Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
Good, but the 1963 RCA Vienna Karajan with Leontyne Price is better.
on January 22, 2017
This is Herbert Von Karajan's final recording of "Carmen", in clinical, clear but at times cold DDD digital sound. Performance overall is excellent with the exception of a few plodding tempos, but engineering is "Grade B" and lacking in bass. Also the sound is somewhat low level and lacking in impact in the Act 3 choruses.
All the principals: Baltsa, Carreras, van Dam, Ricciarelli: are excellent as is the Berlin Philharmonic. Karajan's tempos and phrasing show many years' familiarity with Carmen.
This DG recording (1983) pales in comparison with Karajan's 1963 RCA Carmen with Leontyne Price, Franco Corelli, Mirella Freni and the Vienna Philharmonic. My recommendation would be the 1963 RCA Vienna/Karajan; both audio and performance make a better impact that holds the attention of the listener better than this DG.