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Opera - Released January 1, 1972 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
This is a Barbiere "di qualità, di qualità": in fact, of very great quality indeed, from Deutsche Grammophon. Recorded in London in the summer of 1971, it is one of the first meetings of Claudio Abbado and the London Symphony Orchestra. It is also the first of Alberto Zedda's philological editions of Rossini's works, whose scores have been covered over by inherited errors for over a century. Getting rid of the additions which have, quite wrongly, become traditional, means restoring certain interruptions and the fine instrumentation of the period; and above all, singing and playing without exaggerations, thanks to an innate sense for the theatre. It's a spot of spring cleaning which has restored the youth of the 24-year-old composer's masterpiece. Bravo, signor barbiere, ma bravo! It is a dream record, with singers who are well-versed in the repertoire. Everyone is right where they need to be, from Teresa Berganza's wiley and cheeky Rosina, to the refined and hard-working Figaro played by Hermann Prey, via Luigi Alva's frivolous Count and the utterly ridiculous Basilio played by the outrageous Paolo Montarsolo. We're amused by their antics, as we admire the well-oiled and unstoppable machine of Rossini's theatre, under the unceasingly inventive and thrilling baton of Claudio Abbado. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released January 1, 1967 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Opera Extracts - Released November 29, 2018 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released January 1, 1978 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

This 1977 recording of Carmen was based on a production from the Edinburgh Festival and includes most of the cast from that production with the exception of Ileana Cotrubas as Micaëla and Sherrill Milnes as Escamillo. Claudio Abbado conducts the London Symphony Orchestra, which plays with crisp precision and vitality. The evaluation of any performance of Carmen is complicated by the variety of editions available, the primary ones being the traditional version that uses recitatives set to music by Ernst Guiraud after the composer's death and the 1964 Fritz Oeser edition that uses the original spoken recitatives, but that reintroduces music Bizet discarded before the premiere. Most conductors using the spoken dialogue omit some or all of the discarded music, but Abbado includes it, and the result feels choppy and uneven, particularly in the first act. That effect is exacerbated by Abbado's performance. His tempos are frequently eccentrically slow or fast, without any apparent rationale, and he doesn't convey a convincing dramatic through-line or the sense of inevitable musical momentum that drives the opera. There are many effective moments, some lovely and some thrilling, but they don't add up to a convincing whole. That being said, the performances of the principals are often exceptional. Teresa Berganza's sultry, believably natural Carmen is beautifully nuanced, dramatically riveting, and musically ravishing. Plácido Domingo is a troubled, powerful Don José (pronounced here the Spanish rather than the French way) and his singing is lyrically intense. Cotrubas gives Micaëla exceptional warmth, even sensuality, and makes her a more interesting character than is usual. As Escamillo, Milnes is the least effective of the principals, sounding somewhat boomy and stiff. The sound alternates between the cavernous and the distant sides of an ideal ambience, and there is sometimes intentional but distracting crowd chatter under the spoken dialogue. In spite of the album's drawbacks, Berganza's vivid performance makes this a recording that should interest fans of the opera. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1961 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1984 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1978 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

This 1977 recording of Carmen was based on a production from the Edinburgh Festival and includes most of the cast from that production with the exception of Ileana Cotrubas as Micaëla and Sherrill Milnes as Escamillo. Claudio Abbado conducts the London Symphony Orchestra, which plays with crisp precision and vitality. The evaluation of any performance of Carmen is complicated by the variety of editions available, the primary ones being the traditional version that uses recitatives set to music by Ernst Guiraud after the composer's death and the 1964 Fritz Oeser edition that uses the original spoken recitatives, but that reintroduces music Bizet discarded before the premiere. Most conductors using the spoken dialogue omit some or all of the discarded music, but Abbado includes it, and the result feels choppy and uneven, particularly in the first act. That effect is exacerbated by Abbado's performance. His tempos are frequently eccentrically slow or fast, without any apparent rationale, and he doesn't convey a convincing dramatic through-line or the sense of inevitable musical momentum that drives the opera. There are many effective moments, some lovely and some thrilling, but they don't add up to a convincing whole. That being said, the performances of the principals are often exceptional. Teresa Berganza's sultry, believably natural Carmen is beautifully nuanced, dramatically riveting, and musically ravishing. Plácido Domingo is a troubled, powerful Don José (pronounced here the Spanish rather than the French way) and his singing is lyrically intense. Cotrubas gives Micaëla exceptional warmth, even sensuality, and makes her a more interesting character than is usual. As Escamillo, Milnes is the least effective of the principals, sounding somewhat boomy and stiff. The sound alternates between the cavernous and the distant sides of an ideal ambience, and there is sometimes intentional but distracting crowd chatter under the spoken dialogue. In spite of the album's drawbacks, Berganza's vivid performance makes this a recording that should interest fans of the opera. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 8, 1984 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1992 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Sacred Vocal Music - Released May 1, 2013 | Ensayo

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Classical - Released January 1, 1978 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

This 1977 recording of Carmen was based on a production from the Edinburgh Festival and includes most of the cast from that production with the exception of Ileana Cotrubas as Micaëla and Sherrill Milnes as Escamillo. Claudio Abbado conducts the London Symphony Orchestra, which plays with crisp precision and vitality. The evaluation of any performance of Carmen is complicated by the variety of editions available, the primary ones being the traditional version that uses recitatives set to music by Ernst Guiraud after the composer's death and the 1964 Fritz Oeser edition that uses the original spoken recitatives, but that reintroduces music Bizet discarded before the premiere. Most conductors using the spoken dialogue omit some or all of the discarded music, but Abbado includes it, and the result feels choppy and uneven, particularly in the first act. That effect is exacerbated by Abbado's performance. His tempos are frequently eccentrically slow or fast, without any apparent rationale, and he doesn't convey a convincing dramatic through-line or the sense of inevitable musical momentum that drives the opera. There are many effective moments, some lovely and some thrilling, but they don't add up to a convincing whole. That being said, the performances of the principals are often exceptional. Teresa Berganza's sultry, believably natural Carmen is beautifully nuanced, dramatically riveting, and musically ravishing. Plácido Domingo is a troubled, powerful Don José (pronounced here the Spanish rather than the French way) and his singing is lyrically intense. Cotrubas gives Micaëla exceptional warmth, even sensuality, and makes her a more interesting character than is usual. As Escamillo, Milnes is the least effective of the principals, sounding somewhat boomy and stiff. The sound alternates between the cavernous and the distant sides of an ideal ambience, and there is sometimes intentional but distracting crowd chatter under the spoken dialogue. In spite of the album's drawbacks, Berganza's vivid performance makes this a recording that should interest fans of the opera. © TiVo

Classical - Released August 29, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Secular Vocal Music - Released January 1, 1959 | Decca

A newly remastered collection of four original Decca albums featuring the Spanish mezzo-soprano at the height of her powers in the repertoire most associated with her, from Rossini to folk and popular songs from her native Spain.Born in 1935, Teresa Berganza was in her mid-twenties when she made the recordings on this album, yet she was already the darling of the opera press by June 1959 when Decca first issued the wide-ranging recital of Rossini arias which opens this anthology, moving with assured mastery from the flirtatious Isabella in ‘L’italiana in Algeri’ to the grave beauty of ‘Fac ut portem’ from the ‘Stabat mater’. Later the same year, she recorded a sequence of eight Basque songs with orchestra which captivatingly exploits the dark, sultry shadings within her mezzo. Although the Rossini LP has been issued piecemeal on CD, this is the first time the recital appears in its entirety. A year later, Berganza was established as an artist of singular gifts who would lend distinction to the extraordinary ‘gala sequence’ inserted in the second act of the label’s new Viennese recording of ‘Die Fledermaus’, capable of standing her own alongside the likes of Björling, Nilsson, Sutherland and Tebaldi. Her contribution to that album was a Lullaby by her husband Félix Lavilla which they recorded together not in Vienna but Kingsway Hall, London. As her long-standing accompanist, Lavilla partnered Berganza in a 1962 recital of Spanish songs that capture the mezzo-soprano in vibrant form, bringing her flaring tone, dramatic energy and captivating charisma to Baroque arias by Pergolesi and Scarlatti as well as songs by Granados and Turina, finishing with a classic account of Falla’s ‘Siete canciones populares españolas’ from 1959. As Richard Wigmore remarks in his new booklet appreciation, not even the legendary Conchita Supervia gave a more thrilling, spine-tingling performance of the cycle’s concluding ‘Polo’. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Classical - Released October 19, 1962 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1962 | BnF Collection

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Classical - Released March 13, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1959 | BnF Collection

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