Verdi: Don Carlo (Home of Opera) Box set
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Verdi’s most ambitiously conceived opera demands six magnificent singers. It finds them in this recording, led by Plácido Domingo in the title role, while Carlo Maria Giulini draws out the work’s profound emotion, humanity and high drama.
Top Customer Reviews
There are good arguments for all of them - Carreras and Baltsa in the Karajan studio, Siepi in the Karajan live, Valentini and the two basses (in best shape and roles) in the Abbado studio, Nesterenko and Price in the Abbado live, Solti in the Solti. (The Solti goes away because of the singers, especially Fischer-Dieskau being plain wrong.)
But fate made me end up with the Giulini. Here I have a Domingo in one of his best roles, a Milnes that is ideal (next to Bastianini) as Posa, a Caballe that has one of the most beautiful voices ever, a Verrett that is full of blood. (Actually it's completely amazing to hear Domingo and Milnes together, even their perfectly balanced vibrati are syncronized!)
And some great orchestra playing from the Covent Garden orchestra. And I get Giulini. OK, his tempi are really slow, but the drama he creates! Not a dull moment during five acts.
Some people like their opera to be first and foremost a matter of the "bella voce" and dramatic tension as an optional bolt-on extra. I usually belong primarily to the first camp as for me quality of voice is paramount but especially in the case of this opera I need a concomitant sense of theatre to be communicated.
There is no doubt that we hear two absolutely stunning voices in their prime in the lead roles but it is equally clear to me that Giulini's staid tempi and concern for the long line to a degree eviscerates the personal and public drama inherent in this masterpiece. I don't think Domingo has ever sung more mellifluously but I don't feel Don Carlo's hysterical pain in the way that Björling, Carreras or Corelli convince me of our weedy hero's torment. Similarly, Caballé is placid and matronly as she spins those fabulous pianissimi tones. The first singer to bring his character to life is Sherrill Milnes in his prime; Raimondi is a skilful bass who somehow frequently convinced us that his light basso cantante was the real thing in Verdi - but it never really was; you have only to listen to Pinza, Christoff or Ghiaurov to confirm this. I enjoy Shirley Verrett's big, forthright Eboli but she is hampered by Giulini's stodgy pacing in her bolero; she is stupendously desperate in the "O don fatale" with a great Top B and good legato - one of the few singers able to encompass the demands of both arias.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I received this CD box from Amazon in due time. As I have been traveling a lot since I received the box, I could only listen to the CD more than 6 weeks after I received it. Read morePublished on 18 Jun. 2014 by ron kupers
I chose this recording due to the singers, primarely Milnes and Domingo... I wasn't disappointed.. absolutely wonderful singing and the orchestra/choir leaves me in tears.... Read morePublished on 18 Oct. 2013 by Ewa Ivarsson
Spot on. Everything comes together beautifully. You can hear the magic happening between voice and music - forget about who is who and what is what, interpretations, et al and... Read morePublished on 14 July 2013 by t