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Verdi: Don Carlo Box set

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

Price: £17.99
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Product details

  • Performer: José Carreras, Mirella Freni, Agnes Baltsa, Piero Cappuccilli
  • Orchestra: Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
  • Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
  • Audio CD (14 Mar. 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B000002SDX
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,318 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Carlo il sommo Imperatore (Coro/Un frate)
  2. Io l'ho perduta! (Carlo)
  3. Il duolo della terra (Un frate/Carlo)
  4. E lui! desso! L'infante! (Rodrigo/Carlo)
  5. Ascolta! Le porte dell'asil s'apron già (Rodrigo/Carlo)
  6. Dio, che nell'alma infondere amor...(Carlo/Rodrigo/Coro/Un frate)
  7. Sotto ai folti, immensi abeti (Coro di Dame/Tebaldo)
  8. Tra queste mura pie la Regina (Eboli/Coro di Dame)
  9. Nei giardin del bello..(Eboli/Tebaldo/Coro di Dame)
  10. La Regina! (Coro di Dame/Eboli/Elisabetta/Tebaldo/Rodrigo)
  11. Che mai si fa nel suol francese (Eboli/Rodrigo/Elisabetta)
  12. Carlo ch'è sol il nostro amore (Eboli/Rodrigo/Elisabetta)
  13. Io vengo a domandar (Carlo/Elisabetta)
  14. Il Re!..Perchè sola è la Regina? (Tebaldo/Filippo/Coro)
  15. Non pianger, mia compagna (Elisabetta/Rodrigo/Coro/Filippo)
  16. Restate! Presso alla mia persona (Filippo/Rodrigo)
  17. O Signor, di Fiandra arrivo (Rodrigo/Filippo)
  18. Quest'è la pace che voi date al mondo? (Rodrigo/Filippo)
  19. Osò lo sguardo tuo penetra il mio soglio (Filippo/Rodrigo)

Disc: 2

  1. A mezzanotte, ai giardin della Regina (Carlo/Eboli/Rodrigo)
  2. Ed io, che tremava al suo aspetto! (Carlo/Eboli/Rodrigo)
  3. Spuntato ecco il dì d'esultanza (Coro)
  4. Corteo reale - Spuntato ecco il dì d'esultanza (Coro)
  5. Or la porta s'apra del tempio! (Un araldo reale/Coro)
  6. Nel posar sul mio capo la corona (Filippo/Coro/Elisabetta/Rodrigo/Carlo/Tebaldo)
  7. Sire! egli è tempo ch'io viva! (Carlo/Filippo/Elisabetta/Rodrigo)
  8. O ciel! Tu! Rodrigo! (Carlo/Coro/Eboli/Filippo/Un voce dal cielo)
  9. Ella giammai m'amò (Filippo)
  10. Il Grand'Inquisitor! (Il Conte di Lerma/L'Inquisitore/Filippo)
  11. Giustizia, giustizia, Sire! (Elisabetta/Filippo)
  12. Ardita troppo voi favellate! (Filippo/Elisabetta/Eboli/Rodrigo)
  13. Ah! si maledetto. sospetto fatale (Filippo/Eboli/Rodrigo/Elisabetta)
  14. Pietà! Pietà! pardon! (Eboli/Elisabetta)
  15. O don fatale, o don crudel (Eboli)

Disc: 3

  1. Son io, mio Carlo (Rodrigo/Carlo)
  2. Per me giunto è il dì supremo (Rodrigo)
  3. Io morrò ma lieto in core (Rodrigo/Carlo)
  4. Mio Carlo, a te la spada io rendo (Filippo/Carlo/Coro/Il Conte di Lerma/Eboli/L'Inquisitore)
  5. Tu che le vanità (Elisabetta)
  6. E dessa!... Un detto, un sol (Carlo/Elisabetta)
  7. Ma lassù ci vedremo (Elisabetta/Carlo/Filippo/L'Inquisitore/Un frate/Coro)

Product Description

Verdi: Don Carlo / Karajan, Carreras, Freni, Ghiaurov, Et Al . Release Date: 10/25/1994 Label: Emi Classics . Catalog #: 69304 . Spars Code: ADD . Composer: Giuseppe Verdi . Performer: José Carreras, Mirella Freni, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Agnes Baltsa, ... Conductor: Herbert von Karajan . Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus . Number of Discs: 3 . Recorded in: Stereo . Length: 3 Hours 2 Mins. Works on This Recording: 1. Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi Performer: José Carreras (Tenor), Mirella Freni (Soprano), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass), Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano), Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone), Ruggero Raimondi (Bass), Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Horst Nitsche (Tenor), Manfred Röhrl (Bass), Roberto Banuelas (Bass), Barbara Hendricks (Soprano), Klaus Lang (Bass), Ivan Sardi (Bass), Josef Becker (Bass), Walton Grönroos (Bass), José Van Dam (Bass), Carlo Meletti (Baritone) Conductor: Herbert von Karajan Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus Period: Romantic Written: 1867/1886 Date of Recording: 09/1978 Venue: Philharmonie, Berlin, West Germany Length: 181 Minutes 38 Secs. Language: Italian Notes: Composition written: Paris, France (03/11/1867). Composition revised: Naples, Italy (1872). Composition revised: La Scala Opera House, Milan, Italy (01/10/1884).

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 4 Jan. 2004
Format: Audio CD
This recording magnificently captures the sense of drama within Don Carlo (even although it is not the full 5 act version - unfortunately!) and documents some of the most magnificent singing of this work. von Karajan has the Berliner Philharmoniker under a tight rein and inspires them to pour out a magnificent and luxurious carpet of sound and bring this performance alive. All of the singers are unequalled in their roles and each leave their own unique stamp. Carreras, full of fervor and impetuousness as the ardent, young Don Carlo, sings in a fresh, unstrangled voice with a clean tone while Mirella Freni, tackling one of the heavier roles that many doubted she could successfully portray, uses her incomparable italianate voice veiled with the right amount of morbidezza to convey Elisabetta's anguish and torment over her forbidden love. However, the real scene stealer is Agnes Baltsa's high voltage portrayal of the scheming, jealous Eboli. Baltsa, at the outset of international stardom, sails through technical demands of her role with unrivalled virtuosity and turns out a viscerally exciting "O don fatale" using her dark-veiled voice most effectively. Piero Cappuccilli and Ruggero Raimondi are no less remarkable in their characters. Cappuccilli is completely overwhelming as Rodrigo and we can almost feel the tension during his duet with Filippo II while Raimondi's dark-hued King is one of the most noble on disc. There are also some interesting names in the cast - Edita Gruberova, Barbara Hendricks and Jose van Dam all appear (early on in their careers) in the smaller parts. All in all, this is a fantastic recording and should be a strong first choice for those who are looking for a 'performance' of Verdi's masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD
It is true, and most reviewers concur, that the balance between voices and orchestra is queer in this recording, just as the wide gap between pianissimi and fortissimi is strange. And it would be easy to ascribe this to Karajan's megalomania, or eccentricity. One must remember, however, that this is a consistent problem only in his 1970s/1980s recordings with EMI. Richard Osborne, the author of what is probably Karajan's definitive biography, acknowledges this same problem and points a finger towards the EMI team, saying that when it came to Karajan and his Berliner philharmoniker, they somehow never got it right, both in opera and in the symphonic repertoire. If one compares these EMI performances with his recordings for DECCA and Deutsche Grammophon from the same period, one may begin to suspect that Karajan was not the only one to blame. Perhaps there is only so much he could do with this team....

Still, this recording is not as bad as all that. I find that on a good stereo system (not on headphones!), with the volume cranked up so that the pianissimi are audible, the only problem is that when the fortissimi arrive, they really blast; but, neighbors permitting, that is not such a bad thing: there is much pleasure to be had from the Berliners in their full glory. But admittedly, the quirky sound is a bit excessive.

When I saw this production in Salzburg in 1975, the year it was premiered, Domingo sang Don Carlos. Though I wish I could find a live rendition of that particular performance for the sake of nostalgia, I cannot deny that Carreras is probably better: more expressive, more youthful-sounding, more sweetly lyrical. The other members of the cast are truly excellent, and little comment is necessary. I will comment on Cappuccilli, who is really phenomenal as Rodrigo.
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Format: Audio CD
I prefer the 5-act version, but I'm certainly not averse to hearing a good account of the 4-act version, like this one here, and I am not one of those for whom Karajan is anathema -- he's a great conductor, many of whose opera and symphonic recordings are among my favorites. And he's not totally responsible for my disappointment with this set, but he is far too slow -- just to give one example, in the Act 1 Carlo-Elisabetta duet ("Io venga a domandar grazia") he is one-and-a-half minutes slower than Solti, and both Solti and Giulini give that duet an impetus and dramatic flow that is appropriately expressive. But the larger problems with the set concern the sound engineering. The dynamic range is very wide, and at my usual volume settings (with headphones), the choruses can hardly be heard at times. One understands this to an extent with the monks, offstage, at San-Juste, but the women in the garden prior to the Veil Song? They are just hardly in the picture, and when Baltsa enters to sing the song, she's in pretty good position, sonically. OK, you might say -- just turn up the volume. But if I do that, the orchestra is far too loud, and so are the solo voices at some (but not all) places. In other words, there isn't a stable sonic environment, and one suspects that Karajan, or Glotz, his producer, is twiddling knobs somewhere. It's always a turn-off for me when, in a studio recording, the soloists aren't consistently placed in the aural spectrum.

And that's a shame, because the soloists are usually pretty good here. Carreras, in his lovely late-1970's form, is alive to the text and only occasionally pushing his voice beyond its natural limits. Freni is a bit tamer, and seems cautious at some big moments, but she doesn't make ugly sounds.
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