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Puccini: Tosca

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Audio CD, October 12, 1993
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Product Details

  • Performer: Carol Vaness, Giuseppe Giacomini, Giorgio Zancanaro, Piero De Palma, Orazio Mori, et al.
  • Orchestra: Philadephia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Riccardo Muti
  • Composer: Giacomo Puccini
  • Audio CD (October 12, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B00000E50X
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,378 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I have read some rather odd things in previous reviews about this wonderful recording and would certainly like to counteract some of the strangest assertions. Although I am a fan of all three principal singers, for some reason I wasn't expecting much from this "Tosca", maybe because it rarely gets a mention in surveys - and most people remain satisfied principally with the legendary Callas/Gobbi recording or one of those featuring bigger name sopranos like Price or Tebaldi.

In fact this goes right to the top of my list of favourite versions, just below that Callas set. First of all, the sound is terrific, in the best Philips tradition, and the playing of the Philadelphians is sumptuous, especially when they are directed with the sensitivity and flexibility that their conductor, Muti, displays throughout this opera. He can sometimes be driven, inflexible and almost perfunctory, but he really lets Puccini's music breathe here: just sample the way he makes the orchestra subtly underline the irony of Scarpia's faux-courtliness towards Tosca by emphasising the oily, chromatic shifts in the music before he begins his "wooing"; or try the surge and flow of the desperate "love and freedom" music just before the lovers' betrayal. I have rarely heard Puccini played with such sympathy and understanding.

As for the soloists, they are superb. Vaness has a vibrancy to her vibrato which easily suggests repressed hysteria or deep emotion and sometimes almost threatens to get away from her on the highest, loudest notes, but she is a great vocal actress with a very serviceable lower-register to underline her tigerish temperament and she has clearly thought her character right through to represent a coherent, credible Tosca.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Avila on September 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Soprano Carol Vaness is quite possibly the greatest interpretor of Puccini's feisty Roman diva in most recent times, though I'm sure it can be debated that Angela Gheorghiu is perhaps the finest in our time as her performance is even reminiscent of Maria Callas's Tosca. But in this recording, conducted by Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Carol Vaness goes above and beyond and truly understands that Tosca is best sung with a combination of flesh-and-blood naturalism and gorgeous Puccini vocal lyricism. Her is, as already mentioned by reviewers and critics, a voice that is not huge or strong, especially when compared to the likes of such Tosca as Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Birgit Nilsson, Leontyne Price, Montserrat Caballe, Ghena Dimitrova and Eva Marton. But she is flexible in her portrayal, and sharp, her voice spewing passions like javelins- romantic love, jealousy and suspicion in the first act, hatred, horror and murderous revenge in the second act and a kind of frenzied madness in the last. She is able to dramatize all the emotions associated with Tosca and she is perfect in all her lines (I.E. "You will not have him tonight- I Swear! Giuro!" toward the end of the first Act as Scarpia uses the Marchesa Attavantis' fan to arouse her suspicion that Mario is being unfaithful, "Ah, Piu Non Posso! Ah Que Horrore ! A Non Posso Piu ! "Non E ver! Soggigno de demone ! "It's not true, snarling demon ! "Oh, I can't stand it anymore, what horror, I can't stand it anymore!" "Questo Il Bacio Di Tosca..Muori Dannato Muori! "This is Tosca's kiss, die in damnation die!" the famous words she utters as she murders the wicked Baron Scarpia and of course she is effectively dramatic as she closes the aria with her suicidal leap from the top of the Castel San Angelo and cries "O Scarpia, Avanti a Dio!Read more ›
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard E. Yaklich on February 15, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This recording was not in the catalog for very long, which is surprising since it is a fine recording of this opera. The real stars here are Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra. It is too bad this great American Orchestra did not make many opera recordings. The last act is thrillingly played and Muti gives a dramatic account of this warhorse.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By sara wollan on August 30, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The orchestra takes center stage for a thrilling Tosca, finally the warmth and power, clarity and beauty of sound this drama asks for
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