Customer Review

73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Madama Butterfly of Rare Beauty, 6 Aug 2010
This review is from: Puccini: Madama Butterfly (Audio CD)
Antonio Pappano's recording of Madama Butterfly is likely to be considered as legendary as, for example, Victor de Sábata's Tosca with Callas-di Stefano-Gobbi or Sir Thomas Beecham's Bohème with De los Angeles-Björling-Merrill. It is a formidable performance, full of dynamics, vitality and heartbreaking despair, much due to the magnificent singing of Angela Gheorghiu in the principal part, the most vulnerable and disconsolate heroine in the whole opera repertoire. She is tender, with subtle distinctions, and voluminously awe-inspiring in her desperation. Her "Un bel di vedremo" is incomparable and will, I suppose, go on to be so. In all, this is a role creation of a kind that makes even superlatives turn pale.
She is well assisted by Jonas Kaufmann, who makes a maximum of the ungrateful anti-hero role of Pinkerton, his tenor being the most versatile and expressive one among young tenors to-day. Enkelejda Shkosa and Fabio Capitanucci complement the leading couple excellently as Suzuki and Sharpless, the latter a classical Italian baritone of Gobbi-like stature. All the lesser parts are well filled, and Santa Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra seem to glow with particular ardour and elevate themselves to a maximum level under the inspiring guidance of Pappano.
Puccini mostly had an exceptional capacity for pushing the melodious web into an absorbing climax in the end of the acts, and Pappano and his singers triumph in these peaks. The fiery love duet in the end of Act I is rapturous, as is the bitter end of Act II, breathtakingly tragic, with that thrill of horror that is true to the dramatic meaning of a real tragedy.
Highly recommended, of course! This is a trustworthy winner and an everlasting joy, not to be neglected by any opera lover.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Oct 2011 19:54:02 BDT
Marvin says:
Hi, thanks for the review! May I ask what's your opinion on the sound quality of this CD? I particularly like the "Humming Chorus" but I tried lots and lots of versions, the background noise (hiss sound) is very annoying (really bad for a quiet song!), is this one digitally remastered? thanks a lot :)
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