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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Caballe Delivers an Unforgettable Experience.
Tosca's long running popularity with the public is reflected in the large number of recorded versions available. Alongside Callas under De Sabata and Price under Karajan, Caballe's account has gained classic status as an interpretation that is special. No other singer has brought such ravishingly beautiful singing to the role. In addition, Caballe gives a compelling...
Published on 15 April 2001

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dissapointing
The recordings were not good enough in my opinion, not a lot else to say, would not recommend.
If you Tosca try another of Amazons excellent selections
Published 14 months ago by sanclew


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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Caballe Delivers an Unforgettable Experience., 15 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Audio CD)
Tosca's long running popularity with the public is reflected in the large number of recorded versions available. Alongside Callas under De Sabata and Price under Karajan, Caballe's account has gained classic status as an interpretation that is special. No other singer has brought such ravishingly beautiful singing to the role. In addition, Caballe gives a compelling portrayal of Tosca and highlights the full range of emotions that the role demands. In Act I, Caballe conveys the shift from deep passion to blind rage and shattered emotions spectacularly. In Act II one can hear the disgust and desperation in her voice as she bargains with Scarpia over her lover's fate. Caballe is partnered by Jose Carerras as Cavaradossi. He too is in magnificent voice and gives one of his finest recorded performances - far better than his two later recordings of the role. The only disappointment is Ingvar Wixell as Scarpia. While he sings impeccably, his interpretation lacks menace and he fails to dominate the opera as any Scarpia should. A plus point however, is that Wixell avoids the hammy theatricals that so many other Scarpias employ- thus turning Scarpia into a pantomime figure. In this respect he is far preferable to Giuseppe Taddei on the Karajan set. Colin Davis conducts the score naturally and without exaggerated tempi and the ROH forces play superbly. The 1953 Callas version, worth hearing if only for Tito Gobbi's towering interpretation of Scarpia, has long been regarded as the deinitive account. However, that recording, despite remastering, does sound dated in mono sound and is, like so many Callas recordings, grossly overpriced, especially when the Caballe recording, alongside performances of the title role by Tebaldi, Scotto, and Milanov can be enjoyed on other labels at mid price. For value and for Caballe's unforgettable performance, the Phillips set is a fantastic buy.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 3 Sep 2004
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D. Bennett - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Audio CD)
This CD is magical. Carreras is young and ardent, Caballe is swooningly beautiful and the rest of the cast is very, very strong. Davis conducts throughout with considerable effect. A superb bargain.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best budget recording of Tosca, 26 Oct 2010
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Audio CD)
I really like the Domingo, Malfitano, Raimondi DVD of Tosca, but this is my favourite CD version. Carreras was at the peak of his career and his beautiful singing here reminds you of why he was once considered one of the best tenors in the world. It is also one of Caballe's best ever recordings. Sir Colin Davis, as always, conducts perfectly.

This double CD is astoundingly good value. My advice is, buy it. You won't be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, an alternative to the 1953 Callas Tosca!, 30 Aug 2012
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Audio CD)
The best Tosca one can get after the 1953 Callas recording. Monserrat Caballe has one of the most beautiful soprano voices ever. In this recording she also takes the risk in using it in the most dramatic of manners. And she succeeds. Unlike her Norma, her Tosca has nothing less than the perfect 1953 Callas recording. She is a lyrical soprano no doubt about it, but her voice can be clearly heard in the totality of its range, despite the heavy Puccini orchestration (unlike Ms Gheorghiu's instrument). There is nothing forced or strained in the way she sings. The woman has a huge voice and is the only one to be rightly compared to Callas in terms of repertoire. She is also very lucky to have Carreras by her side. Jose Carreras is in his absolute prime, before his illness and his cross over experiments. He is the best Cavaradossi ever in the recorded history of the role. The ideal Mario probably looks like Kaufmann and sounds like Carreras. The set is very competitively priced as well. If you want a stereo Tosca alternative, this is the one to have.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally competitive, 2 Jan 2008
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This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Audio CD)
Competitive in all respects, not least in the modest outlay needed. Sorry to sound mercenary, but with the great number of versions available, many of them extremely good (Price, Freni, even Te Kanawa) it is important to consider the cost, especially when the version under consideration is as wonderful as this one. Caballe is in her element: impassioned when required, tender when needed and, above all, singing in glorious voice - great waves of burnished tone and those famous pianissimi! Carreras is similarly inspired (who would not be, with Caballe on this form?) and they sing together with enormous sensitivity and power. Colin Davis gives for me the best interpretation on disc: passionate but, at the same time, controlled (it's so easy to go OTT with this potboiler of an opera!) But it's mainly all magnificent stuff. The only slight disappointment is Wixell's Scarpia, which lacks the snarl and allure of, say Sherril Milnes on the Freni/Pavarotti version (and his peerless glowing tone).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 11 Mar 2013
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B. Harper (Yorkshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Audio CD)
I love Tosca and this recording is lovely. The performances and recording are glorious. The recording quality is excellent to my ear. I really enjoy listening to this production and the music is of course sublime!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Carreras steals the show, 16 Sep 2013
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G. Crook "Waterloo tragic" (Sydney Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Audio CD)
With a wooden and unisionatic Scarpia,the laurels of this set goes to Carreras,who is in searing vocal form as Cavadarossi.A s forTosca herself,Callas and Price[on the old Decca set with di Stefano and Taddei ]win the day as total experiences.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain!, 2 Aug 2013
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Mr. B. A. French "bazzafrench" (Hampton Hill, Middx) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Audio CD)
Finding decent recordings of operas at a budget price is always a challenge. Frequently, anything at cut-price is just a digitised version of an old 78 recorded in 1958 or something. Just listening to the first thunderous few bars you know you are in for a treat.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tosca, 1 May 2013
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This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Audio CD)
Excellent recording. I am no opera expert but this is hard to fault. The drama, the passion, the tragedy. It's all there..
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dissapointing, 18 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Puccini: Tosca (Audio CD)
The recordings were not good enough in my opinion, not a lot else to say, would not recommend.
If you Tosca try another of Amazons excellent selections
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Puccini: Tosca (2 CDs)
Puccini: Tosca (2 CDs) by Montserrat Caballé
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