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Puccini: Madama Butterfly Highlights / Freni, Carreras, Sinopoli

Puccini / Freni / Carreras / Berganza / Sinopoli
Release Date: 06/12/1989 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 427358   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Juan PonsJosé CarrerasAnthony LaciuraMirella Freni,   ... 
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Sinopoli's Madamo Butterfly is very moving, often extremely beautiful (not even Karajan makes Puccini's orchestra sound so ravishing) and, in a single, crucial sense, deeply disconcerting. In a word, it is quite sensationally slow, the slowest Butterfly in my experience, and by a substantial margin...

Sinopoli's objective becomes more and more evident as the opera proceeds: to redefine as tragedy what is still often seen as a pathetic but sentimental anecdote. The letter-reading in Act 2 scene I (the tempo more or less forcing Sharpless to react with pity instead of impatience to Butterfly's eager interruptions) is very quiet as well as slow, filled with gradually mounting sadness; her introduction of the child as proof that
Read more Pinkerton must return draws a gesture of huge but doomed tragic pride from the orchestra; there is a poignant shadow over much of the flower duet and the scene ends in oppressive darkness. The humming chorus is a beautiful but ineffably sad commentary on Butterfly's faith in Pinkerton (its theme was first heard when his treachery was first hinted at), the introduction to the final scene an outburst of passionate protest and despair...

The cast is a fine one, with Berganza one of the best Suzukis on record and Pons a concerned and sympathetic Sharpless. Freni is in fuller voice than for Karaján, the timbre a shade less pure, but she is still a deeply affecting and expressive Butterfly, seizing all the chances Sinopoli gives her to intensify the pathos of her role, never taxed by his slow pace. Carreras is in better voice than in many recent recordings and gives a decent interpretation of what now seems a basically decent character whose flaw is unimaginative insensitivity...

Sinopoli's creative infidelity to the letter of the text in favour of what he sees as its essentially tragic spirit will be far too idiosyncratic for some tastes, but every Puccinian should hear it—every anti Puccinian, come to that—and many, I suspect, will be won over by its gripping eloquence.

-- Gramophone [12/1988, reviewing the complete Madama Butterfly, DG 423567]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Madama Butterfly: Amore, o grillo by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Juan Pons (Voice), José Carreras (Voice)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/1987 
Venue:  Watford Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshir 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
2.
Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Act 1. Ed è bella la sposa? by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Juan Pons (Voice), José Carreras (Voice), Anthony Laciura (Voice)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904 
Date of Recording: 04/1987 
Venue:  Watford Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshir 
Length: 1 Minutes 0 Secs. 
3.
Madama Butterfly: Amore, o grillo by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Juan Pons (Voice), José Carreras (Voice)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/1987 
Venue:  Watford Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshir 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
4.
Madama Butterfly: Ecco! Son giunte al sommo del pendio by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Anthony Laciura (Voice), Juan Pons (Voice), José Carreras (Voice),
Mirella Freni (Voice)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/1987 
Venue:  Watford Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshir 
Length: 3 Minutes 49 Secs. 
5.
Madama Butterfly: Viene la sera...Bimba dagli occhi pieni by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Teresa Berganza (Voice), José Carreras (Voice), Mirella Freni (Voice)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/1987 
Venue:  Watford Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshir 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
6.
Madama Butterfly: Viene la sera...Bimba dagli occhi pieni by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  José Carreras (Voice), Mirella Freni (Voice)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/1987 
Venue:  Watford Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshir 
Length: 12 Minutes 41 Secs. 
7.
Madama Butterfly: Un bel dì vedremo by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Voice)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/1987 
Venue:  Watford Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshir 
Length: 4 Minutes 59 Secs. 
8.
Madama Butterfly: Vedrai, piccolo amor by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Teresa Berganza (Voice), Mirella Freni (Voice)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/1987 
Venue:  Watford Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshir 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
9.
Madama Butterfly: Scuoti quella fronda "Flower Duet" by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Voice), Teresa Berganza (Voice)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/1987 
Venue:  Watford Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshir 
Length: 11 Minutes 21 Secs. 
10.
Madama Butterfly: Humming Chorus by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/1987 
Venue:  Watford Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshir 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
11.
Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Act 2. Part 2. (Introduzione) / Oh eh! oh eh! by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904 
Date of Recording: 04/1987 
Venue:  Watford Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshir 
Length: 10 Minutes 44 Secs. 
12.
Madama Butterfly: Tu, tu, piccolo iddio [Death of Butterfly] by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  José Carreras (Voice), Mirella Freni (Voice)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/1987 
Venue:  Watford Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshir 
Length: 5 Minutes 26 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Madama Butterfly / Act 1: Dovunque al mondo
Madama Butterfly / Act 1: Ed è bella la sposa? (Sharpless, Goro, Pinkerton)
Madama Butterfly / Act 1: Amore O Grillo
Madama Butterfly / Act 1: Ecco. Son giunte al sommo del pendio
Madama Butterfly / Act 1: Viene la sera
Madama Butterfly / Act 1: Bimba dagli occhi pieni di malia
Madama Butterfly / Act 2: Un bel dì vedremo
Madama Butterfly / Act 2: Vedrai, piccolo amor, mia pena e mio conforto (Butterfly, Suzuki)
Madama Butterfly / Act 2: Scuoti quella fronda di ciliegio
Madama Butterfly / Act 2: Coro a bocca chiusa (Humming Chorus)
Madama Butterfly / Act 2: (Introduzione) "Oh eh! oh eh!" (Coro)
Madama Butterfly / Act 2: Tu? tu? Piccolo Iddio! (Butterfly, Pinkerton)

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