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Verdi: Simon Boccanegra (DG The Originals) Original recording reissued

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Performer: Mirella Freni, Piero Cappuccilli, José Carreras, Nicolai Ghiaurov, José van Dam, et al.
  • Orchestra: Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
  • Audio CD (10 Feb. 1997)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GXJ
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,698 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

ABBADO CLAUDIO / TEATRO ALLA S

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Simon Boccanegra is probably my favourite Verdi opera, aside from the incomparable Falstaff. The plot is convoluted, as usual, but it has many more serious overtones than Verdi's other librettos. No other great opera composer attempted to put a statesman on stage as an opera's principal character (unless you count Tito in Mozart's 'La Clemenza'), and Verdi succeeded brilliantly. The music is among the most beautiful and finely crafted that Verdi ever wrote, perhaps a little more subdued than usual. But what it lacks in overt passion it gains in intensity. Another reason for this work's greatness is the fact that Verdi revised the piece after he had become acquainted with Boito (librettist of Otello and Falstaff) and thus reworked parts of the score before embarking on Otello, notably the great Act Two finale, which clearly foreshadows elements of Otello in both its musical language, intensity and drama. Listen out for the wonderfully dramatic, almost Shakespearian, use of the chorus in this scene and throughout the work. The ending of the work is particularly moving, with great solemn chords in the orchestra funereally sounding out under a tolling bell, evoking the steady swell of the Mediterranean at night. Quite outstanding.
Undoubtedly it's a great work, and this recording is one of the best Verdi performances available. Freni conveys both beauty and passion through her dedicated reading. But then all the singers are wonderful, especially Ghiaurov and Carreras (in superlative form) but one singer holds the whole vocal performance together: Cappuccilli, perhaps the most impressive Simon on record since Tito Gobi. Abbado, predictably, conducts a wonderful studio performance recorded shortly after a successful stage production.
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By A Customer on 2 Jan. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Simon Boccanagra is one of the less well-known of Verdi's mature works. It was first premiered in 1857 when it was a failure, but was heavily revised in 1881. It's remarkable for it's preponderance of low voices - two baritones and two basses in the principal roles, and with only one major part for the female voice. It's an opera set in a man's world of state politics and private intrigue, and it's evident from the amount of trouble Verdi took over it that he was attached to this opera. This performance is propably one of the great Verdi recordings. Piero Cappuccilli in the title role shows remarkable breath-control and nuance, and the other principals is very fine too. The conductor Claudio Abbado gives one of his most dedicated and focused performances - the whole set has a strength of purpose that's higly unusual. Very well recorded and remastered, with libretto in four languages.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There`s no composer of operas who displays such varied and protean genius as Verdi, and Simon Boccanegra is, to my mind, one of his greatest works.
Just about everything comes together on this magnificent 1977 recording conducted by Abbado with the chorus and orchestra of La Scala.
Jose Carreras was then still in gleamingly glorious voice as Gabriele, lover of Maria, sung ever more glowingly by Mirella Freni, in a performance of subtlety and intelligence.
Fiesco benefits from the deep timbre of Nicolai Ghiaurov`s Bulgarian bass voice, while the powerful Belgian bass Jose van Dam imbues Paolo with authority and the requisite alarmed villainy.
Piero Cappucilli was a perfect choice to sing the none too easy title role, with his long-breathed phrasing - the baritone`s breath control was and is legendary - and the sheer force of his vocal stamina.
Anyone who saw the last London staging of this opera, with Domingo as Simon (available on DVD) will surely have been astounded by its painterly splendour, as well as by Verdi`s equally splendid music, and I imagine many newcomers to this rarely performed opera, seeing it live on TV on in the theatre, will have realised its greatness, as well as its power to move and enthral.
It is certainly one of my half-dozen favourite of Verdi`s operas, and I wouldn`t want to be without this tremendous recording.
The two booklets, which include notes, synopsis, full libretto in four languages, along with photos of Abbado and his main cast, are exemplary. The recording is excellent, and Abbado and his singers treat this brooding opera as the masterpiece it most certainly is.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the rare recordings when you can sit back and just enjoy. There is not a single weak point. Everything is ideal - singers, orchestra, conductor, sound quality.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I bought this recording because I was about to see a live satellite viewing at my local cinema of Simon Boccanegra from The Met.

I am no Opera Buff, but listening to this recording a few times, and seeing an opera "live-in-transmission" was an exciting revelation. Listening to the music again makes me realise what I have been missing over the years.

Let's say that I heard Piero Cappuccilli's voice first in this role, and it will be the one that stays with me. Hearing Placido Domingo sing this role live though, did make me hedge my bets somewhat.

A recording, that in my innocence, will remain a strong recommendation.
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