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Verdi: Luisa Miller (Metropolitan Opera)

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 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. Sinfonia - Thomas Schippers
  2. Act I: Ti desta, Luisa, regina de'cori - Thomas Schippers
  3. Ecco mia figlia - Sherrill Milnes
  4. Lo vidi, e'l primo palpito - Sherrill Milnes
  5. T'amo d'amor ch'esprimere - Sherrill Milnes
  6. Ferma ed ascolta - Sacra la scelta - Sherrill Milnes
  7. Ah! fu giusto il mio sospetto! - Sherrill Milnes
  8. Che mai narrasti! ... Il mio sangue, la vita darei - Giorgio Tozzi
  9. Padre - M'abbraccia ... Quale un sorriso - Richard Tucker
  10. Duchessa - Duchessa tu m'appelli! ... Dal l'aule raggianti di vano splendor - Richard Tucker
  11. Sciogliete i levrieri - Sherrill Milnes
  12. Tu, tu, signor, fraqueste soglie! - Sherrill Milnes
  13. Fra'mortali ancora oppressa - Sherrill Milnes
  14. I cenni miei si compiano - Sherrill Milnes
  15. Act II: Ah! Luisa, Luisa ove sei? - Nancy Williams
  16. Il padre tuo - Finisci - Montserrat Caballé
  17. Tu puniscimi, o Signore - Montserrat Caballé
  18. Qui nulla s'attenta imporre al tuo core - Montserrat Caballé
  19. A brani, a brani, o perfido - Montserrat Caballé

Disc: 2

  1. Ebben? - Tutte appresta i della trama le fila - Giorgio Tozzi
  2. L'alto retaggio non ho bramato - Giorgio Tozzi
  3. Vien la Duchessa! - Montserrat Caballé
  4. Come celar le smanie - Montserrat Caballé
  5. Il foglio dunque? - Richard Tucker
  6. Quando le sere al placido - Richard Tucker
  7. Di me chiedeste? - L'ara, o l'avello apprestami - Richard Tucker
  8. Act III: Come in un giorno solo - Sherrill Milnes
  9. Pallida, mesta sei! - Sherrill Milnes
  10. La tomba è un letto sparso di fiori - Di rughe il volto mira - Montserrat Caballé
  11. Andrem, raminghi e poveri - Sherrill Milnes
  12. Ah! l'ultima preghiera - Richard Tucker
  13. Hai tu vergato questo foglio? - Richard Tucker
  14. Piangi, piangi il tuo dolore - Richard Tucker
  15. Donna, per noi terribile - Richard Tucker
  16. Ah! Maledetto, maledetto il di ch'io nacqui - Sherrill Milnes
  17. Padre, ricevi l'estremo addio . . . Ah! vieni meco - Sherrill Milnes


Product Details

  • Performer: The Metropolitan Opera Chorus, Montserrat Caballe, Richard Tucker, Sherrill Milnes, Giorgio Tozzi, et al.
  • Orchestra: The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  • Conductor: Thomas Schippers
  • Composer: Giuseppi Verdi
  • Audio CD (January 17, 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • ASIN: B006DQ1IZ6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Sony has recently been releasing Met broadcasts with a sticker that falsely proclaims "first time on CD." While they might mean something like "first authorized time on CD", that's not what they say, giving trusting collectors the false impression that they're getting something that truly hasn't been available. This release of the 17 Feb 1968 broadcast has been available on the Nuova Era and Living Stage labels. If you have either of these releases, there's no reason to get this one. In all the ones I've compared in the past(Sony to previous releases), the sound on the Sony release is identical to previous releases and the Sony CD contain no extra material such as announcements by Milton Cross or Peter Allen. If you want to find whether a broadcast has been released on CD, look it up Frank Hamilton's excellent website "[...]" and click on "Metropolitan Opera performances on CD".

After an absence of 38 years, LUISA MILLER rteurned to the Met with the cast on this broadcast, 9 days afterwards, with a cast who knew how to sing Verdi. All, singers and conductor, are in top form and better than any cast you'll hear today. Tucker was showing signs of his age and vocal indulgence but could he sing! Caballe was in her prime and Tozzi was one of the finest bassos of the era.

So, if you don't have one of the earlier releases, I recommend adding this to your collection.
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Format: Audio CD
This is yet another in the series of re-mastered issues of the Saturday matinee broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera in what from our perspective definitely now looks like its heyday. While it stands to reason that not all of them are equally valuable, the standard has been astonishing high and serves to remind us what a really top-class opera cast looks like when drawn from a roster which has talent in depth, as opposed to today's unseemly scramble by the big houses to nab the one or two singers in the world capable of singing Verdi to the requisite standard. As they are all recorded live in mono sound, their desirability might depend upon the availability of competitive studio recordings in stereo; certainly, before you buy it, you should be sure that this issue has advantages over the 1975 Decca set made with two of the same principals, arguably a singer much better suited to the demands of the heroic tenor lead and, by and large, a superior supporting cast all recorded in splendid stereo. However, it must be admitted that both the performance and the sound are so good on this Met set that one almost forgets it is mono.

I am certainly not trying to dissuade anyone from purchasing this. For one thing, good as she is for Decca seven years later, Caballé is decidedly more delicate here in this live performance, floating her trademark top B's so seductively whereas in 1975 she goes for power more often. On the other hand, here, live at the Met, some top notes are a little shrill, Milnes is less nuanced than for Peter Maag and that more experienced conductor's direction is decidedly more subtle than Schippers' energised approach.
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Format: Audio CD
Only opera buffs are likely to be interested in a live Met performance of a secondary Verdi opera in mono sound, and only buffs are reviewing it at Amazon. The two earlier reviews describe what's here very reliably: the young Caballe is lovely voice, the aging Richard Tucker in loud, unlovely voice, three impressive lower male singers (Tozzi, Milnes, Flagello) doing yeoman work in their roles, and a good-enough conducting job by Thomas Schippers, who keeps the variable Met orchestra of that era from sounding scrappy.

For me, the most cogent remark is Ralph Moore's, who tells us that there isn't much reason to prefer a live Met performance, good as it is, to even better studio recordings. Despite its famous tenor aria, "Quando le sere al placido," much of the opera seems like Verdi applying his early rum-tum style with generic professionalism. This is a little strange, because Schiller's play has been faithfully adapted for the libretto, and it is a considerable literary work that one might have thought would interest Verdi. Although called "Luisa Miller" in English, the original German title, "Cabal and Love," indicates the tension between court intrigue and a hopeless love affair. We are in the vicinity of Rigoletto and, more markedly, Ballo in maschera. Perhaps the plot wasn't elemental enough to interest Verdi except fitfully; as it stands, the memorable numbers are the quieter lyrical ones, as Mr. Moore points out.

For me, "Luisa Miller" is an work like I vespri siciliana where owning one good version is enough. Record companies haven't rushed to recorded either opera, and for decades the choice for "luisa" has been between the Decca recording with Pavarotti and Caballe or the rCA set with Anna Moffo and Carlo Bergonzi.
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Beautiful performance. The Met isn't like this anymore.
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This is a great version of "A Masked Ball". Caballe is in wonderful voice and delivers a performance that her fans will love. I rate it slightly below the studio recording with Pavarotti and Milnes that is exceptional with everyone in their prime, but this is almost as good. "Masked Ball" has such good music and should be heard more often.
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