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Ritorna Vincitor! - the legendary Birgit Nilsson (2 CDs)

May 13, 2003

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Disc 2
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: February 17, 2003
  • Release Date: February 17, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca
  • Copyright: (C) 2003 Decca Music Group Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 2:34:24
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000VGTGBM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,212 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Every opera lover in the world met the news today of the December 25, 2005 passing of Birgit Nilsson with sadness. She was surely one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century, and in Wagnerian roles alone she was the equal of the great Kirsten Flagstadt. From her beginnings as a simple farm girl in Sweden she rose to the top of all of the international opera houses in the three decades when her voice was in full bloom. Her last public performance was in 1984 but she continued her legend in her masterclasses. She was a phenomenon whose glorious voice and presence will be much missed, but at least she has a huge recorded legacy that adds to her immortality.

This 2 CD set is a gathering of excerpts form many recordings and while it does not have the impact of, say, a full performance as Isolde or Brunnhilde or Turandot or Salome, it does offer a generous sampling of the many roles she mastered. Included on this set are arias form 'Macbeth', 'Aida', 'La Forza del Destino', 'Don Carlo', 'Tosca', 'Lohengrin', 'Die Götterdämmerung', 'Elektra', 'Salome', 'Die Frau ohne Schatten', 'Tannhäuser', 'Tristan und Isolde' and songs by Wagner ('Wesendonk Lieder'), Sibelius, Grieg, and Ture Rangström, and yes, even Frederick Lowe! She performs with various orchestras and conductors and pianists.

Not usually one for these 'best of' albums, this one is special, especially with the news that this extraordinary artist whose voice could reach the heavens is gone. An aptly titled memento -Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, January 06
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Birgit Nilsson was without a doubt the most powerful soprano of the 20th century, even a greater singer than Maria Callas, despite the fact that audiences loved Callas a lot more. Since her death on December 25th, 2005, I've listened to many of her recordings (and there are plenty, she was well-documented on recording). Nilsson was a versatile singer, and not just a Wagnerian specialist. This recording album of various arias represent her versatility and flexibility and even with all these arias of diverse repertoire, it's still not enough to capture her vast prowess. Not featured on here are her accounts of the Baker's Wife in Strauss' Die Frau Ohne Schatten and Minnie in Puccini's La Fanciulla Del West, or Agathe from Weber's Die Freischutz, not to mention her interpretation of Beethoven's heroine Leonore in Fidelio and Venus from Tannhauser. She was known for her ability to sing both Elisabeth (soprano) and Venus (mezzo-soprano) in Tannhauser!!

What we have here are wonderful accounts of arias from diverse operas. Let's analyze some of them, in hopes you can get hooked on Nilsson and check out her full-length opera recordings.

Wagner: Ring Des Nibelungen: Every opera connoisseur knows that Birgit Nilsson was the heir to Kirsten Flagstad's throne when it came to singing Brunhilde. Possessing a superhuman and radiant voice, she found a bit of her Swedish self in the mythic character of the Valkyrie Brunhilde. To me, there is no greater Brunhilde. She had a heroic voice so that the Immolation Scene in Gotterdammerung (featured here) is by far the best account. She appears in the Karl Bohm recordings of the Ring and the studio engineered Ring under the baton of George Solti. TRISTAN UND ISOLDE: Her debut role at the Metropolitan Opera was as Isolde.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Opera Mystery on May 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD
ABOUT THE ALBUM: Ritorna Vinctor! The Legendary Birgit Nilsson, 2003 Decca Music Group Limited, 2-CD set, with notebook, article and photographs of Birgit Nilsson. Compilation album of various excerpts from full-length opera studio recordings available on Decca Records and Columbia Records.

This compilation album became popular upon news of the death of Birgit Nilsson on Christmas Day, December 25, 2005. Nilsson died peacefully inside her private farm in her hometown in Sweden. She had enjoyed a long, prosperous and outstanding career in opera the likes of which we'll never see again. I'm not in the minority when I say that she is really by definition the best soprano of the 20th century. Dramatic sopranos who take on Nilsson's repertoire see her as something of a legend and a goddess who can't be matched by anyone else. Even in past its prime, her voice was strong enough to sing the heavy repertoire of Richard Strauss. In her youth, she took on the most dramatic roles in opera- Brunnhilde, Isolde, Salome, Elektra, Tosca, Turandot, Aida, Lady Macbeth and others, with a unique, steel-covered, high, laser-like, icy and penetrating soprano voice which is also a voice that you can easily identify as hers because no other soprano's voice resembled hers back then or even today. Though she was said to clash with conductors and opera directors, she had a terrific sense of humor and enjoyed pulling pranks during productions of her operas and was also approachable, friendly, warm and down-to-earth. Despite her huge voice, she was never a diva in the classic sense of the word (Maria Callas was a diva in the worst sense) and many remember her as a cheerful and kind lady. This album features 2 cd's that are compiled from studio recordings which feature Birgit Nilsson's artistry.
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