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Meyerbeer: L'Africaine / Domingo, Verrett


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Audio CD, September 14, 1999
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Product Details

  • Performer: Giacomo Meyerbeer, Plácido Domingo, Shirley Verrett
  • Audio CD (September 14, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Opera D'oro
  • ASIN: B00001QEGV
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,416 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. L'Africaine: Prelude
2. L'Africaine: Act 1: Anna, Qu'enten ds-je...J'espere Pour celle qui m'est chere
3. L'Africaine: Act 1: Patrie quand tu perds la vie
4. L'Africaine: Act 1: La nouvelle qu'on vous apporte
5. L'Africaine: Act 1: J'ai vu, nobles seigneurs
6. L'Africaine: Act 1: Esclaves, approchez
See all 7 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. L'Africaine: Act 2: Toujours son sommeil agite
2. L'Africaine: Act 2: Sur mes genoux, fils du sobeil
3. L'Africaine: Act 2: Fille des rois, a toi l'hommage
4. L'Africaine: Act 2: M'enchaine en ces lieux tenebreux
5. L'Africaine: Act 2: On nous l'avait bien dit
6. L'Africaine: Act 2: Anatheme sur l'infame et malheur
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. L'Africaine: Act 4: Prelude and Grand Indian March
2. L'Africaine: Act 4: Nous jurons par Brahma
3. L'Africaine: Act 4: Pays mervielleux!... O Paradis
4. L'Africaine: Act 4: Que disent-ils?...Ah, pitie pour ma memoire
5. L'Africaine: Act 4: Arretez!
6. L'Africaine: Act 4: L'avoir tant adoree
See all 13 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J Overdijkink on May 18, 2000
This 'Africain' is a typical Meyerbeer recording, being HEAVILY MUTELATED through SEVERE CUTS. It is SO BADLY DAMAGED, that Meyerbeers original conception and intensions have been completely obscured. There is hardly ANY aria, duet, ensemble or finale wich is complete. For example: the third act finale has been deprived of the final Indian chorus. This should come AFTER the shipwreck and serves as the logic connection with- and explanation for the state of affairs at the beginning of- the fourth act, in wich the Portuegese have been condemned to death and are being slaughtered. The great and sublime fourth act duet between Vasco and Selika has also been heavily cut and there are many more minor and mayor cuts. All these ommissions put a severe strain on the coherence and logic of the plot. They are the actuall fullfillment of Wagners's comment about "effects without causes", a comment based on nothing but ignorance, prejudice, jealousy and anti-semitism.
But back to the opera itself. The reasons for these assaults on the score are plentyfull, but are mostly based on the misconception that the work would otherwise be too taxing for performers and audiences. (The producers conveniently forget the monumental size of Wagner's opera's and, for example Verdi's Don Carlos and Berlioz' Les Troyens.)The truth is that producers are only very halfheartedly committed to Meyerbeers works, especialy L'Africain. This is odd, for it is the Master's last and most sophisticated work, allways greatly loved by the few lucky audiences that get to see it.
However, what DOES appear on this CD(and that is not more than on any other commercial recording), is thrilling to hear, allthough the quality of the recording is not too good.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Cragg on June 24, 2000
The main part of this recording is of a single performance in San Francisco in 1973. The sound is very good for such a source and the enthusiastic audience does not intrude inappropriately for an aural presentation too often. Verrett's rich mezzo makes much of the title role while Domingo demonstrates how wonderfully he could use his rich voice to interpret a role when he was engaged in it. No tenor of the period was a better musician! The baritone, Norman Mittleman, is less satisfactory -- at times he seems to be having difficulty getting the role to flow adequately--but at others he produces some beautiful singing. By contrast, Evelyn Mandac is a delight in the significant though secondary part of Inez. The conductor, Jean Perisson, keeps things moving well with a good orchestra and chorus.
The set has the oddity that, having provided over two and a half hours of opera, it proceeds to give roughly half an hour of highlights from a production in Barcelona in 1977. This one involved Caballe and Domingo and the chemistry between these two is more intense than between Verrett and Domingo. The recorded sound here really is wretched.
Gala provides no libretto and only the very sketchiest of synopses, so that one has little way of knowing what is going on since the singers pronunciations are not clear enough to allow one to follow the French. This serious weakness does hide cuts and changes to the opera, which will only be evident if one has another source for the libretto.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By enrico morantti on August 28, 2004
E meglio non leggere alcuni pazzi letteras che l'ignoranza fa in un uomo come il signore ch'a scritto in questo sitio. Come osa dicere che il Meyerber e fatuo? Non gl'intendo. Comparazione con Donizetti, Verdi e Wagner al stesso tempo? Comme si fa per ser quasi stupido? Signor: primo tu hai de cantare il Meyerber e poi scrivete con properta. Ma non fa il ridiculo con la sua opinione che non fa anche il ver sua plena ignoranza. Il Meyerber, e L'Africanna son grandi, e gl'interpretti son sensazionale. Va primo al teatro, canta, e fa l'opera, e poi parla. Grazie.
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5 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Julian Grant on September 23, 2000
How anyone can take this ridiculous old hokum seriously is beyond me: thank God it's cut (pace the previous reviewer): Meyerbeer couldn't construct an act properly if his life depended on it: and his melodic invention is pretty laughable if you compare it to Donizetti or Verdi, and he really is a minnow in compositional terms if you compare him to the above, Berlioz or Wagner. He's a composer for the history books only - a kind of Andrew Lloyd-Webber of his day: true he had a great seminal influence on 19th century opera, but his music is very short-breathed and lacking in true inspiration. Having said all that, this set is fun, Verrett and Domingo give larger than life performances and it's not bad for a live recording - mind you the music that bears any sort of repetition wouldn't fill half of one CD!
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