This recording has been well reviewed in Fanfare before: the CD version in issue 17:6, the DVD in issue 28:2. I see no reason to upset accepted wisdom with regard to the opinions already expressed. The four-act version of the opera receives imposing and sympathetic treatment under Muti’s baton, even if he is apt to choose brisk tempos. The Teatro alla Scala forces play and sing with character and care for him. The sound quality for a live recording is clear and well balanced, for the most part.
Luciano Pavarotti as Don Carlo makes what he can of Verdi’s shortest part for a star tenor, noticeably of mature voice though still one able to produce rich tone when required. Samuel Ramey turns in a credible performance as theRead more tortured King Philip II. His reflection at the start of act III is one of the high points of the recording, as is the ensuing confrontation with Alexander Anisimov’s Grande Inquisitore, who gives ample sense of being the true power behind the throne. These scenes carry real drama about them, as does the justly famous Auto-da-fé. All are aided immeasurably by Muti’s dramatic sense of pacing.
Coni’s Rodrigo is adequate, but he fares better than either of his female colleagues. Daniela Dessi, as Elisabetta, desperately tries to carry off a role that is beyond her means in terms of vocal size. This does neither the role nor the artist any real justice. Luciana D’Intino’s Eboli summons power and urgency on occasion, but on the whole, she seems happier in the role’s more relaxed passages. Other smaller roles are generally well sung.
The reissue is pitched at midprice, and given this, it can be recommended. The packaging is a slim-line cardboard box with the discs in paper sleeve inserts. Supporting documentation lacks a libretto and translation, but does include useful notes on the work, a synopsis, and photographs of the major artists in their roles. The full libretto and translation can be downloaded from the EMI Web site. For my money though, Karajan’s EMI Berlin recording featuring Carreras, Freni, Ghiaurov, and Baltsa still provides significant competition in this price bracket—assuming that one is prepared to accept Karajan’s very individual tempo choices.
Don Carlosby Giuseppe Verdi Performer:
Paolo Coni (Baritone),
Samuel Ramey (Bass),
Alexander Anisimov (Bass),
Andrea Silvestrelli (Bass),
Marilena Laurenza (Soprano),
Orfeo Zanetti (Tenor),
Mario Bolognesi (Baritone),
Giacomo Prestia (Baritone),
Aldo Bramante (Baritone),
Nuccia Focile (Soprano),
Luciana D'Intino (Soprano),
Daniela Dessi (Soprano),
Silvestro Sammaritano (Baritone),
Giorgio Giuseppini (Baritone),
Enrico Turco (Baritone),
Ernesto Panariello (Baritone),
Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,
Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic Written: 1867/1886 Date of Recording: 12/1992 Venue: Live Teatro Alla Scala, Milan, Italy Length: 176 Minutes 50 Secs. Language: Italian Notes: Ver: 1884 (four acts) Arranger: Giuseppe Verdi. Composition written: Paris, France (03/11/1867). Composition revised: Naples, Italy (1872). Composition revised: La Scala Opera House, Milan, Italy (01/10/1884).
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Wonderul Live performance.September 21, 2015By Joseph Erdeljac (West Chester, PA)See All My Reviews"This live performance of Verdi's DON CARLO is so well cast that there is not a weak link in the chain. All of the singing is exceptionally well done and the recording sound is excellent. The pacing of the performance is good and Muti has enabled the opera to come to life. Some recordings of this work can be tedious but not the case here. Being a live well recorded event brings all the excitement right into your home. Here is a version of DON CARLO well worth having."Report Abuse