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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best on CD, 9 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Bizet: Carmen (Audio CD)
Solti's recording of Carmen leaves all the others standing. There may be better individual singers on other recordings (note the 'may') but no other conductor has such a fine ensemble who relate to each other so well. His careful choices from the various editions serve to create a believable whole in a work which has NO definitive edition. Bizet had unacceptable cuts forced upon him for the premiere and he died soon after leaving his masterpiece to the hands of vandals. We can never know what he really intended but Solti seem to me to have come vey close - his decisions make musical sense e.g. the longer finale to Act 2 restores balance to what has always sounded short-changed before, likewise the slightly longer postlude to 'A deux quartos' in Act 4. In case you think that all he does is make Carmen longer, he uses the shorter version of the fate motive after the Habanera and justifies it in his essay. The almost imperceptible rallentando in the brass just before the final chorus in the Toreador's March of Act 4 is musical genius. Other recordings of Carmen seem locked in their time frames but this one is for the ages. Buy it now!
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Location: Stotfold, Bedfordshire, U.K.

Top Reviewer Ranking: 481,591