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Classical Recital Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, April 13, 2004
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Verdi: Otello / Act 1 - "Vanne! la tua meta già vedo" - "Credo in un Dio crudel"Sir Edward Downes 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Verdi: Un ballo in maschera / Act 3 - "Alzati; là tuo figlio" - "Eri tu che macchiavi quell' anima"Sir Edward Downes 5:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Verdi: Il Trovatore / Act 2 - "Il balen del suo sorriso"Sir Edward Downes 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Verdi: La forza del destino / Act 3 - Morir! Tremenda cosa! ... Urna fataleSir Edward Downes 7:17Album Only
listen  5. Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Prologue - "Si può? Signore! Signori!"Sir Edward Downes 7:34Album Only
listen  6. Verdi: Don Carlo / Act 4 - Felice ancor io son ...Per me giuntoSir Edward Downes 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Verdi: Don Carlo / Act 4 - "O Carlo, ascolta"Sir Edward Downes 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Giordano: Andrea Chénier / Act 3 - Nemico della Patria? ... Traditore! ... La coscienzaSir Edward Downes 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 13, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B000174LY8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,190 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Charlus on January 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Dark, vivrant, perfectly focused and free, Robert Merrill (1919-2004) had the best baritone voice in the second half of the XX Century. Others have been called better actors, some have presumed to be deeper interpreters, but when it comes to a gorgeous, well-produced voice, Bob Merrill could outsing them all.

He also had that intangible called charisma: although he does not do a trick a minute, unlike many a pretentious singing narcissist, he sustains interest because he believed, completely, in his own style, his unaffected vocal approach, his unbeatable bel canto technique. Through the decades, it never failed him, or us. Turn this CD on, and wallow in pure baritone heaven.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Hufford on June 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD
If all you know of Robert Merrill is The National Anthem at Yankee Stadium, that's sad. Oh, he did that, and it was grand. The story is that his early ambition was to pitch for the Yankees, but he had a voice, not an arm. He remained a Yankee fan, and provided some great times for all of us Yankee fans [and misery for the Dodgers].

As to specifics, the whole album consists of signature pieces from the baritone repertoire....The "Don Carlo" and "Otello" selections are fabulous, and the Prologue from "I Pagliacci" defines what real singing is all about...talk about a chance to show off! Of course, you better be really good if you want to show off like this...don't worry....

This wonderful album will show what kind of singer he really was....a fabulous one....one of the baritones for the ages. Ruffo may have had a grander voice, but Robert had Style. One of my very early influences to like Opera was watching him, and others, on the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday nights. Get this one, and find out what all the fuss was about. Decca deserves a big "thank you" for making it, and the others in the series, available again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Phil S. on February 12, 2008
Format: MP3 Music
Here is a great collection, mostly from Verdi opera, all recorded in 1963, all solo performances, at the same session(s). This cornerstone of the Metropolitan Opera was in his 40s and producing some of the most wonderous tones to grace the cosmos.
The piece from Pagliacci is quite familiar but perhaps has been under-represented on classical radio these days; other works from Levoncallo are less familiar, but have the same auditorium-filling power.
The CD is of course a reissue in the new medium and so presents what appears to be the original liner notes. A reproduction of the original package is appreciated, though the limitations of the format are revealed when one attempts to read the notes without a very sturdy magnifying glass.
I haven't found many CDs available on this artist, other than Opera releases. It appears that he was not overly interested in the record
business - perhaps his training in the era before amplification, inhibited his remarkable powers of projection, when facing a microphone and a row of engineers behind a glass. This CD, however, suggests a very happy marriage of sound and technique.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 1, 2012
Format: Audio CD
This is the third in the Decca "Classic Recitals" re-issues I have been listening to recently, the others being Marilyn Horne and Mario Del Monaco. It's enough to make one despondent; in the 50's and 60's such voices were - well, if not exactly commonplace, at least abundant; today we cannot begin to match the talent then available to Decca.

Merrill was not the world's greatest actor, nor the most acute interpreter of text but he has every claim to being the pre-eminent post-war Verdi baritone in sheerly vocal terms, having fewer flaws in his big, bronze baritone than Gobbi or Warren and certainly possessing the most conventionally beautiful sound of all, whereas great singers like Lisitsian were always more of an acquired taste. Perhaps of his contemporaries only Ettore Bastianini rivalled him vocally - and he, too, could be wooden.

He was the Verdi baritone par excellence just as his predecessors Amato and Ruffo, both arguably greater artists even than Merrill, excelled in their own era as Iago, Carlo, Renato, Rodrigo and Rigoletto. The latter is not represented here although we have two studio recordings to choose from for that. Otherwise, here is Merrill in his prime and glory in 1963. The evenness of production, smooth legato, pharyngeal resonance, Italianate bite(for all that he is was born a New York Jew, Moishe Miller) and ringing top notes all made him the ideal interpreter of all those big, bad boys. Toscanini complimented him upon his perfect Italian diction and he sang wonderfully for thirty years before taking a well-judged retirement, avoiding the temptation to sing beyond his prime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Hobby on December 21, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been enthralled by the voice and manner of Robert Merrill for years. At the ripe old age of 78, I've heard him many times on TV; even on the old Johnny Carson show. I've wanted a good quality CD of his for a long time; unfortunately, this is not it. Maybe I'm spoiled by having heard him sing live so many times.
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