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  • Puccini - La Rondine / Te Kanawa · Doningo · Nicolesco · Nucci · Rendall · L. Watson · G. Knight · LSO · Maazel
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Puccini - La Rondine / Te Kanawa · Doningo · Nicolesco · Nucci · Rendall · L. Watson · G. Knight · LSO · Maazel


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Audio CD, January 1, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

CD set of Puccini's La Rondine featuring the Ambrosian Opera Chorus and the London Symphony Orchestra with Lorin Maazel; featuring Kirk Te Kanawa, Placido Domingo, Mariana Nicolesco, David Rendall, Leo Nucci, Lillian Watson, Gillian Knight.

Disc: 1
1. Act One (Yvette, Bianca, Prunier, Magda, Lisette, Rambaldo, Ruggero) - G. Puccini
2. Act Two (Magda, Ruggero, Prunier, Lisette, Rambaldo) - G. Puccini
Disc: 2
1. Act Three (Magda, Ruggero, Lisette, Prunier) - G. Puccini

Product Details

  • Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa, Placido Domingo, David Rendall, Leo Nucci, Mariana Nicolesco, et al.
  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra, Ambrosian Opera Chorus
  • Conductor: Lorin Maazel
  • Composer: Giacomo Puccini
  • Audio CD (January 1, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: CBS (Sony Classical)
  • ASIN: B0000025QJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,146 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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To be “blessed” with many talents can be a curse. But Lorin Maazel, gifted as violinist, pianist, conductor, composer, writer and mathematician, managed to make the most of one of those talents and rise to the top of the musical profession as a conductor. Indeed, if you include his prodigy appearances, he enjoyed a career of 75 years, making him a familiar figure for generations of ... Read more in Amazon's Lorin Maazel Store

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
As with the Pappano version, one exhausts superlative on these two Rondines. The principals are marvelous, the sound is superb, although the Pappano version possibly profits from newer technology in the years between them, with the orchestral and vocal voices more distinct and separable in the Pappano. Gheorghiu and Alagna are just a bit more intimate and fresh, where Te Kanawa and Domingo more polished, but there is no way to choose between these two invaluable sets. A solid investment for anyones opera library.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Neill on March 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I have several recordings of La Rondine, undoubtedly Puccini's most underrated opera, but this one, just acquired, is far and away the best. The final duet ("Ma come puoi lasciarmi") is delivered with such power and majesty that you can practically "see" Domingo and Te Kanawa on stage. A real treat!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This recording of Puccini's semi-popular opera is absolutely fantastic. Te Kanawa's pianissimo high notes in "Chi'il bel sogno di Doretta" are brilliantly done, showing she was able to fully master the difficult, yet beautiful, challenges of the role. Domingo's performance is, as usual, outstanding. Although the opera lacks any tenor arias, Domingo passionately and beautifully expresses his voice throughout the opera like no other (his opening to "Bevo al tuo fresco sorriso" is phenominal). Overall, this recording is a must-buy for the opera fan, especially for those who love Puccini's intimate melodies.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Good Stuff on January 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Yes, yes, yes. I know. There is a "track problem". One track per act, spread over two discs. Early digital. CBS was stupid. Sony should reissue it properly tracked, but it never will. So that's that.

However, what a magnificent recording! Dame Kiri and Domingo at the absolute pinnacle of their considerable talents. And Maazel's conducting is a model of appropriateness.

This is one of those occasions when it all seemed to go right, sort of like Beecham's "La Boheme". Yes, it's that good!

Do not deprive yourself. This is a recording that, even taking into account the caliber of the esteemed principals involved, will surprise you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Neill on March 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I have several recordings of La Rondine, undoubtedly Puccini's most underrated opera, but this one, just acquired, is far and away the best. The final duet ("Ma come puoi lasciarmi") is delivered with such power and majesty that you can practically "see" Domingo and Te Kanawa on stage. A real treat! One slight drawback: CD has one track per act, making it hard to tab particular arias, etc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BigD on December 20, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great performances of an under-rated oper(ett)a. A knock-off of La Traviata, I find the music more "real" and the story more touching. Instead of dying as in LT, the courtesan heroine must relinquish her fantasy of a happy life and resignedly returns to her old profession. The final note, a musical sigh, is breathtaking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hereward Lawford on September 17, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The best recording of this lesser-known opera that exists. Kiri Te Kanawa and Domingo produce some magestically moving duets and her arias are awe-ispiringly fine.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By L. E. Cantrell VINE VOICE on August 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Source: Studio recording issued as a CBS Records Masterwork.

Sound: Perfectly satisfactory DDD stereo.

Documentation: Libretto in Italian, English, German and French. Photographs of Domingo, Te Kanawa, Nicolesco, Maazel and Puccini. Essay on the creation of the opera by Barrymore Laurence Scherer. Nothing on the circumstances in which the recording was made. No date is provided, not even a copyright symbol.

Format: Disk 1 - Act I, one track, 38:15; Act II, one track, 29:45. Disk 2 - Act III, one track, 35:17.

This recording appears to be out of print, just as the opera is inexplicably out of the standard repertory. "La Rondine" is a marvelously good opera that would be regarded as a masterpiece from any composer less identified with the profitable operatic mainstream than Puccini. As a Puccini opera, alas, it is sadly lacking in hit tunes.

"La Rondine" is commonly regarded as Puccini's operetta and discounted for that reason. However, anyone listening to this in the hope of hearing an Italianate "Merry Widow" will be quickly disabused of that notion. Puccini, himself, is quoted as saying that he would never write an operetta, but that he would do a comic opera on the lines of "Der Rosenkavalier." He did, in fact, catch at least one quality of "Rosenkavalier," the long, dying fall of an extended farewell.

D. L. Scherer's accompanying essay advances the interesting notion that "La Rondine" is in some ways a sequel to "La boheme." The time is twenty years later. Rodolfo, now called Prunier, has become a prosperously successful poet. (Hacking out libretti for for Donizetti and Verdi, perhaps?) He has achieved much, but is uncomfortably aware that he has also lost much of what he was.
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