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Verdi;La Forza Del Destino Box set

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B000026H6L
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 431,060 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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By A Customer on 5 April 2006
Format: Audio CD
Verdi's "La Forza del Destino" is one of the most difficult of his operas to cast properly. The musical demands are quite formidable,and require a command of vocalism and technique that only the greatest singers can offer. It further requires the leadership of an immaginative conductor to bring cohesion and eloquence to Verdi's somewhat sprawling score. This recording of "La Forza del Destino" towers over the others in best meeting the aforementioned 'criteria'. Maestro James Levine demonstrates his mastery of the score throughout, creating intimacy in the more personal passages of the opera (no more so than in the moving Convent Scene), contrasted with the bustling energy of scenes in the countryside and battlefield. His conducting has the "sweep" and verve so neccessary to illuminating and energizing the overall(Russian-influenced?)gloom of this often turbulent score. Spanish tenor PLACIDO DOMINGO is simply the finest "Alvaro" of his generation. The dark richness and power of his beautiful instrument captures the ever- changing and volatile moods of the tragic, star-crossed lover. Mr. Domingo's great musicality abets the drama, making "O tu che in seno" heart-wrenching. Elsewhere, he is ardent with Leonora, and passionate in his duets with Don Carlo. There is no one better. Leonora di Vargas is sung by American LEONTYNE PRICE, the pre-eminent Verdi soprano of the past 30 years. This is one of the diva's most-celebrated roles, and, having recorded it twice, we are the more fortunate for having both to experience and enjoy.
The vibrant and lyrical quality of the Schippers "Forza" (1964) has been replaced with a throbbing, darker, heavier sound in the middle, and a lower voice that's alternately chesty or slightly raspy. Ms.
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Format: Audio CD
I would largely agree with most of what the other reviewer here says of this opera (5 April 2006), but would go further. It's almost impossible to convince an audience of its dramatic viability. For long stretches we lose sight completely of the heroine; the Don Alvaro and Don Carlo swagger sits ill with all the jollity round the camp fire (Trovatore also suffers in this respect); the action takes place over a ridiculous five year span. There are other dramatic weaknesses... But, what can one do in the face of such remorselessly inventive music? Sprawling it certainly is - episodic to a dangerous degree even - but it all works so magnificently, the inspiration unflagging.

What of this performance then? Levine is the star, holding it all together superbly - and he has the dream cast to work with (not forgetting the LSO in wonderful form). Milnes must stand out as the most thrilling of Carlos, his range of expression wide and his voice creamily dolorous. The glorious Leontyne Price is simply magnificent: tender, deeply emotional and smokey-toned - a ravishing performance. Even the comprimario parts are cast to thrilling effect - I mean, Kurt Moll for the 20 minute part of Calatrava in Act One? Luxury indeed. When a performance is this white hot, this intense, then one is almost persuaded that Forza is Verdi's masterpiece. Well, almost.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 23 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars with a good translation, was included as a very handy booklet 3 Mar. 2016
By Stephen J. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One big plus is that the libretto, with a good translation, was included as a very handy booklet. Many recent opera CD's do not include this to save money, which is a real detriment.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars short review 9 July 2014
By jose - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
my third forza & the definitive one, I had the Sinopoli version before & it didn't ring a bell on me, then I got the first Price version; is delightful but this one is the total one, even if I still listen more to the first Price/Tucker one bcos Price is more leggero there & I favor that tone of voice, she's no flake in this one, her voice is more mature & complete, the best counterpart for a brave Domingo.....
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 6 Nov. 2015
By Franc - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Still is and always will be SUPERB !!!!!! cast.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BETTER THAN THE 1964 VERSION 7 Jan. 2007
By Indiana Opera Buff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a total rewrite of my earlier review. I just compared Miss Price's 1964 recording of this opera with the 1977 remake. To my surprise, there really isn't much difference in Price's voice after 13 years. I listened to all her arias back to back twice. I really would never have believed it, if I hadn't heard it myself. Except for the fact that she holds the final "Maledizione" one second longer in the 1964 version of "Pace, pace, mio Dio", you can barely tell a difference. In addition, the CD version of the 1964 recording has an unpleasant digital "edge" that mars the sound, especially in Price's singing. As for the other singers, Domingo and Milnes are so vastly superior to the past-their-prime Tucker/Merrill 1964 counterparts that there really is no comparison.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best recording of La Forza, despite a few flaws 8 Jan. 2007
By The Cultural Observer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
La Forza del Destino, despite the several attempts to immortalize it on disc, has a discography devoid of any perfect recordings. It is an extremely complex work, with several extremely beautiful and exciting moments, and it is also very difficult to conduct and cast. The five principles needed for the opera require a mastery of Verdian singing, especially for the roles of Leonora di Vargas and Don Alvaro. The conductor is also faced with the challenge of setting the proper moods for the different setting that the opera takes place in. If the score is not as sophisticated as Aida, then La Forza is at least one of the most difficult scores to manage through due to the complex atmospheres Verdi requires of the conductor.

On to the recording's cast. I think no other recording of this Verdian masterpiece features such an amazing cast. Placido Domingo sings a definitive Alvaro with the passion and drama needed plus a voice in its most beautiful prime. I would say that after Corelli, he is my choice for Alvaro. Sherrill Milnes sings a Carlo with the venom needed and the vocal acting to make the role a memorable performance. I think that after Carlo Tagliabue, he is the ideal Don Carlo. Preziosilla is taken by the very charismatic and iron-lunged Fiorenza Cossotto. A truly memorable performance. Bonaldo Giaiotti isn't as ideal as Cesare Siepi in the role of Padre Guardiano, but his voice has all the gravitas needed and he sings the role quite well. Kurt Moll is luxurious casting in the small role of the Marchese di Calatrava, and Melitone is endearingly sung by Gabriel Bacquier. This brings us to the somewhat small weakness of the set--Leontyne Price's Leonora. Her high notes are radiant, the artistry is simply ravishing, and her sense of drama as the doomed Leonora is impeccable. However, her nonexistent lower register is problematic, especially in a role which often brings the voice down to those notes. Her diction is somewhat problematic too in this recording, with several of her vowels becoming "American". That aside, she is one of the most compelling Leonoras on disc, second only to Maria Callas as the doomed Vargas. I think the other Leonora of my choice would be Renata Tebaldi.

Levine conducts an energetic, exciting, and true-to-the-score rendition of Verdi's score. If there ever were an ideal conductor for this opera, it would be Levine at this stage of his career. He sweeps through the score with the necessary passion and gravitas which make this opera such a favorite among Verdians.
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