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Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Artist: MENOTTI,G.C.
Title: AMAHL & THE NIGHT VISITORS-COM
Street Release Date: 07/16/1999
Domestic
Genre: OPERA/OPERETTA

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Back in the days when the forces that controlled television actually cared about art, it was perfectly normal to see original plays and live musical performances right in your living room. In 1950, Menotti was commissioned to write an opera for television, and on Christmas Eve, 1951, Amahl and the Night Visitors was performed by the NBC Television Theater. This recording, under the composer's personal direction, was made a few days later, and it remains the definitive version, even though the sound is very dated and rough in places. This story of a poor shepherd boy's encounter with three kings and the miraculous healing of his crippled leg when he offers his crutch as a gift has captured audiences around the world ever since its premiere. Its charming mix of tuneful melody, dancing rhythms, delightful choruses, humor and poignancy, and an English text makes this work immediately accessible to audiences of all ages and musical tastes. --David Vernier
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Product Details

  • Performer: Rosemary Kuhlmann, Chet Allen, Davis Aiken, Frank Monachino
  • Orchestra: NBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Thomas Schippers
  • Composer: Gian Carlo Menotti
  • Audio CD (September 1, 1987)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 46 minutes
  • ASIN: B000003EPE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,595 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Christmastime and watching the HallMark Hall of Fame production of Amahl were never a separate thing for us when we grew up... Imagine a time when real art was on TV? When quality was paramount? There was a time,and we waited for it like waiting for Santa: First came Amahl on Christmas Eve,then we went to bed trying very hard to hear whether or not we,too would be able to hear the 3 kings in the distance....... I own both this recording,and the new one that came out a couple of years ago by the gang at the Royal Opera. While the most recent recording may be technically a better recording, for me there will never be another person singing that mother's part except for that lady on the live recording....her voice is so light,yet strong. Perhaps what someone trying to scrape by on nothing would have to be. I love the first recording, and I like it even better digitally remastered. It's never going to sound as "perfect" as the newer digital one,but that's probably one of its most endearing qualities. None of live music is ever completely perfect.Like humanity. The newer one sounds too much like a recital: Too perfect(for me). This one,for me was spontaneous,like life: Full of real emotion. Spend the money,go for it...you won't be sorry. Allow yourself to believe,just as that little boy believed........and if you have a chance, go in person to one of the many performances presented this christmas in your area. You'll appreciate this live recording even more. You won't be sorry.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the only recording of Amahl & the Night Visitors worth having. As other reviewers have stated, there are other recordings with more technical clarity, but absolutely no other compares to the purity, warmth, and feeling present in this original cast production. I am not an opera fan but have loved "Amahl" since childhood - it brings tears to my eyes every year. Give it a try!
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Format: Audio CD
How wonderful to re-visit an old friend after many years and find that he or she has not only survived, but has grown more interesting and beautiful with time. This is exactly how I feel about Gian Carlo Menotti's lovely opera AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS.
As a child, I not only watched it on television, but saw it on the stage in various venues, including Hunter College, even as recently as about one dozen years ago when a friend played Amahl's mother in a semi-staged concert version in New York's Avery Fisher Hall.
Written originally as an opera for children, it certainly also speaks to adults. As to why children, even children who are totally uninterested in opera, appreciate AMAHL..., it is pretty easy to figure out that no character in the opera ever sings just for the sake of singing. All of the music comes naturally out of the simple characters, so that the beautiful music can be listened to without thinking that the characters are "putting on airs" or "showing off their vocal skills." The libretto, also, is simplicity itself: all of the words seem totally fitting for the five characters: a mother, her crippled son and their three royal visitors. Even the dance music does not overstay its welcome. One wishes that other opera composers would take a lesson from Menotti: say what you want to say and don't repeat it ad infinitum.
This "original cast" 1952 recording can be enjoyed thoroughly even though the sound is not as sharp as a newer recording might have. The entire cast is terrific and Chet Allen as "Amahl" is completely believable, sweet and absolutely touching when he asks his mother if he may visit Christ in the manger. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR BOTH ADULTS AND CHILDREN.
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Format: Audio CD
This opera by Menotti used to be a staple every Christmas after it was introduced on NBC TV in 1950. Sadly, it has disappeared from the TV scene, in spite of the hundreds of cable channels that could carry this thought-provoking opera. A sign of the times, perhaps.
In this opera Menotti presents a most compelling image of what Christmas giving is all about. In an impulsive act of love for the Christ child, Amahl offers the only possession he has--his crutch--as a gift to be taken by the wise men to the Child. "...He may need it," Amahl says, almost wistfully. Then the miracle happens... Not because he has beseeched, not because he has prayed, but because he has gone outside of himself and thought of the needs of others.
It is a magical insight; few such insights come to us in even a lifetime of living. And Menotti perceived it, and conceived a way of bringing it to our attention in this timeless opera, for which I will be ever grateful.
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Format: Audio CD
"Amahl and the Night Visitors" truly defines the Christmas season and provides families with a wonderful lesson in self-lessness,adoration, praise and grace. This piece is less than one hour long and is sung in English. The original 1950 cast recording lacks today's technological prowess but the voices are delightful and easily understood. The libretto included in the CD also relates the story, so little is lost. Menotti's wonderful score tugs at your heart and lifts your spirits. Toddlers on up can join the family and enjoy this lovely tale of Amahl the poor crippled shepherd boy, his mother,their shepherd friends, the 3 larger-than-life kings (my favorite is Kaspar), the page, and realization that life is about giving to others unselfishly. "Amahl" will become a highly treasured volume in your CD collection.
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