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Donizetti: L'Elisir d'Amore

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 17, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Two CD archive release. Direct from the Metropolitan Opera's archives, these complete live recordings are taken from the historic Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts and are newly remastered from the original sources. All feature great singers in live performance, at the height of their careers.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Act I: Preludio (Prelude) - Thomas Schippers
  2. Bel conforto al mietitore - Loretta Di Franco
  3. Quanto è bella, quanto è cara! - Chi la mente mi rischiara? - Loretta Di Franco
  4. Benedette queste carte!
  5. Marziale - Thomas Schippers
  6. Come Paride vezzoso
  7. Or se m'ami, come io t'amo
  8. Intanto, o mia ragazza
  9. Una parola, o Adina
  10. Chiedi all'aura lusinghiera
  11. Che vuol dire codesta suonata? - Thomas Schippers
  12. Udite, udite, o rustici - Fernando Corena
  13. Ardir! Ha forse il cielo - Fernando Corena
  14. Voglio dire, lo stupendo Elisir - Fernando Corena
  15. Caro Elisir! Sei mio!
  16. Esulti pur la barbara
  17. Tran, tran, tran ... In guerra ed in amor
  18. Signor sargente
  19. Adina credimi
  20. Andiam, Belcore

Disc: 2

  1. Act II: Cantiamo, facciam brindisi - Loretta Di Franco
  2. Io son ricco e tu sei bella - Silenzio! È qua il Notaro
  3. Le feste nuziali - Fernando Corena
  4. La donna è un animale - Frank Guarrera
  5. Ai perigli della guerra - Qua la mano, giovinotto - Frank Guarrera
  6. Saria possibile? - Loretta Di Franco
  7. Dell'elisir mirabile
  8. Io già m'immagino
  9. Come sen va contento! -Quanto amore!
  10. Una tenera occhiatina
  11. Una furtiva lagrima - Carlo Bergonzi
  12. Eccola. Oh! Qual le accresce beltà
  13. Prendi, per me sei libero
  14. Or, or si spiega - Il mio rigor dimentica
  15. Alto! Fronte!
  16. Ei corregge ogni difetto


Product Details

  • Performer: The Metropolitan Opera Chorus, Roberta Peters, Carlo Bergonzi, Frank Guarrera, Fernando Corena, et al.
  • Orchestra: The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  • Conductor: Thomas Schippers
  • Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
  • Audio CD (January 17, 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • ASIN: B006DQ1IX8
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,856 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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This performance of Donizetti's perennial favorite is indeed a treasure! To begin, it features the animated and vivacious Adina of Roberta Peters who is not overly represented on records as well as MET favorite Frank Guarrera as Belcore. Include the classic Dulcamara of Fernando Corena, plus the alert conducting of Thomas Schippers, and one is guaranteed a quite respectable performance.

However, added into this already notable equation is the haunting and extraordinary Nemorino of Carlo Bergonzi. What can one say! They just don't make tenors like this nowadays... well they do, but they somehow don't exude the sophistication, style, and eloquence of Bergonzi at his best... and please be assured that on this occasion Signor Bergonzi is indeed at his absolute best!

One need only listen to the tenor's brief opening aria to realize that a very special performance is in the making... and by the time we reach the show-stopping aria "Una furtiva lagrima" the promise is not only realized, but carried out in spades. Indeed, on this occasion Bergonzi gives the most heartfelt rendition of this aria that I have ever heard... One not only feels for the plight of the unfortunate Nemorino, but one is simply in awe of the liquid tones and seamless legato that Bergonzi relishes on the piece. His interpretation of this aria alone is more than worth the price of admission... and as such should be required listening not only for aspiring tenors, but a few present-day world-class tenors as well!

Unfortunately many of the traditional cuts common at the time are taken... still, every aria and ensemble is included, if not in entirely complete form... and that along with the monaural sound might preclude this release from being an absolute first choice L'Elisir.
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This is a broadcast of the Nathaniel Merrill production, in which Dulcamara entered and exited in a hot air balloon -- an actual deus ex machina, although comic rather than stern and godlike. The whole performance is appropriately lighter than air and -- sonics aside -- about as fine as you are apt to find anywhere. Top vocal honors, of course, go to Roberta Peters as Adina and Carlo Bergonzi as Nemorino, who sings an "Una furtiva lagrima" that is a textbook lesson in bel canto. Dulcamara is delightfully portrayed by Fernando Corena, and Frank Guarrera blusters nicely as Belcore. All are deftly supported by Thomas Schippers in the pit.

(Incidentally, this was one of the last broadcasts from the Old Met.)
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Here is another broadcast from when the the Met really was THE Met, attracting the world's finest singers and conductors. Carlo Bergonzi is a legend with a rich, beautifully-produced voice that could do justice to Radames and Manrico as well as a tender Nemorino. Roberta Peters had a long career of Met roles, dramatic and light, performing all with vitality.

Another plus is that, for one of its few times, the Sony hype of "first time on CD" is true. It's too bad Sony doesn't stick to previously unreleased broadcasts to give us treasures that really haven't been available before.
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