This represents Victoria de los Angeles's second recording Madama Butterfly (1959); the first, made five years earlier... For the soprano herself, there is not a great deal to choose between the recordings: she remains fairly consistent. The selling-point of the stereo version is probably Björling's Pinkerton (his penultimate recorded role)—magnificently voiced, but rather general in characterization—but Di Stefano is still in fine form, and gives a better sense of the all-American playboy. Gobbi makes much more of Sharpless than does Sereni—but then Sharpless is shapeless to begin with. Anna Maria Canali's Suzuki is richer and steadier-voiced than Pirazzini's. Gavazzeni's reading of the score is more coherent than Santini'sRead more rough-and-ready one, though the latter makes telling points with some of the climactic orchestral passages.
In the end, I suspect that your decision on whether to acquire this set will depend on your attitude toward the two star performers. From where I stand, de los Angeles has one of the most beautiful sopranos on record and makes much of the part... Björling...seems more concerned with how he sounds (admittedly beautiful!) than with his role... An odd note: that fine bass Bonaldo Giaiotti appears here at the outset of his career in the virtually invisible role of Uncle Yakuside. Italian-English libretto supplied.
Madama Butterflyby Giacomo Puccini Performer:
Jussi Björling (Tenor),
Mario Sereni (Baritone),
Miriam Pirazzini (Mezzo Soprano),
Victoria de los Angeles (Soprano)
Rome Opera House Orchestra,
Rome Opera House Chorus
Period: Romantic Written: 1904; Italy Language: Italian
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Best Butterfly EverAugust 14, 2016By John Areiter See All My Reviews"I can't agree with a reviewer stating that De Stefano was better in any way with the role of Pinkerton. Anyone who knows opera will concur that Bjoerling is one of the finest tenors to ever sing! One can't say that about De Stefano other than to note that he was adequate to the role. This recording is the finest Butterfly I have ever heard. I would take Callas over de los Angeles but only think the Bjoerling and Callas sang together in La Traviata on stage, but never recorded together. That is a loss! Sereni has a wonderful voice and is paired well with Bjoerling. The conducting by Santini and the orchestra and chorus of the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma were quite fine."Report Abuse