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Icon - Mirella Freni - The Opera Singer


Release Date: 09/02/2008 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 06253   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartVincenzo BelliniGaetano DonizettiGiacomo Puccini,   ... 
Performer:  Mirella FreniLuciano PavarottiNicolai GhiaurovNicolai Gedda,   ... 
Conductor:  Otto KlempererEdward DownesRiccardo MutiFrancesco Molinari-Pradelli,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia OrchestraPhilharmonia OrchestraRome Opera House Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

One of the loveliest sopranos … no one can afford not to buy this set.

It seems that Mirella Freni has always been around, even to those of us who started listening to opera in the early 1960s. She remains a relative youngster, born in 1935. But she set out early, making her stage debut before she turned 20 – as Micaëla in Carmen at Modena. This was for many years one of her signature roles and she sang it in opera houses for almost 25 years and then recorded it three times plus taking part in Karajan’s film of the opera. She bade farewell to the stage only three years ago, aged 70. Longevity as an opera singer is often a result of clever husbandry of the vocal resources, and Mirella Freni was wise. After
Read more her initial successes she took time out for four years, marrying her singing teacher and giving birth to her only child, a daughter named Micaela. After resuming the career she was very careful to accept only roles that suited her lyric soprano. It was not until she was well past forty that she gradually took on some lirico-spinto roles, three of which are featured in this collection.

She recorded extensively, initially for EMI, a company with which she had a long relationship. There were also a number of highly successful operas for Decca in the 1970s – La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Mefistofele and Guglielmo Tell, all of them with her childhood friend Luciano Pavarotti.  Freni later also recorded several sets for DG.

The present selection spans almost 25 years and there are few signs of aging. One should bear in mind that when she recorded La forza del destino with Muti she was already past 50. Her DG Butterfly and a Decca recital from even later are just as fresh.

What we have in this box is material from three solo recitals from the 1960s, conducted by her first husband, Leone Magiera and by Antonino Votto and Franco Ferraris. There are also a couple of excerpts from a contemporaneous duet record with Nicolai Gedda. The rest is material culled from various complete opera sets. All of it seems to have been fed into a food processor and mixed into a hotchpotch. There is no discernible logic about the programming, neither chronological nor thematic. Maybe the object was to make every one of the four discs as varied as possible. Thanks to the utter consistency of Mirella Freni’s voice we never get a feeling of jumping back and forth through a career. I would still have preferred a more evidently thought-through design. The comparable Icon portrait of Giuseppe Di Stefano, which I reviewed recently, was much better in that respect.

On the other hand this is practically the only criticism I can pose against this issue. With very well filled discs - more than five hours playing time - we get as rounded a portrait of Ms Freni’s repertoire and career as is possible from one company’s archives. It is also good to hear her in duets. The Karajan Aida in particular gives us opportunities to hear her in true dramatic situations with an almost complete Nile scene and the entire tomb scene.

The earliest recordings here are the two arias from La bohème, recorded in 1962 and 1963. I have always regarded this as one of the best recordings of this opera. Freni makes a truly lovely Mimi. I have a number of outstanding versions of La bohème and, together with Victoria de los Angeles, Freni is the most enchanting seamstress of them all. Her Rodolfo was Nicolai Gedda and of him we hear only Si in the first aria. They got together again a few years later in L’elisir d’amore, another top contender, and together they also recorded duets at about the same time. Sonnambula and Lucia di Lammermoor are represented here and these are the only excerpts from these operas by Freni. Gedda is his usual keen and sensitive self in all this. Freni, though no coloratura virtuoso, is more attractive than some mechanical nightingales. They sound well together and Gedda has openly declared that Mirella Freni was his favourite soprano.

There is more bel canto repertoire in Don Pasquale, and this is still another set that has claims to be a first choice. Sesto Bruscantini’s flexible voice has dried out a bit, compared to his early Cetra recording from 1950, but his expressivity and timing are as good as ever and Freni seems to enjoy herself unabashedly. Another Swedish tenor, the late lamented Gösta Winbergh, is among the most mellifluous of Ernestos in Tornami a dir, a duet Mirella Freni also recorded with Gedda on the aforementioned duet record.

Mirella Freni was a highly accomplished Mozart singer, sang Zerlina and Susanna at Glyndebourne and Salzburg and recorded both roles with Colin Davis on Philips. Zerlina she also sang at Covent Garden under Georg Solti and a live recording from 1962 was issued not so long ago. A few years later she was also Klemperer’s Zerlina on his monumental recording. We hear both her arias – and few have sung them better. She is also heard in the duet La ci darem la mano, where she is partnered by her second-husband-to-be, the Bulgarian bass Nicolai Ghiaurov. He is a virile but none too subtle Don Giovanni. From her earliest recital (1964) we also get an aria from Le nozze di Figaro; not Susanna’s however, but the Countess’s Dove sono from act III. This recital also included Qui la voce from I puritani and Violetta’s big scene from the first act of La traviata. As Elvira she can’t quite compete with Sutherland or Sills or present day star Natalie Dessay but she is worth hearing anyway. Her Violetta is human and vulnerable but the jubilant final note of Sempre libera reveals that here was already a spinto in the making. From the same recital also comes a fine Depuis le jour from Louise and a delicious Senza mamma from Suor Angelica, the latter curiously squeezed in between extended excerpts from Karajan’s Don Carlo and Aida.

With her husband Magiera she recorded Puccini arias from operas that she hadn’t sung at the time and so far as the stage is concerned never would. Even so, she made complete recordings of Madama Butterfly and Tosca. There was also a Manon Lescaut which she actually did on stage later – and also tackled some real ‘light’ Puccini arias from Gianni Schicchi and La rondine. On this set we also find Liù’s two arias from Turandot. They are from a 1977 recording under Alain Lombard, also starring Montserrat Caballé and José Carreras. They are by far the best things on that recording (see review of highlights disc).

The third recital from the 1960s, conducted by Antonino Votto, included a couple of verismo arias from Adriana Lecouvreur and Mascagni’s Lodoletta; the latter remembered today only through Flammen, perdonami. Mirella Freni invests these with a glow that more than compensates the possible lack of spinto weight. On this recital there were also some French arias. Even though her French wasn’t ever wholly idiomatic she was one of the foremost sopranos in this repertoire. As Micaëla she was exemplary but Leila’s aria from Les Pêcheurs des perles is a lovely performance and Manon’s act II aria is beautifully sung with appropriate frail timbre.

Still in French repertoire we hear her in excerpts from three complete sets. The waltz aria from Roméo et Juliette has a youthful elegance and innocence that gives the essence of Juliet – there are few better. With Franco Corelli as an ardent Romeo in the second act duet O nuit divine there is glow aplenty but also a coarseness of style from the tenor that jars against the slender-limbed music. To hear an idiomatic version we have to go to the duet from Mireille, where Alain Vanzo stands out as the superior French tenor of the period. On the third set, Faust, she was partnered by Placido Domingo, who was in splendid voice. It is a pity that their garden scene couldn’t be included. As it is Marguerite’s Thule-ballad and jewel song are splendid samples, though one misses the heavenly lightness of Victoria de los Angeles.

There remain five late-18 th century Italian operas to be assessed. The latest as composition but the earliest as recording is the enchanting recording of Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz. This constituted the first collaboration on records with Luciano Pavarotti. The opera may not be an immortal masterpiece but it offers a lot of lovely music and the two Modena-born star singers have rarely been better. (See review of complete set, included in a recent memorial issue of Pavarotti’s complete EMI recordings.) Karajan’s second Otello from 1973 - his first recording from a good decade earlier was on Decca – recently reissued - may be quirkily balanced but besides Mirella Freni’s vulnerable Desdemona we also get to hear arguably the greatest Otello from the last 50 years. A recent correspondent called attention to Ramon Vinay. Many regard the bronze-toned Mario del Monaco as superior. Placido Domingo has dominated the world’s stages for thirty years and recorded it three times plus some pirates and DVDs. I am of the opinion that no one surpasses Giuseppe Giacomini, who unfortunately, to my knowledge at least, never recorded the role complete; at least there are some central solos on a Bongiovanni recital. Anyway, Jon Vickers is so self-exposed and tangibly neurotic even in the first act love duet, which normally is only a preamble to the destructive mental turmoil that follows, that the listener is already clinging firmly to the arm-rests before the aural curtain is down. His way of squeezing the tone isn’t always attractive but he, like Giacomini who also squeezes sometimes, works primarily with soft nuances and understatements, only to overwhelm with fortissimo outbreaks that seem to reveal an untamed wild beast within his human frame. Mirella Freni, without the spinto tones of a Renata Tebaldi, balances this with innocence and frailty.

From Muti’s La forza del destino, we hear three excerpts and in the first of them Placido Domingo, in glorious form impresses greatly as Alvaro. Freni in 1986 is slightly more vibrant than in the earlier recordings, as befits a lirico spinto, but she retains her ability to sings a ravishing pianissimo. In the Karajan-conducted Don Carlo, she sings opposite José Carreras in the duet Io vengo a domandar from act I (Karajan opts for the four act version). He is as involved as ever in the Giuseppe Di Stefano manner, sensitive to nuances, never afraid of scaling down to pianissimo but tending to press too hard in the climactic moments, where his voice is a size too small for the role. Karajan does nothing to make it easier for him. With a recording that at the time was record breaking in wide dynamics, Carreras tends to emerge as second best while Freni’s brighter tones more easily ride the orchestra. Her last act aria  is winning more through the exquisite lyrical singing than for dramatic power and Karajan’s rather expansive tempos also seem to hamper her.

The final opera, and further represented in the last excerpts on CD 4, is Aida, also under Karajan. Here EMI generously bestow 49 minutes of music: from act I O Patria mia; from act III the whole Nile scene, bar the opening orchestral prelude and the priests’ chorus; and from act IV all of the tomb scene. There is a lot of gain in having a mainly lyric soprano for this Ethiopian slave-girl and both arias are exquisitely sung. In the Nile scene she first encounters her father Amonasro in the shape of the formidable Piero Cappuccilli, who may not have had the most beautiful baritone voice in the world but certainly had few if any superiors when it came to singing long Verdian phrases. The father-daughter duet is a chilling experience and when Amonasro has hidden, José Carreras appears as a full-throated and expressive Radamès. His duet with Aida is just as chilling – we know the outcome – but even though we deplore Aida’s treachery to the one who loves her, we admire the way she traps him. Una novella patria is sung with such innocence and bewitching simplicity that not even Domingo could have resisted. The tomb scene is rather scaled down and performed in a kind of resigned gloom. Karajan’s reading has become somewhat slower since he first recorded it for Decca with Tebaldi and Bergonzi twenty years earlier, but not extremely so.

Not following the layout of the CD-set under consideration I may be accused of making even more of a hotch-potch out of it. At least I found, more or less, a structure of my own that made it easier to find connections within the set. Whatever reservations I have had have been rather unimportant in relation to all this excellence. This remains a splendid introduction to the art of Mirella Freni for a younger generation of opera lovers. For all her old admirers it is also a glowing résumé of her achievements during the first 25 years of her career. She was one of the loveliest sopranos during the second half of the last century and at this super-budget price no one can afford not to buy it.

-- Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International  
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Works on This Recording

1.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Là ci darem la mano by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass)
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787 
Date of Recording: 1966 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
2.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Batti, batti o bel Masetto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass)
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
Date of Recording: 1966 
Length: 4 Minutes 48 Secs. 
3.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Vedrai, carino se sei buonino by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass), Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
Date of Recording: 1966 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
4.
La sonnambula: Son geloso del zefiro by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Edward Downes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1966 
Length: 6 Minutes 44 Secs. 
5.
Don Pasquale: Quel guardo il cavaliere...So anch'io la virtù by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Sesto Bruscantini (Baritone), Mirella Freni (Soprano), Gösta Winbergh (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1982 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
6.
Don Pasquale: Singora, in tanta fretta by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Sesto Bruscantini (Baritone), Mirella Freni (Soprano), Gösta Winbergh (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1982 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
7.
Don Pasquale: Via, caro sposino by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Gösta Winbergh (Tenor), Sesto Bruscantini (Baritone)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1982 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 
8.
Don Pasquale: Tornami a dir by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Sesto Bruscantini (Baritone), Mirella Freni (Soprano), Gösta Winbergh (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1982 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
9.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Chiedi all' aura lusinghiera by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1966 
Length: 6 Minutes 7 Secs. 
10.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Eccola by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1966 
Length: 1 Minutes 24 Secs. 
11.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Prendi, per me sei libero by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1966 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
12.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Ebben, tenete! by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1966 
Length: 1 Minutes 58 Secs. 
13.
La Bohème: Si, mi chiamano Mimì by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1962-1963 
Length: 4 Minutes 57 Secs. 
14.
La Bohème: Addio, dolce svegliare (Quartet) by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1962-1963 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
15.
Mireille: La brise est douce et parfumée by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Alain Vanzo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Michel Plasson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Chorus,  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1864; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1979 
Length: 4 Minutes 38 Secs. 
16.
Roméo et Juliette: Voyons, nourice, on m'attend, parle vite! by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Michelle Vilma (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alain Lombard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1968 
Length: 1 Minutes 23 Secs. 
17.
Roméo et Juliette: Je veux vivre dans le rêve "Waltz Song" by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Michelle Vilma (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alain Lombard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; France 
Date of Recording: 1968 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
18.
Roméo et Juliette: O nuit divine! by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Michelle Vilma (Mezzo Soprano), Franco Corelli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Alain Lombard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; France 
Date of Recording: 1968 
Length: 8 Minutes 22 Secs. 
19.
Otello: Già nella notte densa by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Jon Vickers (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1973 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
20.
Otello: Venga la morte! by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Jon Vickers (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1973 
Length: 8 Minutes 13 Secs. 
21.
Otello: Piangea cantando "Willow Song" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Stefania Malagú (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1973 
Length: 8 Minutes 29 Secs. 
22.
Ave Maria by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1973 
Length: 5 Minutes 0 Secs. 
23.
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: E Susanna non vien...Dove sono by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Franco Ferraris
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1964 
Length: 6 Minutes 46 Secs. 
24.
I puritani: Vien, diletto, è in ciel la luna by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Franco Ferraris
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1964 
Length: 7 Minutes 40 Secs. 
25.
La traviata: Sempre libera by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Franco Ferraris
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1964 
Length: 7 Minutes 38 Secs. 
26.
L'Amico Fritz: Son pochi fiori by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1968 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
27.
L'Amico Fritz: Bel cavaliere by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1968 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
28.
L'Amico Fritz: Suzel, buon dì "Cherry Duet" by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1968 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 
29.
L'Amico Fritz: Non mi resta che il pianto by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1968 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
30.
Lucia di Lammermoor: Verranno a te sull' aure by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Edward Downes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1966 
Length: 5 Minutes 34 Secs. 
31.
Adriana Lecouvreur: Io son l'umile ancella by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonino Votto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1967 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
32.
Adriana Lecouvreur: Poveri fiori by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonino Votto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1967 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
33.
Madama Butterfly: Un bel dì vedremo by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Leone Magiera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1966 
Length: 4 Minutes 30 Secs. 
34.
Madama Butterfly: Tu, tu, piccolo iddio [Death of Butterfly] by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Leone Magiera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1966 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
35.
Carmen: Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante "Micaëla's Aria" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonino Votto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1967 
Length: 5 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: France (1873 - 1874). 
36.
Les pêcheurs de perles: Comme autrefois by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonino Votto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/1967 
Length: 6 Minutes 31 Secs. 
37.
Manon: Adieu, notre petite table by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonino Votto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1967 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
38.
Faust: Ah! je ris de me voir si belle "Jewel Song" by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1978 
Length: 5 Minutes 31 Secs. 
39.
Faust: Je voudrais bien savoir...Il était un Roi de Thulé by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 06/1978 
Length: 5 Minutes 49 Secs. 
40.
La forza del destino: Ah! per sempre, o mio bell' angiol by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor), Mirella Freni (Soprano), Francesca Garbi (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862/1869; Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/1986 
Length: 7 Minutes 3 Secs. 
41.
La forza del destino: Grazie, O Dio by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Francesca Garbi (Mezzo Soprano), Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 07/1986 
Length: 1 Minutes 36 Secs. 
42.
La forza del destino: Madre, pietosa Vergine by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Francesca Garbi (Mezzo Soprano), Placido Domingo (Tenor), Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862/1869; Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/1986 
Length: 4 Minutes 46 Secs. 
43.
La forza del destino: Pace, pace, mio Dio by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Placido Domingo (Tenor), Francesca Garbi (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862/1869; Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/1986 
Length: 5 Minutes 13 Secs. 
44.
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Leone Magiera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1966 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
45.
La Rondine: Ch'il bel sogno di Doretta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Leone Magiera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1966 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
46.
Louise: Depuis le jour by Gustave Charpentier
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Franco Ferraris
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; France 
Date of Recording: 06/07/1964 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
47.
Lodoletta: Ah! il suo nome! by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonino Votto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1967 
Length: 4 Minutes 54 Secs. 
48.
Tosca: Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Leone Magiera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1966 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
49.
Manon Lescaut: In quelle trine morbide by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Leone Magiera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1966 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
50.
Turandot: Signore, ascolta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Paul Plishka (Bass), José Carreras (Tenor),
Vincente Sardinero (Baritone)
Conductor:  Alain Lombard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
51.
Turandot: Tu, che di gel sei cinta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Paul Plishka (Bass), Vincente Sardinero (Baritone),
José Carreras (Tenor)
Conductor:  Alain Lombard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Length: 5 Minutes 6 Secs. 
52.
Don Carlos: Io vengo a domandar grazia alla mia Regina by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  José Carreras (Tenor), Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 09/1978 
Length: 11 Minutes 29 Secs. 
53.
Don Carlos: Tu, che la vanitá conoscesti del mondo by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), José Carreras (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867/1884; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1978 
Length: 12 Minutes 9 Secs. 
54.
Suor Angelica: Senza mamma, o bimbo, tu sei morto by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), José Carreras (Tenor)
Conductor:  Franco Ferraris
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/08/1964 
Length: 5 Minutes 11 Secs. 
55.
Aida: Ritorna vincitor! by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), José Carreras (Tenor), José Van Dam (Bass),
Ruggero Raimondi (Bass), Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano), Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone),
Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1979 
Length: 6 Minutes 55 Secs. 
56.
Aida: Qui Radamés verrà! by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano), Ruggero Raimondi (Bass), Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone),
José Carreras (Tenor), Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano), José Van Dam (Bass),
Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1979 
Length: 1 Minutes 50 Secs. 
57.
Aida: O patria mia by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano), Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone), José Carreras (Tenor),
Mirella Freni (Soprano), Ruggero Raimondi (Bass), Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano),
José Van Dam (Bass)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1979 
Length: 6 Minutes 6 Secs. 
58.
Aida: Ciel! mio padre! by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano), Ruggero Raimondi (Bass), Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone),
José Carreras (Tenor), Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano), José Van Dam (Bass),
Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1871 
Date of Recording: 05/1979 
Length: 1 Minutes 13 Secs. 
59.
Aida: Rivedrai le foreste imbalsamate by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano), Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone), José Carreras (Tenor),
José Van Dam (Bass), Ruggero Raimondi (Bass), Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano),
Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1979 
Length: 7 Minutes 12 Secs. 
60.
Aida: Pur ti riveggo...Là tra le foreste vergini by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone), Mirella Freni (Soprano), José Carreras (Tenor),
Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano), José Van Dam (Bass), Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano),
Ruggero Raimondi (Bass)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1979 
Length: 1 Minutes 28 Secs. 
61.
Aida: Nel fiero anelito by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano), José Van Dam (Bass), Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano),
Mirella Freni (Soprano), Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone), Ruggero Raimondi (Bass),
José Carreras (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 05/1979 
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 
62.
Aida: Fuggiam gli ardori inospiti by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone), Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano), Mirella Freni (Soprano),
José Carreras (Tenor), Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano), Ruggero Raimondi (Bass),
José Van Dam (Bass)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1979 
Length: 6 Minutes 49 Secs. 
63.
Aida: Ma dimmi by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano), Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone),
Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano), Ruggero Raimondi (Bass), José Carreras (Tenor),
José Van Dam (Bass)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1979 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
64.
Aida: La fatal pietra...O terra, addio by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Ruggero Raimondi (Bass), Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano), Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone),
José Carreras (Tenor), Mirella Freni (Soprano), Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano),
José Van Dam (Bass)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1979 
Length: 7 Minutes 2 Secs. 
65.
Aida: O terra addio by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone), Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano), Mirella Freni (Soprano),
José Carreras (Tenor), Ruggero Raimondi (Bass), José Van Dam (Bass),
Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1979 
Length: 5 Minutes 17 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Don Giovanni K527, Atto Primo, Scena terza, Recitativo & Duetto: Là ci darem la mano (Don Giovanni/Zerlina)
Don Giovanni K527, Atto Primo, Scena quarta: Aria: Batti, batti, o bel Masetto (Zerlina)
Don Giovanni K527, Atto Secondo, Scena prima: Aria: Vedrai, carino (Zerlina)
La Sonnambula - Act 1: Son geloso del zefiro errante (2008 Remastered Version): La Sonnambula - Act 1: Son geloso del zefiro errante
Don Pasquale, Act I Quarta Scena: 'Quel guardo il cavaliere' (Norina)
Don Pasquale, Act I Quarta Scena: So anch'io la virtù magica (Norina)
Don Pasquale, Act III Seconda Scena: Signorina, in tanta fretta dove va (Pasquale/Norina)
Don Pasquale, Act III Seconda Scena: E' finita, Don Pasquale (Pasquale/Norina)
Don Pasquale, Act III Seconda Scena: Via, caro sposino (Norina/Pasquale)
Don Pasquale, Act III Sesta Scena: Tornami a dir che m'ami (Norina/Ernesto)
L'Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love' (1988 Remastered Version), Act I: Chiedi all'aura lusinghiera: L'Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love' (1988 Digital Remaster), Act I: Chiedi all'aura lusinghiera
L'Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love' (1988 Remastered Version), Act II: Eccola: L'Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love' (1988 Digital Remaster), Act II: Eccola
L'Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love' (1988 Remastered Version), Act II: Prendi...prendi, per me sei libero: L'Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love' (1988 Digital Remaster), Act II: Prendi...prendi, per me sei libero
L'Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love' (1988 Remastered Version), Act II: Ebben tenete: L'Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love' (1988 Digital Remaster), Act II: Ebben tenete
La Bohème (1991 Remastered Version), ATTO PRIMO/ACT 1/ERSTER AKT/PREMIER ACTE: Sì, mi chiamano Mimì (Mimì/Rodolfo): La Bohème (1991 Digital Remaster), ATTO PRIMO/ACT 1/ERSTER AKT/PREMIER ACTE: Sì, mi chiamano Mimì (Mimì/Rodolfo)
La Bohème (1991 Remastered Version), ATTO TERZO/ACT 3/DRITTER AKT/TROISIEME ACTE: Addio ... Donde lieta uscì al to grido (Mimì/Rodolfo): La Bohème (1991 Digital Remaster), ATTO TERZO/ACT 3/DRITTER AKT/TROISIEME ACTE: Addio ... Donde lieta uscì al to grido (Mimì/Rodolfo)
Mireille - Acte II : IV. Chanson de Magali "La brise est douce et parfumée" (Mireille, Vincent, Choeur)
Roméo et Juliette (1994 Remastered Version), Act I: Voyons nourrice, on m'attend, parle vite!: Roméo et Juliette (1994 - Remaster), Act I: Voyons nourrice, on m'attend, parle vite!
Roméo et Juliette (1994 Remastered Version), Act I: Je veux vivre dans ce reve: Roméo et Juliette (1994 - Remaster), Act I: Je veux vivre dans ce reve
Roméo et Juliette (1994 Remastered Version), Act II: O nuit divine! je t'emplore: Roméo et Juliette (1994 - Remaster), Act II: O nuit divine! je t'emplore
Otello, Act I, Terza scena: Già nella notte densa ... (Otello/Desdemona)
Otello, Act I, Terza scena: Quando narravi ... Ed io vedea fra le tue tempie ... Venga la morte! (Otello/Desdemona)
Otello, Act IV, Prima scena: Mia madre aveva una povera ancella ... Piangea cantando nell'arma landa ... (Emila/Desdemona)
Otello, Act IV, Seconda scena: Ave Maria, piena di grazia (Desdemona)
Le Nozze di Figaro (1989 Remastered Version): Recit: E Susanna non vien! ...Aria: Dove sono i bei momenti (Aria): Le Nozze di Figaro (1989 Digital Remaster): Recit: E Susanna non vien! ...Aria: Dove sono i bei momenti (Aria)
I Puritani (1989 Remastered Version): O rendetemi la speme...Qui la voce...Vine, diletto' (Act I): I Puritani (1989 Digital Remaster): O rendetemi la speme...Qui la voce...Vine, diletto' (Act I)
La Traviata (1965 Remastered Version): E strano!!.... Ah, fors' è lui ... Sempre libera (Act 1): La Traviata (1965 Digital Remaster): E strano!!.... Ah, fors' è lui ... Sempre libera (Act 1)
L'Amico Fritz, Act I: Son pochi fiori! (Suzel/Fritz)
L'Amico Fritz, Act II: Bel cavalier, che vai per la foresta... (Suzel)
L'Amico Fritz, Act II: Suzel, buon di (Fritz/Suzel)
L'Amico Fritz, Act III: Non mi resta che il pianto ed il dolore... (Suzel/Fritz)
Lucia di Lammermoor (2000 Remastered Version): Ah, talor del tuo pensiero....Verrano a te sull'aure (Act I) (2000 Remastered Version) (2000 Remastered Version): Lucia di Lammermoor (2000 Digital Remaster): Ah, talor del tuo pensiero....Verrano a te sull'aure (Act I) (2000 Digital Remaster)
Adriana Lecouvreur (1989 Remastered Version): Ecco! respiro appena ... Io son l'umile ancella (Act 1): Adriana Lecouvreur (1989 Digital Remaster): Ecco! respiro appena ... Io son l'umile ancella (Act 1)
Adriana Lecouvreur (1989 Remastered Version): Poveri fiori (Act 4): Adriana Lecouvreur (1989 Digital Remaster): Poveri fiori (Act 4)
Madama Butterfly (1989 Remastered Version): Un bel dì vedremo (Act II): Madama Butterfly (1989 Digital Remaster): Un bel dì vedremo (Act II)
Madama Butterfly (1968 Remastered Version): Tu, tu, piccolo Iddio (Act 2): Madama Butterfly (1968 Digital Remaster): Tu, tu, piccolo Iddio (Act 2)

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