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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful singing
The various reviews of this CD show how different opinions can be when it comes to the human voice. I think the singing on this CD is of the very highest order and would recommend it to anybody who is interested in this music or to anybody who just likes good singing. Even if you don't know the music it's worth buying just to experience top class voices.
Published on 7 Sep 2011 by Mr. Christopher Harris

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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but there are better choices
There is much to enjoy in this performance, but nothing to set it above other choices for this opera. Both Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca are splendid. Ms Netrebko's full, warm tone and excellent technique, including some perfectly executed trills, are a joy to hear. The same can be said of Ms Garanca. Though her lower register hasn't the resonance of say, Jennifer...
Published on 31 Mar 2009 by S. Wells


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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but there are better choices, 31 Mar 2009
By 
S. Wells (California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Audio CD)
There is much to enjoy in this performance, but nothing to set it above other choices for this opera. Both Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca are splendid. Ms Netrebko's full, warm tone and excellent technique, including some perfectly executed trills, are a joy to hear. The same can be said of Ms Garanca. Though her lower register hasn't the resonance of say, Jennifer Larmore or Vesselina Kasarova, her upper register is free and bright. Joseph Calleja brings a shining voice to Tebaldo. However at times he displays a laxity that turns dotted rhythms into slurred notes of equal value. The lower voices are fine, but not particularly noteworthy. Fabio Luisi's conducting is apt.
I could find no mention of which performing edition was used. I followed along with the standard Ricordi score and noticed a few very minor cuts - a repeat in the opening chorus and a few of the stretti passages are trimmed of their repeats. The essay in the libretto is complete rubbish. It reads like a poor parody of Peter Shaffer's "Amadeus" with Bellini and Vaccaj replacing Mozart and Salieri. The author writes in some detail about Bellini's rapid composition of the score by borrowing heavily from his failed opera "Zaira." However, he never mentions that the libretto is a recycled version of the book Felice Romani had provided earlier to that same Vaccaj, whom we're told Bellini "hated." Nor is any mention made of the performance practice of substituting the final scene by Bellini with that from Vaccaj's opera. Such slovenly scholarship cannot be condoned. Neither can the engineering of this recording.
There are extended passages that have an odd reverberation to them, perhaps from the acoustic of the concert hall in which this was taped. Where this recording really fails is in the sloppy editing. I understand that it was recorded live - or at least most of it. But it's painfully obvious that this was patched together from many sessions, perhaps in different locations, accounting for the presence - or lack - of the reverberant background. Worst of all, there are several places, especially in the second act, where the takes from different sessions were more botched than spliced together. The sudden shifting of aural gears takes this set out of the competition as far as I'm concerned. I can recommend the performance, but I can't recommend the recording.
There are other recorded performances that are just as good, if not better, than this effort, and which aren't marred by bad engineering. I particularly like Riccardo Muti's recording live from Covent Garden with Edita Gruberova, Agnes Baltsa and Dano Raffanti. Roberto Abbado's recording with Vesselina Kasarova, Eva Mei and Ramon Vargas also has much to recommend it, including Vaccaj's final scene as a bonus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful singing, 7 Sep 2011
By 
Mr. Christopher Harris "Chris in Brum" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Audio CD)
The various reviews of this CD show how different opinions can be when it comes to the human voice. I think the singing on this CD is of the very highest order and would recommend it to anybody who is interested in this music or to anybody who just likes good singing. Even if you don't know the music it's worth buying just to experience top class voices.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly sung - just as at the ROH Covent Garden!, 26 May 2009
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This review is from: Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Audio CD)
I bought this CD after having recently seen Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca perform in this opera at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.. The performance that evening had been my first taste of "I Capuleti e i Montecchi" and I was completely blown away by it, as was my wife. The music was extremely beautiful and the singing performances on the night were outstanding. We had recognised Anna Nettrebko's name, she is currently one of the "special" divas, and we had previously enjoyed her singing in Mozart's "Don Giovanni", but Elina Garanca had been a new name to us. If anything, she outshone Netrebko on the night, her soft mezzo timbre was absolutely divine.

Judged against that memorable evening, this CD does not disappoint. The music is everything my wife and I remember it to be and the singing on the disc is first class. Netrebko and Garanca sound as good here as they did at Covent Garden - sensational! They are joined by Joseph Calleja as Tebaldo: Joseph has a mellifluous tone and is an excellent ally to the girls' singing; the cast is well complemented by Tiziano Bracci as Capellio and Robert Gleadow as Lorenzo,

This recording was undertaken live at the Vienna Konzerthaus, although not in front of an audience. As you would expect from a Deutsche Grammophon recording the sound quality is excellent and there is a booklet containing brief but informative articles as well as the libretto in four languages.

Like all opera CDs, I can't really recommend this if you haven't seen the opera, as for me the theatre of the performance is a significant factor of the overall enjoyment - and having seen it you are then able to re-create those images in your mind's eye as you listen to the music. However, if you are looking for melodious and superbly sung music or if you are specifically looking for a recording of this opera then you really can't go wrong in buying this disc.

Excellent!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bellini - I Capuleti e i Montecchi, 1 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Audio CD)
A wonderful performance sung by the dream team of Anna and Elina. Bellini follows the original Renaissance version of the plot, and so is slightly different to the Shakespeare storyline. It is a bit different hearing the love music sung by soprano and mezzo, but because the singing is so beautiful, this is a real treat. Orchestra, ensemble and production are exellent. Buy this and wallow in Bellini.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 27 May 2014
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This review is from: Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Audio CD)
How lucky we are that CDs do not wear out as LPs do. What a great shame that this peformance was, so far as I have been able to discover, only recorded by an American using a hand held video camera. Netrebko and Garanca give an unmissible performance. Buy while you ca.
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14 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful singing!!, 23 Feb 2009
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TOH Hong Wee (Singapore) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Audio CD)
Though termed 'Tragedia Lirica in due atti', there's nothing tragic at all of the music. The work itself is full of the usual Bel Canto Bellinian and Rossinian fun.

Joseph Calleja (as Tebaldo) makes the first solo entry after the opening number from the chorus. I have read much of this tenor from magazines and websites and it is here I understand why his singing was praised to the heavens. For what a voice his is! The basic timbre is bright and recalls the late Alfredo Krauss. The voice is even through out the registers. The high notes ring freely without sounding stretched. The singing is stylish in the Bel Canto tradition.

The duo of Netrebko and Garanca did not disappoint. Both sing capably; softly at the tender moments and full of fearless bravura at the florid passages (sample the duet-Si fuggire; a noi non resta).

The booklet tells us this was a 'live' recording made in April 2008 at the Vienna Konzerthaus. We do not hear applause; suggesting studio touch-ups.

I Capuleti e i Montecchi was never a forerunner of the Bellini canon. But with a cast like this, it could well be for there is much to enjoy here from the singing alone. A must for all Bel Canto fans!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful recording., 15 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Audio CD)
This recording of Bellini's I Capuleti e I Montecchi is excellent. Two young superstars at the top of their powers. Netrebko and Garanca blend beautifully. The balance between voices and orchestra is ideal and never overwhelms the singers. Calleja is an excellent Tebaldo and supporting cast is strong. I have the Eva Mei / Vesselina Kasarova version, which is good, but not in the same class as this release. I would certainly recommend this disc.
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22 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a must!, 13 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Audio CD)
Nowadays, records with so-called "stars" are often highly praised before their issues...not always rightly...
Listening to this production the aficionado of good singing full of charakter must be disappointed. He will find a clean commercial recording without passion. The singing of Netrebko is too "thick" for this role, uneven and unsecure concerning the intonation and coloratura whilst Garanca - her singing shows routine, but is technically o.k. - doesn't touch at all.
The other figures are even worse, especially the reportedly praised tenor. His voice is thinn and roughened and his technique doubtable.
Finally the conducting: Luisis interpretation is all in all (too) slow. Of course, you have a lot of lyrical parts but nevertheless I miss - here and there - the emphasis of the sparkles of the splendid Bellinian music.
One star I must give all the same, because the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra is good and solid as usual though the brut and flat DGG recording technique (as usual) doesn't present its quality too brilliantly.
My recommendation: there are a few much better recordings of the same opera on market, choose one of them: EMI: Gruberova/Baltsa/Muti...Teldec: Hei-Kyung-Yong/Larmore/Runnicles...Sills/Baker/Patane...to listen only the most famous!
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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Umm, actually I think this is a "must"!, 13 Mar 2009
This review is from: Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Audio CD)
Okay, I'm not going to bother analysing this recording to the point of academic inanity - instead I'll just say that I've heard several other recordings of this opera and to me this is head and shoulders above the others (all of which were pretty good). If you like the human voice then do yourself a favour and put this on, sit back and enjoy...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Audio CD)
Excellent
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