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Puccini: Tosca Import

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: RCA Victor Gold Seal
  • ASIN: B000026H6R
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 796,215 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Performer(s): Price, Domingo, Milnes, Grant, Egerton, Gibbs, Rippon, Plishka, Pearl, New Philharmonia O/Mehta.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A 1973 studio recording with Leontyne Price in the title role, Placido Domingo as Cavaradossi and Sherrill Milnes as Scarpia, with the New Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta. Price is a much loved and highly respected soprano, indeed she turns in a good performance here. She has a strong beautiful voice though it's more of a Verdi soprano and her fluttery tones may not appeal to some. Domingo is superb, his golden voice and ardent characterisation a joy to hear. Milnes sounds virile and menacing but a bit dry and not really memorable (in my opinion). It's a good orchestral performance which Mehta conducts with energy. Speeds are sometimes brisk but never rushed, Mehta has a natural feel for the ebb and flow of Puccini's music, overall a dramatic, passionate account. Acts 2 and 3 are better than Act 1 which seems a bit matter of fact at times, and there is a slight lack of beauty in the phrases before Recondita armonia. One good touch is the casting of a treble as the shepherd boy, the usual soprano in most studio recordings doesn't sound right.

For the purpose of review brief comparisons were made with Leontyne Price and Placido Domingo singing the roles live on New York Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. Price flutters more beautifully in her 1962 performance (with Franco Corelli and Cornell MacNeil, Sony). Domingo is really superb in 1969 (with Birgit Nilsson and William Dooley) one of my favourite Tosca recordings.

Sound quality is very good for a studio recording (in Walthamstow Town Hall) of this era, just a very slight trace of overload crackle which may or may not be my speakers. Tidy CD layout with Acts 2 and 3 on the second disc. Libretto and translation included.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
This album has something very confusing about it... the times for all the tracks in act tow appear to differ from the copy of this album everywhere else; itunes, play.com, spotify etc. However the tracks don't appear to have anything wrong with them, they continue to play up to the end of the track, but what appears to happen is the name of the following track is wrong and does not match up to what is playing. This is very confusing and I would really like it if someone would tell me what's going on.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite "Tosca" 28 April 2002
By Joseph Triebwasser - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
At the risk of being heretical, I'll go out on a limb and state that this is my favorite version of "Tosca" on disc. There. I've said it.
The critical consensus, of course, is that the Callas-de Sabata version is not only the greatest "Tosca" ever recorded, but one of the greatest recordings of any opera, ever. As excellent as Callas-de Sabata is, though, and as superior that recording's di Stefano of 1953 is to the somewhat strained di Stefano of ten years later heard on Price-Karajan, for me Price is the most accomplished Floria Tosca from a vocal standpoint (by a long shot!) and temperamentally, the part fits her like a glove. Karajan's pacing of the score, and the many felicitous details he conjures from the Vienna Philharmonic, are in a class by themselves; certainly his mannered, eccentric later recording on DG affords far less pleasure. Taddei - and here I'm committing yet another heresy, I'm afraid - strikes me as a far subtler, and therefore more frightening, Scarpia than the legendary Tito Gobbi, and his voice is fresher, to boot. But first, last and always one must return, in discussing this recording, to Leontyne Price. The sheer beauty of her voice, the awesome technique that keeps her both on pitch and in perfect control of dynamics from soft to loud - with none of Callas' lapses into shrieking - and the incomparable way she has of wrapping her voice around a surging Puccini melody, make this a performance for the ages, and an ideal way for a newcomer to this opera (or to opera in general) to acquaint onesself with Puccini's genius.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Callas and the rest 21 July 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Leontyne Price, America's great prima donna is my favorite Tosca, hands down over the Callas 1953 Tosca. Although poor Di Stefano is much better in the Callas Tosca. But Tosca is about Tosca. And I say Price has no equals.
It's the voice and drama that makes a great Tosca. Price has both, Callas has only the drama. Listen to Price's "Vissi D'arte" sung as a prayer with Von Karajan's mighty conducting backing it up. Now how can you compare to that? She soars over the huge orchestra with her fluttering high notes so secure and effortless
while Callas has a pushed kind of tone when she reaches for her top notes. Don't get me wrong, I love Callas. It's just that I think she's starting to get overrated as Tosca just as Price is underrated.
The entire second act will have you glue to your seat. Price does what seems the impossible. She sings a beautiful AND ugly Tosca. She is glorious when she needs to be as in "Vissi D'arte" and in her poignant moments with Cavaradossi, and montrous as she should be when she stabs Scarpia repeatedly. Now that's the way Tosca should be sung - as a woman in love - and what she's capable of doing for that love; Not as a raving maniac as Callas portrays her.
I think Price epitomizes Tosca. Her voice is perfect for Puccini and Verdi. She is America's prima donna and we should be proud of her.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Near-Perfect Gem 25 Dec. 1999
By Trent Clegg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As one reviewer has pointed out, this is THE stereo Tosca to own. Taken as a whole, meaning the singing, conducting, orchestral playing, and recording production, this Tosca is a near perfect gem. Recorded in 1962, these sessions caught Leontyne Price in glorious voice and top form. It's no wonder that she considered von Karajan a mentor, for not only is the singing beautiful, but her vocal acting in many ways approaches Callas' 1953 recording. When compared to the work she did with Leinsdorf (Ballo, Butterfly, her second Aida etc.) it's obvious that Price needed a conductor like von Karajan or Solti to bring out her better dramatic instincts. Throughout this recording, Price puts in little touches such as the amusement of Tosca's reassurance in Act III to Cavaradossi's question of proper stage-falling technique with the word "Cosi." When Price recorded Tosca again ten years later with Mehta, she leans a little too far to melodrama, missing the finer details that can make Tosca such a believable and gripping experience. Vocally speaking, Price is partnered excellently by Taddei in the role of Scarpia and more than adequately by di Stefano as Cavaradossi. Taddei is a less subtle actor than Gobbi in the '53 Callas recording, but di Stefano has actually improved his acting when compared to his earlier effort. True, his voice by then was definitely showing signs of wear (hence my judging this recording a NEAR-perfect gem), but again von Karajan proves his dramatic sense by pulling a believable character out of a singer who didn't consider acting that important. Finally, the recorded sound is spectacular. John Culshaw worked wonders in the Sofiensaal, creating a sound picture so vivid, you don't even have to close your eyes to see it. As a Decca Double, this recording is unbeatable value, a necessity for any collector, and an absolute must for anyone who's serious about Italian opera in general and Tosca in particular.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Price Really Is The Best Recorded Tosca to Date 12 Sept. 2003
By Stephen Craine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have to agree with the majority of reviewers who rate Leontyne Price as being one of the greatest interpreters in the role of Tosca to date. While I would agree that Callas is often voted the "best in" category, I would agree that Price's overall performance -- her ability to successfully project many different emotions within the same scene, to sing both beautifully and menicingly in seamless fashion, etc. -- are superior to the often overacted and at times coarse Callas performance. And I would disagree with one reviewer's characterization of Tosca as a "***th" -- she is no such thing! She is a woman both passionately in love and at the same time insanely jealous of her painter lover -- but she is not a "***th. And Price manages to convey the complete dicotomy of this character perfectly. I would agree that de Stefano is not in his best voice here, though certainly he is more than adequate. Von Karajan's conducting here is passionate and sweaping, not overly hurried as he sometimes is, grabbing the listerer's attention and keeping it throughout. I have the London/Decca CD re-release of this recording (not the current Polygram as shown) so there may be some deterioration in the latest transfer, though I have not heard any static or shrillness as spoken of by another reviewer. All in all, this is the recording of Tosca I always recommend to anyone who wants to become familiar with Tosca or Puccini or opera itself. It is a performance not to be missed.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Tosca! 21 Oct. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Yes, L.Price is among the best Toscas. She has given us a Tosca whose main aspect is vanity, this is why I like this edition a lot. I regard Price more as a Verdi soprano but here she shows that as Tosca she can be exquisite. She has powerful high notes and nice lower ones. I must mention though that her Tosca cannot be compared with Renata Tebaldi's. TEBALDI is the perfect, the grand Tosca that Puccini had in mind. The only, perhaps, main drawback of Price's Floria is her Mario. Di Stefano is not in his prime, sounds a bit tired to me (he was better with Callas but his Floria was the ugly one back then). On the whole, a Tosca that, if you don't want Tebaldi's edition, is certainly worth buying.
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