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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SERAFIN BUTTERFLY
Tebaldi is a rich-voiced Butterfly with beautiful tone. Bergonzi is a warm, brilliant Pinkerton - his duets with Tebaldi are astounding. Everyone's favourite pieces, "One fine day", "Humming Chorus", the Act One Duet, are all performed brilliantly, as well as any other recording available. A more 'italianate' version than with Karajan, this Decca set is the...
Published on 18 Feb 2006 by D. Bennett

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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Grande Dame Butterfly
No doubt Tebaldi was sensational in large theatres like the MET in New York. But on disc she sounds far too beefy for a 15 year-old geisha. Her attempts to lighten her hefty voice are toe-curling to my ears. Elsewhere she sounds prim and straightlaced. It's good to have the text sung by an Italian and she can deliver the "spinto" notes inpressively. And much is warm and...
Published on 8 Mar 2009 by lionheart


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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Butterfly of the 20th Century, 15 Oct 2001
By 
Sung-joon Cho (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Puccini: Madama Butterfly (Audio CD)
This is probably the best Butterfly to start off with. Not only does it have a cast that ensembled the cream of late 50's Puccini singers, it was also conducted by arguably the greatest Puccini conductor, Serafin, a man who worked closely with the composer himself. The sound is somewhat distant for the voices, but considering that this is the very first butterfly in stereo, we can only be grateful. Carlo Bergonzi is probably the most suitable singer for the part other than Bjorling and Tebaldi is in her prime here with an unbelievably rich sound. All the other casts, such as Sordello & Cossotto, provide wonderful support. Only the Gigli/Dal Monte recording could possibly rival this one.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SERAFIN BUTTERFLY, 18 Feb 2006
By 
D. Bennett - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Puccini: Madama Butterfly (Audio CD)
Tebaldi is a rich-voiced Butterfly with beautiful tone. Bergonzi is a warm, brilliant Pinkerton - his duets with Tebaldi are astounding. Everyone's favourite pieces, "One fine day", "Humming Chorus", the Act One Duet, are all performed brilliantly, as well as any other recording available. A more 'italianate' version than with Karajan, this Decca set is the top recommendation for this work. For the price of a highlights disc, you get the finest of Puccini's works and the finest of singers as a complete set.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Grande Dame Butterfly, 8 Mar 2009
This review is from: Puccini: Madama Butterfly (Audio CD)
No doubt Tebaldi was sensational in large theatres like the MET in New York. But on disc she sounds far too beefy for a 15 year-old geisha. Her attempts to lighten her hefty voice are toe-curling to my ears. Elsewhere she sounds prim and straightlaced. It's good to have the text sung by an Italian and she can deliver the "spinto" notes inpressively. And much is warm and golden toned. But she is far too formidable to my mind. I think she would have just boxed Pinkerton's ears and kept her child. I think Tebaldi is a fraction flat toned as well.

Bergonzi is superb as Pinkerton, but his set with Scotto is much more enjoyable...as that Cio Cio san acts so thoroughly with her voice.

The suppoerting cast and conductor are superb on this set. But the sound is a bit dated.

It can't really compete with Scotto, Freni (with Karajan) or Gheorghiu.

If you don't mind historic sound, try de los Angeles - the most touching butterfly of all
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Puccini: Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini (Audio CD - 1999)
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