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Verdi: Il trovatore CD

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Aug. 2004)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B0002IJ91G
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,755 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have always considered the Trovatore Leonora to be one of Callas's very greatest roles. Here , less obscured by her undoubted dramatic gifts, we can enjoy the pure musicality of her singing. The timbre is perfect for Leonora - dark, plangent & (apart form at the very top of her register)surpassingly beautiful. The role displays her perfect legato, incredible breath control & accurate coloratura. She also has a wonderful understanding of just how to phrase a Verdian cadenza, quite different from anything she would do in Bellini or Donizetti. You only have to hear her first few phrases to know that this Leonora is an aristocrat. This is where I find Leontyne Price lacking. With undeniably the right sound for the role, she often mars her singing with sketchy coloratura & unmusical cadenzas. Added to Callas, the rest of the cast is just about as perfect as was possible at the time & a good deal better than anything we could manage today. True, Di Stefano lacks the requisite weight, but he sings with such face, it is readily forgiven. Panerai, Barbieri & Zaccaria could hardly be bettered & Karajan was at this time was the perfect conductor for the project. He conducts with great style & dash, while at no time apologising for the occasional vulgarities in the score. More modern recordings are uncut & here we have the cuts traditional at the time, but at least we get one verse of Leonora's cabaletta "tu vedai". The sound has also been remarkably well freshened up in it's present transfer. Unless you really have to have modern stereo digital sound, buy it. And, even if you have another recording, acquire this as well. You won't regret it!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of the all time finest opera performances IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF OPERA. As others have said everything works together perfectly. This is Callas' best interpretation and performance in her entire opera production. Panerai is magnificent as well. Karajan goes beyond his own limits and achieves an eternal living essence in music. This must be part of every opera collection. A desert island recording. The sound remastering is excellent and the overall sound is brilliant and sparkling. A MUST!
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Format: Audio CD
`Great recordings of the century' proclaims the cover of EMIs recording of Verdi's Il Trovatore and they're not far wrong, either. Herbert von Karajan conducts the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano with considerable gusto, Maria Callas gives a magnificent performance (but in fairness, when has she not?) in the role of the doomed Leonora and Giuseppe di Stefano is terrific as the eponymous troubadour, Manrico.

Exceptional value and highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just take a look at the cast, orchestra and conductor.

It's been written somewhere that this opera requires the four greatest singers in the world, and at the time (mid-50s), this cast would have come pretty near it. Herbert von Karajan's conducting suits the music perfectly and the chorus is excellent.

The only drawback in this set is the mono sound, which is fine for its age but not up to the standard of EMI's later stereo recordings. However, this matters less in this opera than others, firstly as the performance is so good, and secondly, as the orchestra is perhaps less important in terms of detail and colour than Verdi's other works. The mono sound is preferable to the old LP issue, which was 'electronically re-processed to simulate stereo' and sounded a bit strange in places.

Verdi's great music makes you forget the ridiculous plot, truly one of the worst in opera. Despite its age, this is still my favourite recording of this work.
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Format: Audio CD
'She sang and acted everyone off the stage' (The Times Critic, Covent Garden 1953)is still valid concerning this opera on disc.
Be prepared if you already have other versions of Il Trovatore in your home collection that the Callas 'Leonora' is going to take over completely simply because we are facing maybe the most magnificent vocal portrait of hers - together with her Butterfly, Tosca, Norma and Lucia.
And, besides Karajan is making a perfect frame to that 'Leonora' termed by Jussi Björling as the 'Leonora perfection': 'I have heard it sung often but never was there a better one'
Callas is uncovering simply all the notes and potentials in Verdi's music handling over to us a 'Leonora' - quite as her 'Butterfly' - once heard not to be forgotten.
Enjoy yourself!
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