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on 22 March 2017
These reviews are for a different production and cast. Poor editing indeed.
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on 20 December 2017
Very good
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on 20 October 2017
Good
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on 28 May 2015
Very good - superb recording
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on 27 April 2017
The star is for Amazon, not the Ponto set they are purporting to offer, which enshrines a Covent Garden performance from, I think 1981. NONE of the reviews Amazon's algorhythms have assembled for it relate to this performance. The new price I wouldn't pay, though I heard the original broadcast. Scotto I remember as an excellent Lady Macbeth, particularly in her early scenes, and Bruson was still in the process of confirming his still fairly recent and admired debut at the house. Muti conducted well and the sound was good. The used price is reasonable, if you can't stand mp3. This standard of marketing is no help to anyone, though.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 9 July 2009
Despite many critical recommendations, this set has always been somewhat overshadowed by the Abbado recording with Cappuccilli, Verrett, Ghiaurov and Domingo. Both versions feature equally starry casts and conductors, and both convey more than adequately the inspiration of this most faithful of Verdi's Shakespearian adaptations, although this one occasionally seems to place more emphasis on smooth vocalisation than drama. Muti directs briskly, as is his wont in Verdi and both orchestral playing and choral singing is exemplary. Milnes sings beautifully, enunciating the text with passion and clarity, without quite capturing the angst found in Cappuccilli's characterisation, and Raimondi sings a smooth, sonorous Banco. In the relatively small role of Macduff, Carreras really shines, producing one of his most eloquent and arresting performances on disc; better than any other Macduff including Domingo and Bergonzi - both of whom are also terrific. As much as I admire Cossotto, she cannot erase memories of Callas' inimitable depth and power as the Lady; Callas etches certain phrases indelibly on the mind and Cossotto's version can seem perfunctory - not to mention a little squeezed at the top of the voice. Verrett for Abbado inhabits her role more vehemently, as does Rysanek for Leinsdorf in the excellent old RCA recording, which also features the superb Leonard Warren, Jerome Hines and the aforementioned Bergonzi. In truth I cannot really separate these three great recordings, although I still think that the Abbado has the edge. If you want Verdi's original thoughts, choose the Opera Rara version with Rita Hunter and Peter Glossop (see my review), which uses the earlier edition, featuring those arias originally contained the appendix of this Muti recording but which were lopped to allow it to fit on only two discs. This opera has been fortunate on record and any of those recordings will reveal the raw, compact power of Verdi's music - but it remains one of the great should-have-beens of recording that we must content ourselves with Callas' incomparable extracts in recital with Rescigno conducting and the ropey live recording with its scratchy sound, rather than the studio account she coud have given us.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 22 July 2009
This is a hard recording to find these days; I got mine via OperaLovers in Quebec but it keeps re-appearing in various guises from time to time, mainly because, despite pretty indifferent sound quality, the performance is so stupendous. Gencer is a marvel of both nuance and excitement and Taddei presents Macbeth as a real human being, full of fear and weakness and very much dominated by his demonic wife. He uses word-painting in a manner which rivals his great Italian contemporary, Tito Gobbi. Gencer displays incredible agility and power; it wasn't so much a large, as an incisive, voice and she also colours it so variedly. Gui's direction is masterly of pace and the supporting cast is excellent. Stereo/studio sound it ain't, but the intensity of this performance is such that you soon forget the sonic limitations. I swear, too, that ocasionally you can hear a dog barking in the background - but that's probably motor noise and at least that shows that the 1960 tape picked up some good background detail! Don't buy this if you require studio sound; go to the famous Abbado or Leinsdorf sets. But if you want to hear a supreme - and neglected - dramatic soprano at her best in a great blood and fire performance of one of Verdi's most thrilling and approachable operas, go for Gencer in this live recording.
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on 22 February 2004
This is the world premiere recording of the original version of this opera, a BBC Radio studio broadcast from 1979. The cast is led by Peter Glossop & Rita Hunter, both excellent. The recording is very good, with first-rate chorus and orchestra. Highly recommended.
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on 14 July 2015
Ok
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on 27 June 2013
This is a great recording of Macbeth. Cossotto is overwhelming and Milnes drives through this role like no one else. Raimondi and Carreras fill their roles beautifully - it's all you need to know. If you are a geek, like me, then you'd have this, the Abbado recording with Cappuccilli and the Gardelli Decca with Fischer-Dieskau & Suliotis - but if you only want one, then this is it... or the Abbado, or the Gardelli.... you get the idea...
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