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Aida

4.3 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Though recorded in Rome, this is anything but a traditional Italian Aida. Some find it infuriating, others fascinating. Besides displaying a vocal control and technique way beyond most Radames portrayals, Jon Vickers sings the famous "Celeste Aida" like a thoughtful, inner soliloquy rather than just a showstopper. In the earlier of her two recordings, Price shows why Aida was her signature role, and Gorr can only be a formidable Amneris. The big polarizing force is conductor Sir Georg Solti. An explosive Wagnerian, Solti is accused of making Verdi too bombastic and neglecting the sense of lyrical line. I say he gave the opera grandeur, though admittedly in a manner the composer might not have recognized. --David Patrick Stearns

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Aida, opera: Preludio
  2. Aida, opera: Act 1, scene 1: 'Sì: corre voce che l'Etiope ardisca'
  3. Aida, opera: Act 1, scene 1: 'Se quel guerrier io fossi!'
  4. Aida, opera: Act 1, scene 1: 'Quale insolita gioia'
  5. Aida, opera: Act 1, scene 1: 'Alta cagion v'aduna'
  6. Aida, opera: Act 1, scene 1: 'Ritorna vincitor!'
  7. Aida, opera: Act 1, scene 2: 'Possente, possente Fthà'
  8. Aida, opera: Act 1, scene 2: 'Mortal, diletto ai Numi'

Disc: 2

  1. Aida, opera: Act 2, scene 1: 'Chi mai fra gl'inni e i plausi'
  2. Aida, opera: Act 2, scene 1: 'Fu la sorte dell'armi a' tuoi funesta'
  3. Aida, opera: Act 2, scene 1: 'Su! del Nilo al sacro lido'
  4. Aida, opera: Act 2, scene 2: 'Gloria all'Egitto, ad Iside'
  5. Aida, opera: Act 2, scene 2: Marcia
  6. Aida, opera: Act 2, scene 2: 'Vieni, o guerriero vindice'
  7. Aida, opera: Act 2, scene 2: 'Salvator della patria, io ti saluto'
  8. Aida, opera: Act 2, scene 2: 'Che veggio!... Egli?... Mio padre!'
  9. Aida, opera: Act 2, scene 2: 'Quest'assisa ch'io vesto vi dica'
  10. Aida, opera: Act 2, scene 2: 'Ma tu, Re, tu signore possente'
  11. Aida, opera: Act 2, scene 2: 'Gloria all'Egitto, ad Iside'

Disc: 3

  1. Aida, opera: Act 3: 'O tu che sei d'Osiride'
  2. Aida, opera: Act 3: 'Qui Radamès verrà!... Che vorrà dirmi?'
  3. Aida, opera: Act 3: 'Ciel! mio padre!'
  4. Aida, opera: Act 3: 'Pur ti riveggo, mia dolce Aida...'
  5. Aida, opera: Act 3: 'Fuggiam gli ardori inospiti'
  6. Aida, opera: Act 3: 'Tu... Amonasro!... tu!... Il Re?'
  7. Aida, opera: Act 4, scene 1: 'L'abborrita rivale a me sfuggia...'
  8. Aida, opera: Act 4, scene 1: 'Già i Sacerdoti adunansi'
  9. Aida, opera: Act 4, scene 1: 'Ohimè!... morir mi sento! Oh! chi lo salva?'
  10. Aida, opera: Act 4, scene 1: 'Radamès! Radamès! Radamès!'
  11. Aida, opera: Act 4, scene 2: 'La fatal pietra sovra me si chiuse'
  12. Aida, opera: Act 4, scene 2: 'Presago il core della tua condanna'
  13. Aida, opera: Act 4, scene 2: 'O terra, addio; addio, valle di pianti'


Product Details

  • Performer: Leontyne Price, Jon Vickers, Robert Merrill, Franco Ricciardi, Rita Gorr
  • Orchestra: Orchestra e Coro del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
  • Conductor: Sir Georg Solti
  • Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041RW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,951 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is my personal favorite stereo recording of "Aida". True, Solti may conduct "Aida" as though it were Wagner's "Tannhauser" (the brass and percussion are incredibly prominent on this recordin), but this approach has rewards and pays dividends that one would not encounter in a more traditional reading of the score. This recording enshrines the first recorded Aida of Leontyne Price, and that alone is reason enough to own this wonderful recording. Price, like Zinka Milanov immediately before her, had the perfect voice for this role. At the time of this recording, the voice was long, silken, and had that smokey sound that later gave way to the hoarse quality that became evident on her more recent recordings (such as her second recorded Aida ten years after this one). Dramatically, Price delivers a deeply felt and compelling performance. Her Aida genuinely convinces one of her plight. The more I listen to Rita Gorr on this recording, the more convinced I become that she may well have had the greatest mezzo soprano voice of the post World War period. Her Amneris, to my ear, is the absolute best of the bunch (no faint praise, since that bunch would include Simionato, Barbieri, Bumbry, and Cossotto---- all great mezzos who excelled as Amneris). She has all of the qualities: venom, anger, and finally, anguish and heartbreak, and her voice is so large and massive that she easily soars over Solti's very strong orchestra. Jon Vickers is not a typical Rhadames. The voice is large and very dramatic in a Teutonic sort of way, but he knows how to scale his sound down when he needs to, and his Nile Duet with Price is beautifully done. Robert Merrill does a solid job as Amonasro, meeting Price on her own ground in the pivotal father-daughter duet. The bottom line: a stunning job by all the principals, under a conductor who dares to be different.
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I will not begin by extolling the artistic qualities of this set: suffice it to say it is a classic and one of the very best AIDA recordings ever. Unfortunately it has suffered from poor presentations regarding sound quality, although being recorded by one of RCA' genius engineers, Lewis Layton, responsible for several of the best Living Stereo recordings.
This recording was issued by RCA itself in the 90's with a heavy use of Dolby noise reduction, which reduced the recording itself to a muffled and lackluster sound. For those who owned the original Lps this was a great disappointment. Following this, both Urania and Naxos issued remasterings of this recording, but as most people know the source for those are good quality Lp pressings, which yield debatable results.
Now, RCA/Sony has finally taken a second dip, remastering the recordings using 24bit/96 kHz technology, most apparetly from first generation tapes
The result is simply breathtaking: sound is brilliant and full-bodied at the same time, all the frequencies are there. It even takes a while to realise this is a Mono recording!
Warm congratulations to RCA/Sony team for bringing back this jewell of a recording to all its resplendent glory.
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I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this recording. I've reviewed previous editions on these pages before. I was gifted with this recording when I was seventeen (in all fairness, it had already been available for quite a few years), and I bonded with it from the get-go. The many, many years that have passed have not changed my opinion one iota. Milanov and Bjoerling together make this the most vocally opulent Aida ever. Their duets in the Nile Scene and the Tomb Scene ALONE would warrant placement in some kind of vocal archive. Fedora Barbieri's Amneris is full of fury and booming chest tones, and Leonard Warren's Amonasro is close to ideal. This is a performance dominated by the singing of the four principals, and the new remastering brings it all out in spades. I'm thrilled to have this recording in such vivid sound. Listening to this recording brings me back to the first time I heard it as a teenager, and it gratifies me that my initial feelings were so on-target. With all due respect to the many great recordings of Aida, as well as to the great artists like Callas, Tebaldi, Caballe, Price, Corelli, Domingo, Tucker, and Vickers, I still cannot think that this outstanding Aida will ever be surpassed on recordings. It is a recording that is far better experienced than described. There's no more for me to say.
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I have always loved this recording. It was my first Aida at age twelve, the year it came out, and I have gotten and studied every one that has followed in the years since. I was so pleased with the previous CD release that I almost believed the review by the customer who declined even to hear this new import on the grounds that he didn't want spring for the thirty bucks. But I came to my senses - why pay attention to a "reviewer" who puts down a product he hasn't even heard? - and ordered it. I am so glad I did!
In addition to the quality of the performance, already well-extolled by other writers here, the remastering is near-miraculous. No, make that miraculous, period! For depth, transparency, clarity and dynamic range it holds its own with any and every Aida recording of any vintage. If you love this opera as I do, or even if you have not yet been grabbed by it, don't miss this recording.
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