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Verdi: Great Operas [Box set]

Giuseppe Verdi , Riccardo Muti Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Price: $71.84 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Verdi: Great Operas + Wagner: Complete Operas (Limited Edition) + Verdi: The Complete Works
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Product Details

  • Conductor: Riccardo Muti
  • Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
  • Audio CD (January 22, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 35
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B00A4AI17A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,573 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

2013 will herald the start of Giuseppe Verdi s bicentennial year. To kick off the Verdi year, EMI Classics presents the ultimate Verdi box set that celebrates famed Italian composer. Verdi: The Great Operas is a 35-CD set that brings together 16 of Verdi s operatic masterpieces, ranging from his first real success, Nabucco, to his last, Falstaff. Also included are such stalwarts of the repertoire as Aida, La traviata and Rigoletto. Born on October 10, 1813, Verdi s operas are performed in opera houses all over the world and his status as one of the greatest opera composers of all time has never been higher. Some of his music has become absorbed into popular culture from being used in TV adverts and film soundtracks, as well as being performed by the most famous singers of the day in concerts and on records. Some of the best classical artists from the past and present are featured in this luxury set including sopranos Montserrat Caballé, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, and Renata Scotto; tenors José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Jon Vickers; mezzo-sopranos Fiorenza Cossotto, Elena Obraztsova and Shirley Verrett, and baritones Piero Cappuccilli, Peter Glossop and Sherrill Milnes, under famous conductors including Carlo Maria Giulini, Herbert von Karajan and Riccardo Muti.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Set of Verdi Operas January 26, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
2013 marks the bicentennial of the birth of both Verdi and Wagner. There are two sets of operas you should consider ... this set of Verdi from EMI and the complete Wagner operas from DG. They are both terrific bargains at around TWO DOLLARS per disk. Both sets have excellent performances which have all been reviewed elsewhere. The Wagner DG set allows you to access a German-English libretto on their web site. This EMI set has a brief booklet but NO access to a libretto and this is unfortunate.
The less popular operas have outstanding performances in this set. These have all be well-reviewed so what I am giving you is the list of recordings. Look them up. There should be a huge "WOW" and "Hooray and THANKS" once you read through all the reviews.

Here's the list:

Nabucco rec 1977-78 Riccardo Muti

Ernani rec 1982 Riccardo Muti

Giovanna d'Arco rec 1972 James Levine

Attila rec 1989 Riccardo Muti

Macbeth rec 1976 Riccardo Muti

Rigoletto rec 1955 Tullio Serafin

Il Trovatore rec 2001 Sir Antonio Pappano

La Traviata rec 1980 Riccardo Muti

I Vespri Sicilliani rec 1989-90 Riccardo Muti

Simon Boccanagra rec 1957 Gabriele Santini

Un Ballo in Maschera rec 1975 Riccardo Muti

La Forza del Destino rec 1986 Riccardo Muti

Don Carlo rec 1970 Carlo Maria Giulini

Aida rec 1967 Zubin Mehta

Otello rec 1973 Herbert von Karajan

Falstaff rec 1956 Herbert von Karajan

I haven't had a chance to listen to all the disks yet but what I have heard does not disappoint. I'll add pocket reviews later.

What a great way to celebrate Verdi's bicentennial.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bargain Verdi, not bargain performances March 15, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This box is certainly a bargain, and many libretti are available online with translations, even it would be more convenient to have a CD-ROM or a site for downloads. There are at least four absolutely top-tier recordings in here, for my taste, the Giulini Don Carlo and Karajan Otello have always been first choices; the Karajan Falstaff is quite good, and the Levine Giovanna d'Arco is pretty much one of two good recordings out there. My only serious quibble is a minor one, and that is that much emphasis is put on Muti (half of the operas presented) and while a fine conductor, especially for Verdi, often he is in his "come scritto" phase. This is more a matter of knowing before you go in so that you don't expect a high C at the end of "O mio rimorso" from Alfredo Kraus, even though he was definitely capable of it; Verdi didn't write it and you won't hear it here. I am probably least fond of the Alagna Trovatore (the voices of the leads just feel a size or two too small for the roles) but it acquits itself fairly well. For the price you absolutely can't go wrong with this, or the Decca set. Only one overlap between the two as well, which is the I vespri Siciliani, since the only other good recording is on RCA and therefore not available for either company to put in a boxed set. Maybe we could get an RCA/Sony Verdi set for some of those wonderful recordings from the 50s, 60s, and 70s?
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Discs...Cheap, Horrid Packaging April 22, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
From all the other reviews, you can quickly get a sense of how well performed these works are, and the technical quality of the discs is quite good. I'm just bummed at the cheap, poorly executed packaging of this set. The bottom half of the set is typical of many boxed sets of this type. The top half is a flimsy light weight slip cover. Although wrapped in clear plastic, this slip cover did not arrive in good condition. I do not blame the shipper...I blame whoever chose to design this with no lid and only a poor slip cover to actually hold the discs in the lower half box. I'd throw the slip cover away, except that would only leave a generic bottom half of a shoe box to hold the set. EMI needs to rethink this "design" and make it decent for the real world. Had I known about this issue, I could have purchased a different Label's Verdi box. Love the music, hate the look/function of the packaging.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All in one place March 14, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I haven't listened to all of them yet, but based on the casts, they should be pretty good. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, like any opera recordings, there are some good singers in any production, and some that make the listener cringe. You might find individual performances that you like better, but to have every Verdi opera at your fingertips is a pleasure. And EMI recordings are not shabby, regardless of their age. I would suggest that you buy this box, and when you find an opera that you don't care for, you can look for a better performance. If you don't find one, at least you'll have a recording that contains some pleasing singers. Use this set as your basis for comparisons.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Value December 21, 2013
By nhhmd
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I base this review in fairly extensive listening to Nabucco, Ernani, Giovanna d'Arco, and Attila. I won't wait to write a review based on all 16 operas - that could take years. However, with 16 operas in all, this set has to represent one of the best values in all of classical music. Where can one get high quality opera recordings for less than $5 per opera these days? The singing ranges from good to outstanding. The sound quality is generally quite good, though some recordings dating from the fifties suffer in comparison to modern recordings. The one major negative is that there are no libretti or liner notes. It would seem that including an extra CD containing all the libretti would not have been that hard to do, but oh, well; the libretti are available on the web at OperaGlass and, etc., for the dedicated. If you love Verdi, this is a way to have an instant collection for dirt cheap. If you don't know some of Verdi's lesser known or earlier works (the 4 operas above - operas #3, #5, #7, and #9 in the Verdi canon - are chock-full of great music, and are easily worth the full price of the entire set by themselves), this is a great way to get to know them without spending many hundreds of dollars for full price sets, or thousands of dollars to see them all live. I highly recommend this set for those wanting to get to know the greatest opera composer ever, and for those who already know him and are looking for a great value.
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