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Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors; My Christmas

Gian Carlo Menotti , Alastair Willis , George Mabry , Nashville Symphony and Chorus , Bart LeFan , Kevin Short , Todd Thomas , Kirsten Gunlogson , Dean Anthony , Chicago Symphony Chorus Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $11.58 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 28 Songs, 2008 $7.99  
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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. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Amahl! Amahl! (Mother, Amahl)Ike Hawkersmith 3:47$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Oh, Mother, you should go out and see! (Amahl, Mother)Ike Hawkersmith 1:36$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Stop bothering me! (Mother, Amahl)Ike Hawkersmith 1:03$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Poor Amahl! Hunger has gone to your head (Mother)Ike Hawkersmith0:45$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Don't cry, Mother dear (Amahl, Mother)Ike Hawkersmith 2:19$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Amahl and the Night Visitors: From far away we come (King Kaspar, King Melchior, King Balthazar)Ike Hawkersmith 2:21$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Amahl? Yes, Mother (Mother, Amahl)Ike Hawkersmith 3:01$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Good Evening! Good Evening! (King Kaspar, King Melchior, King Balthazar, Amahl, Mother)Ike Hawkersmith 1:18$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Come in, Come in! (Mother, King Melchior, Amahl)Ike Hawkersmith 2:00$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Are you a real king? (Amahl, King Balthazar, King Kaspar)Ike Hawkersmith 2:22$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. Amahl and the Night Visitors: This is my box (King Kaspar)Ike Hawkersmith 1:42$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen12. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Amahl, I told you not to be a nuisance! (Mother, Amahl)Ike Hawkersmith0:37$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen13. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Oh, these beautiful things (Mother, King Melchior)Ike Hawkersmith0:42$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen14. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Have you seen a child (King Melchior, Mother, King Balthazar, King Kaspar)Ike Hawkersmith 4:04$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen15. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Shepherds! Shepherdesses! (Chorus, Mother, King Melchior)Ike Hawkersmith0:19$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen16. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Emily! Emily! (Chorus, Mother)Ike Hawkersmith 1:31$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen17. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Olives and quinces (Chorus, King Kaspar, King Melchior, King Balthazar, Mother)Ike Hawkersmith 1:02$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen18. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Shepherds' DanceIke Hawkersmith 3:19$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen19. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Thank you, good friends (King Balthazar, Chorus, Amahl, King Kaspar)Ike Hawkersmith 3:07$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen20. Amahl and the Night Visitors: All that gold! (Mother)Ike Hawkersmith 2:38$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen21. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Thief! Thief! (Page, King Melchoir, King Balthazar, King Kaspar)Ike Hawkersmith0:18$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen22. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Don't you dare! (Amahl)Ike Hawkersmith0:49$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen23. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Oh, woman, you may keep the gold (King Melchior)Ike Hawkersmith 1:54$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen24. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Oh, no, wait? take back your gold! (Mother, Amahl)Ike Hawkersmith0:36$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen25. Amahl and the Night Visitors: I walk, mother! (Amahl, King Kaspar, King Melchior, King Balthazar, Mother, Page)Ike Hawkersmith 2:17$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen26. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Do you really want to go? (Mother, Amahl, King Kaspar, King Balthazar)Ike Hawkersmith 1:27$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen27. Amahl and the Night Visitors: Shepherds, Arise! (Chorus, King Melchior, Amahl)Ike Hawkersmith 2:02$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen28. My ChristmasNashville Symphony Chorus12:24Album Only


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Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors; My Christmas + Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors + Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors
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Product Details

  • Performer: Bart LeFan, Kevin Short, Todd Thomas, Kirsten Gunlogson, Dean Anthony, et al.
  • Orchestra: Nashville Symphony and Chorus
  • Conductor: Alastair Willis, George Mabry
  • Composer: Gian Carlo Menotti
  • Audio CD (November 18, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos American
  • ASIN: B001HBX8XM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,758 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In Fanfare 11:4, Anthony D. Coggi reviewed a reissue of the 1952 RCA classic recording of Amahl (RCA Gold Seal 6485), and a then new recording on MCA, conducted by David Syrus. Coggi gave many reasons (with which I agree) to underline the superiority of the RCA, which is still available: Thomas Schippers's brilliant conducting, and the high quality singing of what was the original cast of the 1951 world premiere telecast. The MCA recording is limply conducted and not as well sung. Coggi also made an eloquent case for the opera itself--pointing out that while many snobs have spent a good deal of their time looking down their noses at Menotti's output, his operas have always found an audience, and Amahl is one of the most performed operas in history.

Given its popularity, the fact that those two recordings have been the only ones released (and Fanfare 11:4 was the March/April 1988 issue!) until now is perplexing. Naxos's new entry is certainly superior to the MCA, and has the advantage over the RCA of being in modern digital, stereophonic sound. Alastair Willis shapes the music lovingly and with energy, and the Nashville Symphony plays with both skill and involvement. This recording is also the first to give the buyer a bonus--a 12-minute choral work dating from 1987 called My Christmas that represents Menotti at his most touching and eloquent.

But if I want to listen to Amahl and the Night Visitors, I'm going to return to the Schippers recording, not because of some kind of hazy nostalgia, but because it is better sung throughout. The singing here is not terrible--but it is uneven. The Amahl's intonation is not as dead center as is Chet Allen's on the RCA, and Rosemary Kuhlmann for Schippers has a richer voice with a wider palette of colors than is available to Kirsten Gunlogson here. There is some unsteadiness in the baritone of King Melchior here as well. George Mabry leads what sounds like a fine performance of My Christmas, and this seems to be the work's first recording.

If you want a modern-sounding Amahl, this is clearly preferable to the only other stereo recording, particularly because of the livelier and more colorful conducting, and because of the choral bonus. Naxos does not provide a text (and I don't see one available from their Web site), but the diction is excellent and the recorded sound very clear, so that isn't really a problem. -- Fanfare Archive, Henry Fogel , May/June 2009

Product Description

Menotti' Amahl and the Night Visitors, the first opera written for television, enjoys more than five hundred performances annually around the world and is immensely popular with amateur groups. A crippled boy, Amahl, and his mother are visited by the th

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Digital remake with reservations November 28, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It still gives me goosebumps. The 1951 RCA recording of Amahl and the Night Visitors - starring Chet Allen, Rosemary Kuhlmann, David Aiken, Andrew McKinley and Leon Lishner, conducted by a young Thomas Schippers - has always been the benchmark for this work. I saw the 1951 premiere of this opera, and most of the broadcasts since then. Even the DVD with almost the same cast as the 1951 (except Amahl) is a little less perfect. The Stratas movie (directed by Menotti) was wonderful, and yet still didn't surpass the recording that is now 57 years old! Don't let the age deter, it is still a must.

But what of the new Naxos release. Well, first of all everyone sings in a more operatic fashion, coming from stage performances that preceded this recording. Kirsten Gunlogson has a rich voice and sings the role of the mother expertly. Her dramatic stance and timbre are similar to Kuhlmann. Her "All that gold" builds to a thrilling climax. She is not quite as smooth as her counterpart, but it is not a troublesome difference, and even Kuhlmann changed her ease with the role as she matured. The three kings are not quite as intimate as on the RCA, but again this is singing for the theater not microphones (even though it is not an "in performance" recording.) Their voices are well dilineated, with highest vocal and diction honors going to Todd Thomas as Melchior. The other two are not far behind. Alastair Willis conducts a performance that, in the musical numbers, is quite similar to Schippers. Only the recitatives are too "lyric" which, in this case means, too sung and not parlando (spoken) enough. Some of them are really just too slow. This recording ticks in at 49 minutes as opposed to RCA 46, and most of that difference is in the recitatives. The large chorus does their job very well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amahl and the Night Visitors January 17, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
An excellent presentation of Menotti's wonderfully engaging opera, which not only highlights the story of the Three Wisemen, but also presents the tenderness of the mother-child bond.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
"Amahl & the Night Visitors" is one of Gian Carlo Menotti's most beautiful works. Had it not been a "Christmas Opera," it might be more widely known and performed. This production is wonderfully produced and recorded. I highly recommend it for everyone.

Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Memory! January 22, 2012
Format:Audio CD
I had this as an LP when I was a kid, and I had forgotten how much fun this work was. The recording is a good version, and it transported me back 55 years. I just wish this version had included the libretto. I am using this work to introduce my 7-year old granddaughter to opera.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love Menotti! February 16, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of this mini-opera for years and finally decided to get a copy of this. I first heard it 35 years ago and bought the piano score and fell in love with it. The interaction between all of the characters is wonderful.
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