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  • Bizet: Carmen
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Bizet: Carmen


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Audio CD, March 9, 2010
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Biography

Andrea Bocelli was born in Lajatico, in rural Tuscany, not far from the ancient city of Pisa. Fascinated by the passion and storytelling of opera and traditional Italian music, Andrea dreamed of following in the footsteps of his idols; celebrated Italian tenors including Mario Del Monaco, Beniamino Gigli and especially Franco Corelli. While a child, Andrea’s beautiful, natural voice had ... Read more in Amazon's Andrea Bocelli Store

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Product Details

  • Performer: Andrea Bocelli, Marina Domashenko, Eva Mei, Bryn Terfel, Magali Léger, et al.
  • Orchestra: Orchestre Philarmonique de Radio France
  • Conductor: Myung-Whun Chung
  • Composer: Georges Bizet
  • Audio CD (March 9, 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0033BD2FS
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,706 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Prélude
2. Introduction: "Sur la place chacun passe"
3. "Regardez donc cette petite"
4. "Avec la garde montante"
5. "La cloche a sonné"
6. "Mais nous ne voyons pas la Carmencita"
7. "Quand je vous aimerai?" - "L'amour est un oiseaux rebelle" (Habanera)
8. Carmen, sur tes pas nous pressons tous
9. Monsieur le brigadier?
10. Parle-moi de ma mère!
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. En voila assez...Halte-là! Qui va là?
2. Enfin te voilà
3. Je vais danser en votre honneur
4. "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée"
5. "Non, tu ne m'aimes pas!"
6. "Holà! Carmen! Holà!"
7. Entr'acte
8. Introduction: "Ecoute, compagnon, écoute!
9. Carmen, faisons la paix
10. "Mêlons! Coupons!"
See all 25 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The band is French - Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. (A band that has been playing better and better and better, on some recent recordings, just spin the recent Mikko Franck Debussy disc, or some Messiaen readings under the leader of this Carmen.) The Korean-born conductor has long been a leading figure on the French musical scene: Myung-Whun Chung. The mezzo singing Carmen is Russian, Marina Domashenko. Superstar Bryn Terfel sings the toreador, Escamillo. The chorus is French, companion to the orchestra. Carmen's foil and contrast is the wholesome girl from the countryside, Micaela, sung by Eva Mei. Don Jose is the very popular crossover Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli.

At a glance, this complete set strikes off musical Vanity Project sparks. It seems like a best bet for fans of Bocelli, and who else?

Well, there is the surprise bit. Chung's conducting is clean, bracingly shaped, forceful, and much more involved than many a famous musical jet-setting conductor name earning yet another nice paycheck. The band and chorus are indeed wide awake, even affectionate in their effective musical attentions. Marina Domashenko has the dusky chest tones to make quite an impression as Carmen the gypsy, nearly as much in love with risk and danger and whimsy as she can be with this man, that man, or the other man. (Or the still other man who hasn't even yet arrived on the scene.) Bryn Terfel is vocally equipped to be among the best-sung Escamillos on the current global stage. He has a huge voice like Simon Estes or Dimitri Hvorostovsky; yet he manages his voice with a sheen, a skill, a finesse which often escapes such large voices.

So what about Bocelli?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Wayland Eheart on February 22, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the biases I think we all have is that we judge a classical performance by how close it comes to what we were weaned on. In my case, for Carmen, it's the old Callas-Gedda-Pretre from 1964, of which I have both the original LP (highly acclaimed at the time) and the AAD-CD reissue from 1991. While logic tells me any artist has the right to reinterpret Carmen as he or she sees fit, and to try to improve on the old version, at a gut level I can't avoid the feeling that that is what Carmen should sound like.

So it is with that proviso that I write that to me, the current rendition doesn't come close to the old one from an artistic perspective, but, by the same token, I'm not going to say that Bocelli, Domashenko, and Chung are not up to the standards of Gedda, Callas, and Pretre. They mostly are fine professional artists whose work would be ill-judged based on how well they imitate their predecessors. That said, the one exception is Bocelli, who struggles to hit the high notes and is generally not as strong as the female singers. Eva Mei is particularly good, with a nicely sweet Michaela voice and character to match.

Ironically the weakest singer, Bocelli, gets top billing on the jacket. Normally, that space is reserved for the conductor, presumably to keep the singers from fighting each other for it. I can only surmise that whoever decided to award him this place hadn't listened to the recording.

The sound quality of the current DDD rendition is much better than the old, and sounds more like a live performance. However, I think I would enjoy it more if the mixing were a little closer to the original. There are passages that seem flimsy because the "wrong" instruments are emphasized.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David L. Reynolds on April 20, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From the billing on the front of the CD, one might think Bocelli sings Carmen, but no, he is indeed Don Jose. "BOCELLI - and some other people" has been the way these opera sets have been marketed for the last couple of years, This one was recorded five years ago. Why it took so long to appear is anyone's guess. And it's not for the obvious reason i.e. Bocelli is terrible. He's not. His performance is honest and reasonably well-sung. It is better than his recorded Werther which was entirely too loud. He has ringing top notes and provides a credible if somewhat faceless account of his role.

If anything, Marina Domashenko proves the star of the set as she should be since she sings the eponymous heroine. She sings very well with a rich, steady mezzo and inflects her lines with insight and passion. Domashenko won't efface memories of your favorite Carmens of the past, but her performance is honest, sensitive, and recognizably Bizet's Carmen.

Terfel sings well, if a bit roughly, and has no problem portraying Escamillo's fatuousness. He and Bocelli sing the extended version of their duet in the third act. Eva Mei is adequate as Micaela, but her quavery soprano won't win her any new fans. The excellent supporting cast is entirely French. There are snatches of dialogue to connect some of the musical numbers (spoken by the singers as far as I can tell), but if you don't already know the opera you might be a little confused as so much of the dialogue has been eliminated. There is very little "production" added to the music. Some will like that, but it gives the proceedings a feeling of a rather stiff concert performance. If it matters to you, Domashenko makes no sound when "stabbed" by Jose at the end.
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