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Verdi At The Met: Legendary Performances [Box set]

Giuseppe Verdi Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 56.12 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Verdi At The Met: Legendary Performances + Wagner at the MET: Legendary Performances from The Metropolitan Opera + Wagner's Vision - Bayreuth Heritage
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Sep 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 20
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,151 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Prelude
2. Dell'invito Trascorsa Gi L'ora
3. Libiamo
4. Che Ci?
5. Un D Felice, Eterea
6. Ebben? Che Diavol Fate?
7. Si Ridesta in Ciel L'aurora
8. Strano!...Ah, Fors' Lui Che L'anima
9. Follie! Follie!...Sempre Libera
10. Lunge Da Lei...De' Miei Bollenti Spiriti
11. Alfredo? - Per Parigi Or Or Partiva
12. Pura Siccome Un Angelo

Customer Reviews

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GLORIOUS PRESENCE 3 Oct 2013
Format:Audio CD
i cannot think of a better way of honouring Verdi's bicentenary than listening to this marvelous set of ten of his most celebrated operas (though it could have been streched to a dozen to include Trovatore and Ernani as well, or Don Carlo and Vespri) performed and brodcast by the Metropolitan opera from the mid thirties to the late sixties, with some of the greatest singers of the past century. All of them have been released before in no authorized editions, with diverse quality of sound. I had most of them and I beleive that the present edition, from the actual tapes curated by the MET, have better sound overall. Particularly the legendary Traviata of Ponselle from 1935 is presented with a restoration that seems to me almost a miracle. I have listened to this recording since its release by Pearl in two vinil discs and later in several CD editions, including the Naxos transfer by Ward Marston, and never thought that anybody could dig out from those old acetate discs (or rather surviving tapes made from the now lost acetates) any more sound. But how wrong I was. In the present incarnation the richness and grandeur of Ponselle 's voice has a presence that I never dreamed possible. It almost brought tears to my eyes. Only for that I would have gladly paid this set asking price. But then you get the 1940 Otello, in opinion of the late John Steane (to me the supreme authority regarding vocal criticism) the best performance by Martinelli and the rest of the principals that have been preserved. Which is like saying the best Otello in recorded history. The other 8 operas are equally superb performances by some of the greatest verdian singers of the past, schooled unlike many of the present "stars" in an almost lost tradition of singing, which combined attack and legato, impeccable phrasing, beautiful tone and expresive declamation. Get it while it lasts.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those who love singers of the past 19 Oct 2013
By Ultrarunner TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Verdi at the Met is the companion of Wagner at the Met;but does not have the problems with the sleeves that the Wagner set had. We struggled to pull out the CDs from the sleeves. The reason being they had three CDs for each opera.However,the Met Verdi set only having two discs makes it easier to pull out the CDs from the sleeve.The box has another box glued to the inside and has a lid.One can describe the package as petite.Details of the operas are on the back of the box.The sleeves have pictures of the singers in the opera on the front,on the back the singers roles they are in.Inside the sleeves, track numbers and the arias sung.On the spine the order in which the operas are to be placed,Opera and conductor.All CDs are white with details in light blue and the Disc number with Acts.

To clean up the sound celemony capstan software was used on these releases to reduce transport pitch fluctuations present on the original sources. All recordings restored and mastered from lacquer discs or analogue tapes from the Met opera Archives. I can attest to this,as I once owned the Pearl La Traviata with Ponselle;the sound was shocking,I gave it away. The Naxos I own is better,but this new recording is as though the dirt was cleaned from an oil painting.I can hear the orchestra and the voice of Ponselle and Tibbett clearly.Now I know how they really sound.The booklet has a Note from Peter Gelb General manager of the Met,also there is an essay on Verdi at the Met, which goes into the history of Verdi at this opera house,and details about the Singers in this box set.At the end there is the Producers Note with a history of Box 44 where most of the machinery for recording was placed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars METROPOLITAN MAGNIFICENCE 19 Oct 2013
By Jim Brooks VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
This treasurable set paints a broad picture of the general standard of performances at the Met between 1939 and 1967. It's interesting to note that, across the 45 or so principal roles, 22 are taken by American singers, only 11 by Italians, and 12 mainly by European singers. The presence of Leonard Warren in 5 of the 10 baritone leads, plus Tibbett in Traviata and Otello is to be welcomed. The magnificent Warren is underrated outwith the US where he sang almost exclusively, but with Cornel Macneil as Nabucco, Met stalwart Robert Merrill is sidelined to a single performance as Amonasro in the 1967 Aida. As if to compensate, this performance finds him not only in his usual, splendid voice but far more dramatically involved than was often the case.

The listener will find many fascinating performances in this set. Apart from the obvious ones like Ponselle's Violetta, it was wonderful to hear Milanov justifying her reputation as the Forza Leonora, Sayao's heartbreaking Gilda in Rigoletto and Varnay's unidiomatic but sensitive Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, complete with an impressive trill. Controversial
Casting ensured legendary status of a sort for Nabucco. Most would agree that Cornell MacNeil is magnificent in the title role, but Leonie Rysanek's Abigaille was criticised, not least by the singer herself, who described it as "a tragedy for me". The booklet skirts this, quoting the New York Times' "...vocal intensity, thrilling top and a good deal of command". The score was riddled throughout with annoyingly pointless cuts of just a few bars here, such as the final bars of Abigaille's scena, rushing Rysanek to the climax, resulting in a distressingly flat and strained conclusion.
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