing of "Pace,pace mio Dio" ( with its ringing climax),and a soft, hushed intensity to the Final Scene as well. This is a great performance! Baritone Sherrill Milnes has likewise dominated his peers in the Verdi canon. His strong, virile singing of Don Carlo is well-suited to a role that is very monochromatic in dimension, but quite exciting musically. Mr. Milnes' voice here is resonant in the middle, slightly weak in the lower voice, and powerful in his wonderful upper voice (with some obvious strain at times), and he utilizes it with musicality, and a dramatic flair that is often more extroverted than introspective. His duets with Mr. Domingo are thrillingly sung, as is the "Urna fatale/Egli e Salvo" scena. Basso Bonaldo Giaotti is also a specialist in his role of Padre Guardiano, singing with warm, plangent beauty. He imbues his singing with authority, clarity, and strength, providing with Ms. Price, a Convent Scene of unusual conviction. Mr. Giaotti is not any less committed in the more static music of this role, and his firmly-produced bass is one of the finest on record in this music. Mezzo-soprano Fiorenza Cossotto rarely, if ever, sang the role of Preziosilla onstage,perhaps because its marginally a principal role, and/or due to its mostly unrewarding vocal demands. Few mezzos really succeed in this daunting music, that requires agility, range, and power. Ms. Cossotto is most admirable in those respects, though her upper voice is clearly taxed by the music in that area, and tonal beauty is only intermittently provided. Still, she is energetic, and, as always with this gifted artist, able to characterize with the detailed, intelligent, and insightful touches of the accomplished singing-actress that defines her art. The supporting and comprimario roles are also well-performed, featuring the outstanding Fra Melitone of bass-baritone Gabriel Bacquier. The John Alldis Choir, integral in this opera, sings gloriously, and the London Symphony Orchestra plays splendidly for Mr. Levine. This "Forza" remains the overall 'winner' amongst its competitors. While individual performances(Callas,Tebaldi,Milanov,Price,Arroyo/Shirley Verrett/ Bergonzi,Tucker/ Warren, Merrill/ C. Siepi, G.Tozzi/ Schippers, Muti) may rival those heard here, the sum of the performances in this "Forza" are unbeatable. Own THIS one!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The best recording of La Forza, despite a few flaws 8 Jan. 2007
By The Cultural Observer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
La Forza del Destino, despite the several attempts to immortalize it on disc, has a discography devoid of any perfect recordings. It is an extremely complex work, with several extremely beautiful and exciting moments, and it is also very difficult to conduct and cast. The five principles needed for the opera require a mastery of Verdian singing, especially for the roles of Leonora di Vargas and Don Alvaro. The conductor is also faced with the challenge of setting the proper moods for the different setting that the opera takes place in. If the score is not as sophisticated as Aida, then La Forza is at least one of the most difficult scores to manage through due to the complex atmospheres Verdi requires of the conductor.

On to the recording's cast. I think no other recording of this Verdian masterpiece features such an amazing cast. Placido Domingo sings a definitive Alvaro with the passion and drama needed plus a voice in its most beautiful prime. I would say that after Corelli, he is my choice for Alvaro. Sherrill Milnes sings a Carlo with the venom needed and the vocal acting to make the role a memorable performance. I think that after Carlo Tagliabue, he is the ideal Don Carlo. Preziosilla is taken by the very charismatic and iron-lunged Fiorenza Cossotto. A truly memorable performance. Bonaldo Giaiotti isn't as ideal as Cesare Siepi in the role of Padre Guardiano, but his voice has all the gravitas needed and he sings the role quite well. Kurt Moll is luxurious casting in the small role of the Marchese di Calatrava, and Melitone is endearingly sung by Gabriel Bacquier. This brings us to the somewhat small weakness of the set--Leontyne Price's Leonora. Her high notes are radiant, the artistry is simply ravishing, and her sense of drama as the doomed Leonora is impeccable. However, her nonexistent lower register is problematic, especially in a role which often brings the voice down to those notes. Her diction is somewhat problematic too in this recording, with several of her vowels becoming "American". That aside, she is one of the most compelling Leonoras on disc, second only to Maria Callas as the doomed Vargas. I think the other Leonora of my choice would be Renata Tebaldi.

Levine conducts an energetic, exciting, and true-to-the-score rendition of Verdi's score. If there ever were an ideal conductor for this opera, it would be Levine at this stage of his career. He sweeps through the score with the necessary passion and gravitas which make this opera such a favorite among Verdians.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
The Genuine Article 1 April 2000
By J. Luis Juarez Echenique - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I can't believe this set is 25 years old! It only seems like yesterday...but yes, this recording belongs to a long gone era when Verdi operas still could be cast with great singers. Everything pleases in this recording. Don Alvaro is easily Domingo's best Verdi role. His handsome dark tenor was made for this music, perhaps Bergonzi has an even better sense of line, but all-around, Domingo is the best Alvaro ever recorded. Sherill Milnes was in imposing voice in 1976, though Ettore Bastianini and Giorgio Zancanaro are more musical and interesting. Milnes anyhow, is never less than excellent. Since I just love Leontyne Price, I think she was still stupendous in the mid-seventies, though there is no denying that her voice was even more ravishing in 1964 when her earlier recording with Thomas Schippers was made (for her alone, another must have). Gabriel Bacquier and Fiorenza Cossotto are matchless as Melitone and Preciozilla, none better. You even get Kurt Moll as Calatrava! Levine may not be Mitropulous, but his conducting is first rate. Yes, all around, this is the best Forza del Destino.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
There is no perfect La Forza on CD 27 Sept. 2005
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It might be worthwhile to burn your own hybrid perfromance, given that each of the major sets has something to offer. The very best conducting comes from Sinopoli on DG, miles ahead of Levine's brisk, often impersonal leadership here. Price was magnificent on her earlier RCA set under Schippers, compared to which, the older Price under Levine sounds tired and effortful at times. But Domingo's alvaro is much better than her tenor back then, the bawling, crude Richard Tucker. As for baritones, Milnes and Merrill are about equal, both inclined to shout and neither any great actor vocally. Callas is in a league of her own, but her set is in mono.

Now that there is no shred of a Golden Age left in opera, I suppose we won't see a better La Forza from a modern cast. The all-Russian one under Gergiev is inadquate vocally and has no idea of Verdi style (the excuse for that Philips recording from St. Petersburg is that Verdi wrote the opera on a commission from Russia and even went there to oversee the premiere.) The Muti recording on EMI is no competition since it features an aging and very overparted Mirella Freni, not to mention Muti's brutal conducting.

I keep hoping for a miraculous new recording and meanwhile enjoy the very good things existing on the sets I've menitoned.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The Best Studio Recording Of Forza Ever Made 10 April 2005
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Yes, the reviews speak for themselves. This is a fine recording of La Forza Del Destino, though possibly second only to the Thomas Schippers edition where we find a younger more powerful and fresh-voiced Leontyne Price taking on the role of Leonora with more passion and Italian fire. Here, she is too mannered, too restrained, as if holding back some razzle-dazzle virtuosity so as not to burn out her voice, which at this time in the 70's, was going into its last stage of splendor. Leontyne Price fans will want to get this album anyways, for she is still deliviring the goods, with gleaming high notes and soft pianissimo which are appropriately angelic and a deep and dark chest voice that no other soprano could pull of. Leonora, after Aida, was her greatest Verdi role. Just make sure to get the Schippers edition because Price is doing a superior job in that one. Still, this recording strong in other areas. These include:

1: Placido Domingo in terrific singing condition and proving as always that he is a cerebral and dedicated actor. As Alvaro, he focuses on the masculinity of the role, while at the same time showing us he, too, is swept by the "Forza" of destiny that dominates the mood of the opera. Fate holds Alvaro in its grip. All the arias give us something new to analyze- Alvaro is determined, strong-willed but he is also a mere mortal, with vulnerability. Domingo has a "soft" voice when compared to the stentorian tenors who seem to believe that a tenor has to shatter a million glasses in order to succeed -Pavoratti, especially. John Vickers was different. Like Mario Del Monaco, they used their huge voices to effectively portray the drama, not to show off. Domingo, blessed with light and dark registers, can most satisfy the roles of heroic lovers who are themselves victims of Fate well. I am in love with Placido Domingo's voice and I believe he is the tenor with the most integrity in the past 20 years.

2) Sherill Milnes can always be counted on to play a proper villain. While his voice can snarl and grumble like the Cowardly Lion sometimes, he never cheapens his performance. He understands that bass-baritones are even more complex than the often flat tenor lead. Here, Milnes is doing a terrific job and never falters. In solo arias, he shines with noble and frightening grandeur, and in duets with Domingo, they are a force not to be reckoned with.

3)The conducting by James Levine is a tour de force. The London orchestra brings out the fire in the score, even the Overture and the dotted "fate" theme is somehow more intense. There are moments of intense tension and quiet respite. The way the music accompanies the chorus in "La Virgine Del Angeli" is the best I've ever heard, with so much longing and spirituality which even surpasses bel canto or even Verdi style and reaches Wagner heights of religiosity. The score to La Forza is not a piece of cake. There are scenes of festivitise lead by Preziosilla (played here by the great Fiorenza Cossotto doing a heck of a job even if she is past her prime) and battle songs, crowd scenes, secular life, and the serenity of the Monostery. Verdi wrote a multi-faceted work, which would pave the way for the hits of Don Carlo and Aida. This trio- Forza, Don Carlo and Aida are his most complex operas. A conductor who really delivers a superb performance of Forza is to be admired. Kudos to Mr. Levine.

The RCA Red Seal are a high-calibre recording label and every opera lover ought to own the series. Red Seal has done the most to distribute and promote the classic and unbeatable performances of Placido Domingo, Leontyne Price and Sherill Milnes, whom I have already dubbed my favorite "Trio" of dramatic tenor, soprano and baritone. Other successful studio recordings of theirs are - Aida (conducted by Erich Leinsdorf and also starring Grace Bumbry) Tosca and Il Trovatore, in which Domingo/Price/Milnes were once again paired with the incomparable Fiorenza Cossoto. Cossoto is always the weakest in the bunch but please don't bash her. She was an old-school dramatic mezzo with a fine voice that after years of wear and tear was finally put on recording, even if she was past her prime. But many singers sound at least passable past their prime, and they are nothing to laugh at. I feel that some singers who sing past their prime are doing better dramatically if not vocally, and can manipulate the role with more subtlety. Singers who have done this past their prime were Maria Callas, Birgit Nilsson, Leontyne Price herself, Beverly Sills and Kiri Te Kenawa. So go check this Forza out. It's bound to impress you one way or another.
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