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Verdi: Aida / Mehta, Nilsson, Bumbry, Corelli, Sereni

Release Date: 01/13/2011 
Label:  Emi Studio Catalog #: 63229   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Birgit NilssonMario SereniFranco CorelliBonaldo Giaiotti,   ... 
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House OrchestraRome Opera House Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 21 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Tenors truly equipped to sing the role of Radames are few and far between. Caruso, Martinelli, Pertile, Lauri-Volpi, del Monaco and Vickers are names that spring immediately to mind. Franco Corelli was certainly among their number; indeed, on the strength of his performance here he might be considered at least their peer. The metallic, stentorian tone, the fiery declamation, the long-breathed phrasing quite belie the reputation he had while active for being somewhat below the calibre of his predecessors in the part. There is nobody today, not even Domingo or Pavarotti, who can deliver Radames's music with such panache and seemingly endless reserves of power. His account of that old warhorse, "Celeste Aida", with its trumpet-like Read more accents, careful use of portamento and broad phrasing—listen to how he takes "Del mio pensiero tu sei regina" in a single breath—is memorable, and the final B flat is attacked forte, then fined away to a piano. Similar sensitivity is evident in the middle of the Third Act duet with Aida. Then there's the sheer thrill of Corelli's heroic sound on the high As, flung out, as it were, into the theatre, after the discovery of Radames's treachery. In the Fourth Act, Corelli captures much of the pathos and dignity of Radames before Amneris and finds much of the eloquence for the finale.

-- Gramophone [1/1990]


I bought the complete Aida recording when it was issued in 1967 and it is in many ways a superb version. Corelli’s Celeste Aida is a reading to treasure, not least for the final B flat, starting fortissimo and then being gradually and seamlessly fined down to a beautiful pianissimo. The end of the Nile scene finds him in heroic form and Birgit Nilsson seems almost like a soubrette by his side to begin with. The confrontations between Nilsson and Corelli in the opera houses are legendary and it seems they have brought this rivalry into the Rome studio as well. Sparks are really flying when Ms Nilsson lets loose and the trio is completed with Mario Sereni’s strong-voiced and sonorous Amonasro.

-- Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Aida by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Birgit Nilsson (Soprano), Mario Sereni (Baritone), Franco Corelli (Tenor),
Bonaldo Giaiotti (Bass), Ferruccio Mazzoli (Bass), Piero de Palma (Tenor),
Mirella Fiorentini (Mezzo Soprano), Grace Bumbry (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Date of Recording: c1967 
Language: Italian 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 A legendary performance April 29, 2017 By pierre cabrol (GENAY, France) See All My Reviews "This reissue is a tresuary. Great singers at their top. A beautiful and forceful musical conducting of the early Metha. And all that sounds superbely. For me the best LP/CD for Aida Pierre Cabrol/Lyon/France" Report Abuse
 An almost perfect Aida? December 15, 2012 By Ralph Acosta (Westland, MI) See All My Reviews "This performance is so fine that it (almost) overcomes the usual dead lackluster recording quality of EMI. If only this cast and conductor had been recorded by the Decca team, we would have had THE Aida; however it is still wonderful. Nilsson is here, and was, a great live Aida especially in Acts 2 and 3 and she had wonderful piannisimi for the last act, only her lack of portamento takes away from a thrilling performance. Bumbry is very very good as usual, and Sereni is fine with truly great phrasing and thrust and his rapid vibrato makes for a wonderfully exciting Amonasro. Bonaldo Giaiotti sounds like the basso cantante of the ages with that beautiful dark rolling flood of sound, to me, the best since Pinza in his prime. That leaves Corelli: perhaps the best all around commercial recording he made in the studio, without the electric benefit of an audiance. Critics give me a big pain whining about his supposed vulgaity and other negatives they apply to him; probably because the tenors they like were and are physically incapable of doing such vulgar vocal feats! Mehta's conducting is perfect for this cast and keeps the excitement right up there despite the sound. This recording is worth every penny and should be a must for any lover of Aida." Report Abuse
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