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Ponchielli: La Gioconda

Montserrat Caballé , José Carreras , Matteo Manuguerra , Maria Luisa Nave , Bonaldo Giaiotti , Patricia Payne , Amilcare Ponchielli , Jésus López-Cobos Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $27.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 44 Songs, 1999 $22.99  
Audio CD, Box set, 2005 $20.97  
Audio CD, 1999 $27.99  
Vinyl, 1957 --  

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Product Details

  • Conductor: Jésus López-Cobos
  • Composer: Amilcare Ponchielli
  • Audio CD (August 17, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Opera D'oro
  • ASIN: B00000K0VW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,776 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. La Gioconda: Act One: Prelude
2. La Gioconda: Act One: Feste! Pane! Feste! (Barnaba)
3. La Gioconda: Act One: E cantan su lor tombe! (Barnaba, Gioconda)
4. La Gioconda: Act One: Figlia che reggi il tremulo pie' (Cieca, Barnaba, Gioconda)
5. La Gioconda: Act One: L'ora non giunse ancor (Barnaba, Gioconda, Cieca)
6. La Gioconda: Act One: Polso di cerro
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. La Gioconda: Act Two: Ho! He! Ho! He!
2. La Gioconda: Act Two: Pescator, affonda l'esca (Barnaba)
3. La Gioconda: Act Two: Sia gloria ai canti dei naviganti! (Enzo)
4. La Gioconda: Act Two: Cielo e mar! (Enzo)
5. La Gioconda: Act Two: Ma chi vien? (Barnaba, Enzo, Laura)
6. La Gioconda: Act Two: Laggiu fra le nebbie remote (Enzo, Laura)
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. La Gioconda: Act Three: Dance of the Hours
2. La Gioconda: Act Three: Vieni!... Lasciami! ahime! (Barnaba, Cieca, Gioconda, Enzo, Alvise)
3. La Gioconda: Act Three: Gia ti veggo, immota e smorta (Enzo, Gioconda, Cieca, Barnaba, Alvise)
4. La Gioconda: Act Four: Prelude
5. La Gioconda: Act Four: Nessun v'ha visto? (Gioconda, Singer)
6. La Gioconda: Act Four: Suicidio! (Gioconda)
See all 11 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a solid bet November 22, 1999
By Rosomax
Format:Audio CD
The sound of this live recording is substantially better than on other Opera d'Oro releases. It is also your only opportunity to hear the great Caballe sing the title role if you missed the famous but rare Decca import. On this set, she is partnered by velvet-voiced Jose Carreras as Enzo Grimaldo and metallic, scary-as-hell Matteo Manuguerra as Barnaba. On Decca, it is Pavarotti and Milnes. Both these sets easily beat the famous EMI's Votto recording in terms of this supporting cast, although the fans of Callas should definitely get it to hear their heroine's best recorded performance.
Decca's advantages would be its great digital sound and the magnificent Nicolai Ghiaurov as Alvise. (This is not to say that Bonaldo Giaiotti is not adequate, though.) Maria Nave as Laura and Patricia Payne as La Cieca give convincing, very involved performances. The Second Act Gioconda/Laura duet is a bit overdone, at times one fears for the singers' throats as they scream and shriek for dramatic effect, although it is probably appropriate for the stage. After all, this is early verismo opera. Jose Carreras sings beautiful Cielo e Mar, the clarity of it is astounding for a live recording. The famous tenor/baritone duet "Enzo Grimaldo, Principe di Santafior!"is really heated and intense, the voices are like two blades clashing. And, of course, "Suicidio" is marvelous, perhaps not as gripping as Callas' but full of conflicting passions and dazzling vocal colors. Caballe makes a smart use of her bel-canto trained voice for the subtle and lyrical parts of the aria and of the role in its entirety.
A word of praise goes out to Geneva audience; did Maestro Lopes-Cobos make them use cough drops? On most other d'Oro recordings you will hear far more noises.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Od'O gets one right. A solid bargain set May 16, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is a brief note to second what S. Ettinger wrote about this fine recording, five-and-a-half years ago.

The cast is excellent. The performance is lively. The recorded sound is pretty good. All in all, this is one of Od'O's best efforts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "La gioconda" in Geneva delivers April 9, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There are half a dozen operas of which I can never seem to get enough and "La gioconda" is one of them. It is by now thoroughly rehabilitated, I think, after years of snobbish derision and some neglect. Part of that neglect derives from the fact that you need six first class singers and an expensive production with ballet dancers, a large chorus, ships aflame and the recognition that you cannot skimp on a work which is writ large in every sense with plenty of Grand Guignol villainy, the irrational acts of passion almost obligatory in 19C opera and a bucketload of wonderful tunes.

This live Opera d'Oro bargain set is a good way to get to know its calorific pleasures, in that it is in decent stereo sound without too much audience intrusion beyond the odd cough and some appreciative applause. It ticks the box for six top-rank voices, even if one senses that both Caballé and Carreras are pushing their fundamentally lyric sound to do justice to roles a size - well, half a size - too big for them. Caballé occasionally squawks and doesn't really have the lower-register solidity required - but she fakes it convincingly and throws herself into the part whole-heartedly, deploying her trademark floating top movingly. Carreras is occasionally on the verge of a wobble but this was 1979 and he was singing a whole slew of roles too big for him, including "Forza", "Trovatore" and Enzo as here; the sound is still plaintive, plangent and beautiful. I always enjoyed Matteo Manuguerra's firm, resonant baritone and he was a good vocal actor. The lesser-known Maria Luisa Nave had a big, penetrating mezzo ideal for the part while Bonaldo Giaiotti (still happily still with us) has a big, smooth, rolling black basso cantante.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Precious and moving June 8, 2013
By J. Chiu
Format:Audio CD
A countervailing opinion here. Not interested in getting into an Aspergers-rooted discussion of 'could have, should have sung...' or 'A + B + C would have been ideal...'

This is the real world and we are fortunate to have this splendid document of wonderful music & conducting, and the very moving and exquisite singing of Caballe and the youthful Carreras. The group of six is rounded out by the excellent Manuguerra, Giaiotti, a distinctive Patricia Payne and a stunning Laura by Maria Luisa Nave. Let those who would conjure up the ghosts of great singing of the past go to their room. This is live, this was a recent 'today' (1979) and the sound is beyond reproach.

Let me also add that I find it mirthful that the Met should choose to mount such silliness as their Enchanted Island pasticcio or the most recent ephemera, the Tempest -- over this timeless verismo music. Two productions in 23 years, thanks, Met. At least we know what beds Peter Gelb lies in.

We can fully expect him to announce a Met premiere of Mozart's La finta gardiniera as touched up by Turnage, with sets by Hirst and, in a first, costumes by Beckham with the inimitable Natalie Dessay singing all the soprano roles.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Montserrat Caballe performs La Gioconda live June 16, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Caballe is one of my favorite singers. She had amazing breath control (hear her perform the Verdi requiem) and a rare ability to sing her highest notes piano. The only two other singers I've heard who were able to do that were Jon Vickers and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

Carreras and Manuguerra and the supporting cast are good too. Good sound for a live recording.
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