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  • Offenbach: The Tales of Hoffmann: Complete Opera (with full libretto and translation)
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Offenbach: The Tales of Hoffmann: Complete Opera (with full libretto and translation) Original recording remastered

29 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 12, 2002
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Offenbach: The Tales of Hoffmann: Complete Opera (with full libretto and translation) + Offenbach: Les contes d'Hoffmann
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Julius Rudel
  • Composer: Jacques Offenbach
  • Audio CD (March 12, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Westminster
  • ASIN: B000060P63
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,587 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tzel on May 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN

This is not the Best HOFFMAN you can get. That would probably be the Camberling, with Neil Shicoff (Not availble on this site, except in Highlight form.) or the first set conducted by Cluntyes with Jouban. This set may be a nice way to experience Hoffmann if you haven't heard the others, and there are aspects of the recording that are really quite excellent, but there are several major flaws.

The good news first: The Conducting is in the capable hands of Julius Rudel, who knows just what to do with the score. The London Symphony Orchestra plays excellently, and there is great choral work from the John Alldis Choir.

More good news: Beverly Sills is divine. She attempts all four heroines here, including the spoken role of Stella. As Olympia, she does not go for the dazzling, optional high notes Sutherland, Doria and Dessay reach on other recordings, but her comic performance of the "Doll Song" is enchanting. Sills was always at home with comedy (see her on the muppet show to see what I mean) and Olympia is definetly a highlight of the performance. She is also highly satisfactory as the other two heroines ,her voice effortlessly and expertly conveying the two different women. She is at her dramatic best as Guiletta, and her work in the Barcarolle and the love duet is ravishing. Antonia's aria is whistful and the love duet and trio are both excellent. For a soprano to handle all three heroines capably is rare. Grubernova had enough dramatic insight and vocal beauty to pull of the rudiments of each role, but I've never been a big fan of hers. Sutherland tried, gave out a fine Olympia and disappointed in the other roles.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Avila on February 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This 1972 studio recording is the ultimate Tales Of Hoffman. The recording was originally an LP on the ABC label in the Westminster Legacy issues, but digitally remastered and edited for cd by Deutsche Grammophon. Deutsche Grammophone cd labels are famous for remastering legendary and classic recordings of classical music and opera and they have outdone themselves again with this one. It features virtuoso singers at the top of their game and the orchestra is directed under the baton of the seasoned conductor Julius Rudel. Singing the three heroines Olympia, Giuletta and Antonia is the incredible Beverly Sills whose dynamics are the real gem in this recording, singing the hopeless romantic Hoffman is lyric tenor Stuart Burrows and singing the diabolical villains is the unsurpassed baritone Norman Treigle. These same singers, among them mezzo soprano Susan Marsee in the role of Nicklausse and the Muse, have performed The Tales Of Hoffman many times and made it popular here in America, where it might have become obscure and neglected or rarely performed. But thanks to the efforts of Beverly Sills and her New York City Opera group, this opera is here to stay.
Jacques Offenbach's opera was drawn from three seperate stories by writer E.T.A. Hoffman ( a fantasy and horror novelist of the 19th century who was like the Stephen King of his day) The story follows the bohemian and unlucky-in-love poet Hoffman finally getting his one big chance at love when he receives a letter from the opera diva Stella to meet him at a bar. The scheming Councilor Lindorf (whom we are lead to believe is the Devil incarnate and who has ruined Hoffman's oppurtunities at love many times before) has intercepted the letter and decides to foil Hoffman's chance at love once more.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Undeniably the greatest Tales Of Hoffman. There is much debate regarding this title however. Originally, Jacques Offenbach (operetta extraordinaire, brilliant French composer and inventor of the famous Can-Can) intended a single diva to sing all three heroines- Olympia, Giuletta and Antonia. This is Beverly Sills at the peak of her career, singing the three roles to perfection and proving to the world that she is a soprano that will go down in history. As for Stuart Burrows as Hoffman, he provides us with a sympathetic and believable performance as a love-struck, disillusioned and heartbroken artist. Norman Triegle is a terrific tryptich of villains, cynical, bombastic and you have to love to hate him. Conductor Julius Rudel, who championed Beverly Sills career in the New York City Opera, is superb at the baton, effectively creating a musical score that is ebullient and festive,, but also dark and tragic. This recording is a must have , especially for a fan of Beverly Sills, whose extraordinary performance surpasses those of other sopranos who have tried the threesome role of Hoffman's love interests, including Joan Sutherland. True at least to part of Hoffman's requests, this opera contains no "never before heard scenes" and makes use of no new arias except Giulettas's coloratura aria which is in fact a faint reminder of Olympia's Doll Song. A greater recording, with digital sound, a brilliant diva singing the three roles, and fantastic sound effects that do not get in the way of the moving experience and the entire "unfinished" opera of Offenbach finally restored.Read more ›
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Offenbach: The Tales of Hoffmann: Complete Opera (with full libretto and translation)
This item: Offenbach: The Tales of Hoffmann: Complete Opera (with full libretto and translation)
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