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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Verdi: Aida (DECCA The Originals)
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£15.40+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 27 May 2009
I know, there are so many recordings out there. I own many myself and I just happened to buy this one very recently as (I must confess) I used not to be a Tebaldi fan. Well, one must be objective: this Aida is first choice. Karajan's conducting is marvelous as one would expect and the singing is something legendary, like you wouldn't get anywhere nowadays. I am aware that there other Aidas (Leontyne Price is the first to come to my mind for the ravishing beauty of her voice in both of her recordings) but a few others can deliver lines like Tebaldi. Bergonzi is quite possibly the most moving voice of that generation but he also excels in more heroic roles like Radamès. Simionato is a real princess, perhaps lacking Barbieri's aggressiveness and the intensity of Gorr's but she sings with impeccable style. McNeil is probably the best Amonasro on record (hear his 'straziato' in the 3rd Act).
If you don't know this wonderful opera but you wish to have a recording of it, look no further.
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on 18 June 2010
Delivery several days before I expected. Goods well packed and in perfect condition.
Renata Tebaldi must be the greatest Aida ever and with all the major characters, orchestra and
conductor on top form, this must surely be the finest recording of this great opera ever.
So, service as usual from Amazon.
Eric Hulme.
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on 31 December 2016
Karajan recorded Aida twice with the same orchestra. Both recordings are very fine but this recording from a vintage Decca period (September 1959) is by far the better of his two and nearly 60 years after the last notes were recorded it still shines gloriously. By the time Karajan recorded it again he had become very self-indulgent and whilst the EMI late 1970s has many qualities it does not outdo his first (1959) recording.

In Tebaldi and Bergonzi are quite simply the finest Aida and Radames on record both at the height of their artistic powers and bring a performance that is simply breath taking. The other soloists are also absolutely on the top of their game - even McNeil who other reviewers have reservations about is, to my ears, on good form. (Allegedly Karajan called him an American Cowboy at the recording sessions)

Karajan was generally a good opera conductor (second only probably to Solti) and had a great ability to "go with the voice". In this Decca recording he was totally on fire and inspired in produced a performance that still outshines many rivals today. Just listen to the end of the Triumphal scene and the great big surge of emotion that Karajan elicits from soloists, chorus and orchestra as the final reprise of the main theme returns. It makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck!! He does not equal that in his EMI recording. I have borrowed Karajan's later recording from the local library and whilst as I have already stated it is good it is just not on the same level as his first recording. The sense of adrenalin and tension in just not there. Mention should also be made of the VPO in both recordings who you cannot fault in either but the sound Karajan got from the VPO in 1959 was very special indeed.

Finally as well the as the performance which is unbeatable the quality of the Decca sound should be given a mention. I have had this CD is set for nearly 30 years - it was one of the first opera sets on CD I bought. I had to repurchase the CDs as disk 2 on my 30 year old set was causing problems and kept sticking. Since I first purchased it has been remastered and put on 2 CDs. The remastering is a total triumph! The sound on the original release was ok but it did show its age from time to time, but this new remastered set is a revelation. The quality of the sound is 100% better. No longer does it show its age in places. The first time I heard the remastered version I just thought it was a miracle. There is more depth and perspective, no tape hiss at all, it is a warm, rich enveloping sound which just the icing on the cake of a magnificent recording. 20 years later EMI could not outdo their Decca rivals for sound and by comparison the EMI recording sounds a little restricted.

You should have no hesitation - this Decca recording is the Aida of choice.
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on 15 March 2017
This is all about selling a Supersonic John Culshaw Production, and has absolutely nothing to do with actual music making whatsoever. This is a Sonic Aida and all about noise-reproduction not music-making: the first thing the critics go on about is the recording since there is nothing worthy to mention regarding either the singing or the conducting. Furthermore, Karajan conducts Verdi like Wagner and everything is far too heavy and too mannered and too laboured. The Vienna Philharmonic simply cannot play Verdi and have absolutely no rapport with the score. If you want to hear how Aida should be conducted, go for Toscanini; or for vocalists in Aida, then go for the Callas, del Monaco, Dominguez (Mexico City, 1951). This over-hyped Karajan-Culshaw supersonic-production is an ugly experience upon the ears emanating a sort of empty-loud fascistic-frisson.

But the only good thing about this 'recording' is that the orchestra is placed far forward in relation to the singers giving them prominence over the vocalists (which always infuriates those opera queens who can't hear their divas above the orchestra and who inanely fetsihise the voice over the orchestra always applauding over the orchestra which they wrongly consider as mere accompaniment, mere background music).
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on 9 August 2014
Every aspect about this recording is good. It has a fine interpretation by the orchestra and the choir and soloists are very good. The most crucial aspect about this set is Carlo Bergonzi's Radamés. He had a remarkable voice and was one of the greatest Verdi tenors of the past.
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on 17 February 2016
remains the best performance on disc ever - three magnificant soloists - great sound, well balanced - pure joy.
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on 23 February 2010
This is the 1959 Decca recording of Aida, with Tebaldi, Bergonzi and Simionato with Von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic. I had the vinyl LP set which got lost in a house move so imagine my delight when I came across this CD version. The sounds faithfully replicate the original LP, with the carefully crafted recording led by John Culshaw.
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on 13 May 2015
Delivered as expected, recording quality and performance fantastic.
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on 20 April 2014
anyone who has heard this will understand when I say it is the best recording of this opera ever made
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on 10 November 2014
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