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9 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars what a bargain., 1 May 2014
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This review is from: Verdi - The Great Operas (Audio CD)
for the price this is great value with some splendid recordings of great artists from over the years. The sound is always pretty good and for listening in the car on long journeys - my frequent opportunity to listen to whole operas! - these are highly commendable. And if you are new to Verdi, or opera, these will be a great starting point. One or two annoying things eg the names of the artists are not given on the individual card sleeves but listed in the notes. But at this price who is complaining?!
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4.0 out of 5 stars EMI's Verdi Celebration, 26 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Verdi - The Great Operas (Audio CD)
EMI's contribution to the Verdi bicentennial is an altogether acceptable one. I live in Chicago and purchased it from Amazon UK for 10.99 pounds plus shipping, which was cheaper than purchasing it from either Amazon USA or Amazon Canada. At 33p per disc, this was a bargain I could not pass up.
The 16 operas contained in the box are spread over 35 discs. As is the EMI (now Warner) standard with packages of this type, each disc is in a generic sleeve which repeats the image of Verdi from the front of the box. The 5 sided, open-top cardboard box itself is sturdy, but the tunnel-like sleeve which pulls over it is made of a heavy paper board which will, over time, show signs of wear and tear as it is removed and replaced to access the discs.
The rear of each sleeve lists the name of the opera, the individual track number and times for the selections and a total time for the disc at the bottom. Bravo! Missing in action, however, are the names of the orchestra and conductor, the singers, the location and date of the recording and whether the recording is mono or stereo. One has to wonder why this data was omitted from its natural place, which is the sleeve itself (and the label!) I find it hard to believe that this was a cost-saving measure. For these facts, a 48 page booklet is provided which also includes a brief biography of Verdi and 3 short essays, all in English, German and French.
The label of each disc is full sized, covering the entire width of the CD. Bravo! (Sony and DG, are you listening?) Unfortunately, the only information on this gray label is the name of the set ("Verdi The Great Operas"), EMI's logo, the corresponding disc number, the name of the opera and the acts performed. A full 75% of this area is blank. Again, one wonders if someone thought that the omission of the conductor, orchestra and singer's names, the date and location of the recording, the playing time, and the mono/stereo indication would save money. Maybe EMI's project manager prefers the blank/empty trend. There's plenty of space on the label for this essential data and still room left for the "less is more" look. It is quite possible, I suppose, that the label art, the sleeve design and the booklet prep were done by three different people who never compared notes. One thing that's apparent, however, is that the graphics designers did not bother to consult opera fans before deciding on how to do their layouts.
The list of conductors, orchestras and singers featured reads like a who's-who of the opera world! These essentials are what makes this boxed set attractive! Why not trumpet these facts?
The performances are wonderful, the sound ranges from good to terrific. Time does not permit me to give a detailed opinion on any of them, however. They range in date from 1955-2001. There are both mono and stereo recordings. There are both live and studio performances. Alas, printing being the costlier aspect of CD manufacturing these days, there are no libretti. But this is to be expected with an affordable collection of this quality. I would recommend this to the casual opera fan and the Verdi lover (assuming that the original CD's have not already been acquired.)
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value box, 13 May 2013
This review is from: Verdi - The Great Operas (Audio CD)
Not having a lot of Verdi,being more of a Wagner man,I decided to get this box--right content,right price--and am not disappointed.Some terrific performances,although I would quibble at the title...Attilla ,Joan of Arc,and Ernani aren't GREAT in the sense that Verdi would become great as he progressed,but do serve to show the development of his vast talent.Packaging is a bit flimsy for those who care about such matters,and there are no librettos or synopses,but you can get these on the net,anyway.All in all,a very worthwhile purchase.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gates, 16 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Verdi - The Great Operas (Audio CD)
I am a great fan of Verdi, and it is wonderful to have so many of his operas in one box. The recordings are excellent and the box is a pleasure to own. It would also be good for those unfamiliar with his works and want to experience. Great!
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Verdi. The Great Operas, 24 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Verdi - The Great Operas (Audio CD)
For little more than £2 an Opera you get some really great performances. Bit of a no brainer really. Well worth the monhey
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's the replacement policy?, 23 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Verdi - The Great Operas (Audio CD)
This collection is a terrific bargain, but the second disc I played was faulty. How do I get a replacement for one disc out of several dozen?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Verdi - The Great Operas (Audio CD)
perfect
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection, 2 Jan 2014
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Matthew Edwards (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Verdi - The Great Operas (Audio CD)
This is a great box set at a great low piece, but one word of warning: at first I thought I was missing disc 18, but eventually found it hiding in an additional disc 21 slip cover! So don't panic if the same happens to you.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I never realised Verdi wrote so much., 28 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Verdi - The Great Operas (Audio CD)
I found the sheer size of the collection daunting. The individual recordings are excellent but there is so much to listen to. All in all I am pleased with the purchase.
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