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Verdi: Luisa Miller / Maag, Pavarotti, Et Al

Release Date: 07/10/2007 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 000897502   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Annette CélineSherrill MilnesLuciano PavarottiFernando Pavarotti,   ... 
Conductor:  Peter Maag
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic OrchestraLondon Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

VERDI Luisa Miller Peter Maag, cond; Montserrat Caballé ( Luisa ); Luciano Pavarotti ( Rodolfo ); Sherrill Milnes ( Miller ); Bonaldo Giaiotti ( Count Walter ); Richard van Allen ( Wurm ); Anna Reynolds ( Federica ); London Natl PO; London Op Ch Read more DECCA 000897502 (2 CDs: 144:00 Text and Translation)

As luck would have it I promoted this recording as my favored version of Luisa Miller in the last issue of Fanfare (31:2) without knowing of its imminent re-release. I see no reason to alter the view of it that I gave in comparison to the recording under review then. Its most positive point has to be the wholly idiomatic conducting of Peter Maag, who draws playing of clarity from the National Philharmonic Orchestra, a session orchestra employed by Decca in the 1970s.

Montserrat Caballé’s tone is as warm and endearing as ever. Pavarotti gives a characteristically generous performance as Rodolfo. Be it in purely vocal or interpretive terms, he hardly ever disappoints and his pliant tone is wholly appropriate. As an aside, it is worth noting the presence of Fernando Pavarotti, Luciano’s father, in the tiny role of Il Contadino. He fulfills the role of cameo character singer more than adequately. I find the Wurm of Arutjun Kotchinian for Benini on Dynamic’s recent live recording more involving than Richard van Allen, who, though rather menacing, is too uniformly dry in his vocal production. Kotchinian produces a greater range of colors to enliven the role. Sherrill Milnes’s Miller is sung with experience and a sense of style.

The recorded sound is clear and the soloists are placed forward of the orchestra. With the libretto and a synopsis included as well, there is not much margin for error with this set.

FANFARE: Evan Dickerson
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Works on This Recording

Luisa Miller by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Annette Céline (Mezzo Soprano), Sherrill Milnes (Baritone), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor),
Fernando Pavarotti (Tenor), Richard Van Allan (Bass), Montserrat Caballé (Soprano),
Bonaldo Giaiotti (Bass), Anna Reynolds (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Peter Maag
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1975 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 144 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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