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4.2 out of 5 stars with 11 reviews
Here's a prime-1950s cast in good monophonic sound, and it delivers the vocal thrills to keep its place high among the preferred recordings of Aida. The first voice you hear is the rich, rumbling bass of Boris Christoff and that immediately lets you ...
4.7 out of 5 stars with 56 reviews
Premiered two days before Mozart's 25th birthday, this is the first opera of his maturity (i.e., the amazing last 10 years of his too-short life). It is written in a modified form of opera seria, a Baroque rather than a classical style, with a plot f...
4.5 out of 5 stars with 131 reviews
Released in conjunction with the Caballé biography Casta Diva, this isn't some routine compilation, but a collector's item. The first half is devoted to German lieder--hardly Caballé's core repertoire--recorded by the now- defunct Spanish label Ver...
Bidu Sayao: La Damoiselle elue / Opera Arias
4.7 out of 5 stars with 108 reviews
Even if she wasn't game enough to wear a Columbia record in her hair (as pictured on the cover), Bidu Sayao had a voice that could make you forget Kathleen Battle. This Brazilian soubrette of the 1940s was as vocally lusterous and far more versatile,...
4.0 out of 5 stars with 87 reviews
This 1939 Butterfly will be sought after by Beniamino Gigli fans and they won't be disappointed, for the tenor sings beautifully, as always. The sobs are there, with an excessively damp Addio, but his Pinkerton is a rounded portrait, capturing the ch...
Faure: Requiem, Op. 48 / Durufle: Requiem, Op. 9 (Essential Classics)
4.1 out of 5 stars with 148 reviews
At a budget price, these two lovely performances are a steal. I particularly love this rich, luscious version of the Durufle, with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa the most appealing soprano soloist the work has ever had. Sir Colin Davis chooses the composer's fu...
Orff: Carmina Burana
mpn: MFR090266167326#VG, ean: 0090266167326,
4.3 out of 5 stars with 125 reviews
4.7 out of 5 stars with 82 reviews
Compared to Knappertsbusch's stodgy, lethargic Bayreuth Parsifals from the 50s, this 1964 performance, Knappertsbusch's last, is quite different. Textures have lightened, tempos are faster, and Wagner's long arcs soar instead of sag. These qualitie...
Rossini: Il Turco in Italia
mpn: 028945892429, ean: 0028945892429,
4.9 out of 5 stars with 61 reviews
This Pirandello-like, 1814 comedy of manners has long lived in the shadow of Rossini's better-known L'Italiana in Algeri, but this recording, more than either of its predecessors, allows it to bloom in all its ironic loveliness. Cecilia Bartoli, a bo...
4.3 out of 5 stars with 135 reviews
4.4 out of 5 stars with 80 reviews
If Tullio Serafin's Pagliacci is too slow for your taste, try Renato Cellini, who is sometimes a bit brisk. And if you want beautiful voices more than intense characterization, you are not likely to find two more satisfying than Jussi Bjoerling and V...
mpn: 724355630421, ean: 0724355630421,
4.2 out of 5 stars with 89 reviews
Maria Callas is at the top of her game, and still very much in her vocal prime. Her dramatic approach to "Tosca" is arguably even better captured in the live recordings from Covent Garden a decade later, but at that point her voice had lost some of i...
mpn: 028943836821, ean: 0028943836821,
4.9 out of 5 stars with 54 reviews
This is undoubtedly the most successful oratorio composed since Handel's Messiah, and for a long time in mid-19th-century England, where Mendelssohn had conducted the first performances, it was even more popular than Messiah. It has lost some of that...
4.4 out of 5 stars with 122 reviews
Romeo & Juliet
mpn: 28944213423, ean: 0028944213423,
4.7 out of 5 stars with 72 reviews
This brilliant recording is Sir Colin Davis's second shot at Hector Berlioz's setting of Roméo et Juliette, and it proves one of the best- justified cases for rethinking a score to be found on disc. There are splendid performances from mezzo-soprano...