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Puccini: Tosca
Puccini: Tosca
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars vocally stunning in every way, 15 July 2014
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Audio CD)
In my view, this is the strongest Tosca recording available.

Caballe/Carreras/Wixell - what a dream team, and all rounded off with Colin Davis' wonderful conducting.

People will now hate me for putting this recording over Callas/diStefano - but I do and I will any day.

Caballe, here caught in her prime, delivers the vocally most stunning performance of Tosca imaginable. If it is melting lyricism in the tender moments of act I that you are looking for as well as strong drama in act II with a rock solid voice and technique from the low register up to the resounding top C in he last act, she will not disappoint you. Her Vissi d'arte is a marvel of sound and sheer breath control and she manages to sound beautiful throughout the entire opera, especially so in her encounter with Scarpia in act I.
Also Carreras is in excellent voice and even if Wixell might not be the most menacing of Scarpias, he sounds very good, especially so in his reading of "Ha piu forte sapore".

This is a legendary recording that should not miss in any collection, especially at this rock bottom price; to me this is the Tosca that all others will be measured against.


Christa Ludwig: Farewell to Salzburg
Christa Ludwig: Farewell to Salzburg
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £13.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Schumann, 15 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is such a wonderful CD - listen to it for a while and be amazed what you will discover. In the Strauss Lieder, the voice is somewhat past its prime, but you feel the mastery of Christa Ludwig's art in every track.
Unforgettable are the two Schumann songs (it's well worth buying he CD for these two tracks alone).
Who can forget the way she sings "Nur tief sei, wild, der Toene fluss and von der Freude weggekehret" - this phrase will haunt you for life.
Highly recommended recording, enjoy.


Smetana: Má vlast
Smetana: Má vlast
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £11.93

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very special performance!!, 15 July 2014
This review is from: Smetana: Má vlast (Audio CD)
When attending a pre-performance talk prior to a concert of the first three pieces of the Ma Vlast by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the speaker warmly recommended this recording.
I bought it and never looked back. It's live but the atmosphere is truly amazing and the sound quality good.
Everybody wanted to play that night and you can truly feel the love and dedication that the conductor and the orchestra put into the performance for the special occasion.
Highly recommended.


Tosca: Metropolitan Opera (Sinopoli) [DVD] [2006]
Tosca: Metropolitan Opera (Sinopoli) [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Hildegard Behrens
Price: £13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars great performance, 15 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I absolutely LOVED this performance.
Visually: Stunning! Cannot be bettered. No argument about it - sets and costumes are hard to beat. This is how a traditionally staged Tosca should look like.
Both picture and sound quality are excellent.

Hildegard Behrens is a passionate Tosca, but I struggled with her Germanic pronunciation at times and found her lacking in warmth, also the voice is a bit unsteady at times. But she does play the role very convincingly and excels in the dramatic parts of act II. Even though I love her in other roles, to me Tosca is not her best role.
Domingo is red-blooded as ever, a strong performance.
Cornell McNeills Scarpia is amazing. An absolute tour de force performance. Maybe the voice is a little past its prime, but what a passionate performance.

Highly recommended DVD, I have watched it many times over and it gets me every time, very enjoyable.


Anna Netrebko - Live at the Metropolitan Opera
Anna Netrebko - Live at the Metropolitan Opera
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £10.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent love duet from Romeo et Juliette, 15 July 2014
If you love Netrebko, this recording should not be missing in your collection. She's a strong favourite at the Met, and this collection of arias and scenes makes it clear what that is so.

My personal favourites are the scene from Romeo & Juliette (why has the performance in full not been released yet on DVD, it is wonderful!) and the scene from Les Contes d'Hoffman (ignore the tenor and his constant wobble!).

She sounds to die for and always makes the character she plays seem real; she will be remembered as one of the great sopranos of her generation. Yes, the tracks are captured from live performances, so there is a certain measure of noise and audience participation, but don't let that put you off, the sound is good throughout.


Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos
Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Peerless reading of concerto #4, 15 July 2014
This set must be purchased for concerto no. 4 alone. Words fail me; there is no deeper felt modern reading of the cadenza at the end of the first movement. The world virtually stands still, it is magical. Having listened to many other interpretations (Pollini, Brendel, Barenboim, to name a few), Uchida is in my view peerless in concerto no. 4. The playing is of such nobility and so wonderfully paced.


Rimsky-Korsakov/Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Works (DG The Originals)
Rimsky-Korsakov/Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Works (DG The Originals)
Price: £7.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recomended, 15 July 2014
This is probably the most marvellous recording in my collection. Especially the 1812. If I was to choose just the one for the proverbial desert island, this would be it. Well paced, terrific sound, can't fault it in any way. Enjoy


Luisa Miller: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2006]
Luisa Miller: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Verdi
Price: £13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars excellent performance, no regrets, 15 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A really full-blooded performance not to be missed. The sound does vary a bit from time to time (especially so in act III), but for a performance that's now more than 30 years old, both picture and sound are acceptable.

Bonaldo Giaiotti is very strong in Walter's aria in the first act, also Sherril Milnes is strong and in great voice throughout, with Domingo being as red blooded as ever. All those who are familiar with the Decca studio recording of this work will wish for Caballe instead of Scotto (she sang the role in 1968 at the met opposite Milnes/Tucker if memory serves me right), but the comparison is probably unfair. Well, I couldn't help it. Scotto has strong moments, but overall the role is not her strongest performance.

Having said that, there aren't many DVDs or recordings around, so anyone wanting to experience this excellent opera on DVD should go ahead and buy it, it's very enjoyable. And yes, as already pointed out by previous reviewers, the blond wig on Domingo is a real hoot.


Queen of Coloratura
Queen of Coloratura
Price: £5.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly spectacular!, 15 July 2014
This review is from: Queen of Coloratura (Audio CD)
This CD shouldn't miss in anyone's collection who is a true lover of the high soprano voice. The coloratura at the end of "Non mi dir" is so well executed that it beggars belief. So is the incredible jump at the end of track 5 "Vorrei spiegarvi", you rarely hear this executed in such a fine way. My personal favourite is track 4 from Lucio Silla. Like one of the previous reviewers has said, Gruberova might not be everybody's favourite Lucia. Also, her phrasing (rhythm within a phrase) can be highly exotic at times, but who else can sing like her these days? This CD will bring you hours of enjoyment; highly recommended.


Wagner: Der Fliegende Holländer (highlights)
Wagner: Der Fliegende Holländer (highlights)
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £44.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I completely agree with Valentine (previous reviewer! ) - ..., 15 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I completely agree with Valentine (previous reviewer!) - this was my first Hollaender experience and I subsequently listened to many other sets but none quite manages to measure up. If thecomplete set was ever released by DG it would be a golden day. Beats the Sinopoli/Boehm (both DG), Karajan (EMI) and Levine (Sony) sets hands down.


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