Massenet - Werther / Alagna · Gheorghiu · Hampson · Petibon · Courtis · Fouchécourt · Frémeau · LSO · Pappano
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Top Customer Reviews
Ever since Roberto Alagna recorded "Pourquoi me reveiller?" for his first recital CD, I have been eagerly awaiting him to sing the entire role, an appetite further whetted by his wonderful renditions of Don Carlos, Romeo and Hoffmann. Nothing, however, prepared me for just how fantastic he is here. The voice has such beauty, warmth and sweetness, and a dark color perfectly suited to Werther's melancholy. Whatever minor technical problems he might have had in the past are just a fleeting memory. His upper register has really solidified, and he manages not only a stupendous C at the end of the "Prodigal Son" aria (and he really seems to be praying!), but gorgeous dreamy pianissimi in the "Claire de lune" scene and especially the Act II duet with Thomas Hampson. Of course, his French is superb, and his diction is so good that if I spoke the language better I wouldn't even need the libretto. Most important, he truly lives the role, and projects every emotion and nuance of the text perfectly. He is the finest interpreter of the role since Georges Thill and Alfredo Kraus.
There may be those who prefer a mezzo to a soprano in this role, but Angela Gheorghiu is the latest in a long line of excellent soprano Charlottes. Her voice is like the most radiant and beautiful starry night you can imagine, perfect for the "Clair de lune".Read more ›
Roberto alagna, a native French speaker despite his name, is the only prominent Werther who can claim that distinciton. I've always felt he was much better suited to French opera than the heavier Verdi-Puccini roles that he now sings, and which (shadoes of Carreras) have led to a coarsening of his voice, along with a pronounced wobble and intonation problems. but he is a star, no doubt, and here he brings charisma and style to Wether. He takes care to find many musical shadings throughout, and since the date for this recording is 1998-99, he is nearly in best voice.
Everyone has praised Pappano (are they following the lead of The Gramophone reviewer, who thought he was the best thing here?), but Colin Davis, Georges Pretre, and Kent Nagano had done as well. Pappano;s distinciton is that he is a bit slower, more dleiberate, and self-consciously refined. I'm not sure that's always a great advantage in Massanet, whose music is given to sighs and longueurs--it can use help form an energetic conductor. EMI's recording form London is a bit distant but otherwise quite good.
In all, this is a gripping peformance that deserves all the praise it has gotten, but it doesn't erase memories of other fine Werthers, an opera that has been amazingly successful on records.Read more ›
Roberto Alagna has been criticized for his flawed technique- he sings with self-conscious grandeur and often imitates the lyric tones of predecessors Giuseppe Di Stefano and Franco Corelli. He has a nearly "pop" style voice - all razzzle-dazzle, great volume, beautiful tone, but often fails in the more difficult music. He is however, very gifted and intelligent and attempts to sing with as much passion and drama as possible. I for one love what I hear from him, especially in this recording, where he has never sang better.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was fortunate to have just seen a live performance of Werther in Paris, starring Roberto Alagna. This recording is quite similar to the magnificent live performance. Read morePublished on February 9, 2014 by Andrea S Kustin-Mager
I missed this "Werther" first time around but now that it's available in any of three different EMI issues at a bargain price, there is no obstacle to any admirer of either the... Read morePublished on August 23, 2013 by Ralph Moore
Hi, even though I rated 5 star, i have to let you know that the paper box is really worn out and it should have been mentioned in the description. Read morePublished on June 25, 2013 by Yakup K.
Sorprendente acierto de la EMI (la casa para la que grababa Alfredo Kraus, uno de los interpretes de referencia del papel de 'Werther') al confiar a una de las parejas mas activas... Read morePublished on October 22, 2004 by Annio mozartiano ;)
Perfect casting for the title role... Alagna feels *good* and sorry for himself...no problems there! Just listen to him belt and bleat through "Pourquoi"... Read morePublished on January 6, 2000
this is alagnas best role so far.of course he is noted for his french roles especially romeo.but he is even better as werther. Read morePublished on November 3, 1999 by Dolores Zoch