Amazon Vehicles Beauty STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Wickedly Prime Handmade Wedding Shop Shop Popular Services MeBeforeYou MeBeforeYou MeBeforeYou  Introducing Echo Show All-New Fire 7 Kids Edition, starting at $99.99 Kindle Oasis Trade it in. Fund the next. Spring Savings Event on Ellen
Customer Review

41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Ten Best Opera Recordings, July 28, 2001
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Verdi: Il Trovatore (Audio CD)
There are a lot of thoughtful remarks about this recording from other reviewers here. Although I know for a fact that different people hear differently, or love differently, the same recording, I think that this recording is an incomparable document of a certain style of Italian singing that was on its way out of singers by 1970.
Price, Domingo and Milnes - clearly not Italians - give luxurious, splendidly made performances. Some may prefer other examples of Price's Leonora, and if you're shopping for Price, then that may be an issue. But if you want the best stereo set of this opera, I really think this is still unmatched. The reason is that this recording is one of the last reliable documents of the Italian style of singing Italian opera - as opposed to the international style that we see and hear today. Apres... le deluge.
I am not a scholar or a critic, but it seems to me that this is a recognizably different kind of singing that is totally dominant in opera recordings before 1970 - all the way back to the beginnings of recorded music, characterized by a humane confidence in the nobility of operatic conventions. Even though, for its ethnic credentials, this recording features only the Ambrosian Opera Chorus and two actual Italians in the cast, those two singers - Bonaldo Giaiotti (Fernando) and Fiorenza Cossotto (Azucena) - create an axis with the chorus and Metha's assertive corralling of the orchestra into its particularly Verdian role of opinionated commentator to the action, that provides the unmistakable style and sound that is, unfortunately better represented by mono recordings.
I don't know if there are samples of Giaiotti's first number on this site, or if a short clip would demonstrate this, but if you can, listen to the generosity and total comfort with Ferando's demanding music that allow him to shape a character totally out of the music. Similarly, Cossotto's first scene establishes her dominance as the musical and dramatic force that stabilizes the star-studded cast throughout the recording. She has a limpid mezzo that allows itself to be shaped by Verdi's music, giving us an Azucena who is just as clearly an Italian mama as a ethnically challenged nut - something impossible to understand without a sensitivity to the conventions of Italian opera, which this recording has. The Ambrosian Opera Chorus handle the inflections of their black-face gypsy music without the slightest irony, almost naively - which is an absolute must for the understanding and enjoyment of this opera.
The best thing about it is that it blends - all the talent on this recording is beautifully blended and shaped with the listener in mind - the notion that special attention should be paid to the fact that the listener is not in a theater but in his home (car?). In all this, the only wish I have is that Decca had recorded this, but don't let this criticism distract you - the sound is fine.
If you're looking for an exciting musically and dramatically thrilling recording of this most Italian of Italian operas, this is the one for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the guidelines and FAQs here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 11, 2013, 11:20:18 AM PDT
N. De Sapio says:
I've just finished listening to the opening scene and had the same thoughts about Giaotti. It would be so easy to sound clumsy in Ferrando's music (I'm pretty sure I've heard other basses stumble through it), but Giaotti never does.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2014, 10:44:10 AM PDT
Ralph Moore says:

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2014, 9:42:10 PM PDT
Spelling corrected in both spots. Thank you Mr. Moore.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details