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Bizet: Carmen (Highlights) / de Burgos, Bumbry, Freni, Vickers, Paris National Opera Orchestra


Release Date: 10/24/2000 
Label:  Emi Seraphim Catalog #: 74127   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Georges Bizet
Performer:  Jon VickersClaude MeloniBernard GontcharenkoGrace Bumbry,   ... 
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of ParisParis Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is about as good as it gets when it comes to a line-up of a cast for Carmen, even a Spanish-ish conductor and he gets a good head of steam going in the prelude with later delightful solo orchestral entr’actes to give the fine orchestra a chance to parade their fine principal players. As Carmen, Bumbry is (was) amazing, sexy, seductive, human, vicious, tempestuous - mind you by the end of the opera and with the likes of that wet blanket Don Jose around her it’s no wonder that she goes through the whole kaleidoscope of human emotion. Bumbry does not have that chest voice you love to hate when Callas is in full cry, the voice is much more beautiful, and she does not really manage the quick notes in the Gypsy Song. However she and de Read more Burgos whip it all up into a fantastic fury, castanets purring along like demented woodpeckers.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Jon Vickers, it all sounds such a huge effort, but his duet with the deliciously creamy Freni as Michaela (whose third act aria is beautiful) is really special, and the end of the so-called Flower Song with its sublimely floated top B flat (Bizet marks the climb up there with a diminuendo) instead of the more common scream, is a credit to this great tenor.

Paskalis as the Toreador has all the vocal virility required for the part from his first entry, and you believe in him, a credit to his fabulous diction too. This Carmen was recorded about the time I encountered him (1971/72) when he came to us at Glyndebourne to sing Macbeth in Verdi’s opera, and a fine singer he was, with tremendous stage presence. The three ‘L’amour’s at the end of the Toreador’s song culminating in Bumbry’s contribution which sounds as if she could have this bullfighter in a paella without it touching the sides, is a brilliant coup de théâtre. In the card trio Lublin and Cortez characterize their roles to the full, getting their pennyworth in before Bumbry completely overshadows them with her aria culminating in those wonderful death-laden cries of "La mort". Not much of the chorus’s music is featured here. The boy soldiers have (and seize) their Act I moment, the rest (not the best music from this wonderful opera) is the scene-setting opening of Act IV outside the bullring, then, after Carmen’s death scene (with no scream here though). There is a gripping build-up from the spiteful rejection by Carmen of the ever-growing, desperately pleading Jose. Compulsive listening as the venom flies between them, but great though all the singers are, for my money, the orchestra shines as much as they do (listen to those unforgettable saxophone-like sounds of the literally French horns complete wide vibrato in Freni’s aria). This is one of de Burgos’s best performances, excelling even the likes of Karajan and Georges Prêtre.

I’m not very keen on bleeding chunks of operatic excerpts but this Carmen is an exception. If you haven’t got, and don't want to buy, the whole opera, this will more than suffice.

– MusicWeb International (Christopher Fifield) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Carmen: Suite no 1 - Act 1 Prelude "Les toréadors" by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
2.
Carmen: Avec la garde montante "Children's Chorus" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Jon Vickers (Tenor), Claude Meloni (Bass), Bernard Gontcharenko (Bass)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Chorus,  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1873 - 1874). 
3.
Carmen: L'amour est un oiseau rebelle "Habañera" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Grace Bumbry (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Written: 1873-1874 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 4 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection begins with "Quand je vous amerais..."
Composition written: France (1873 - 1874). 
4.
Carmen: Parle-moi de ma mère by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Jon Vickers (Tenor), Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 9 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1873 - 1874). 
5.
Carmen: Près des ramparts de Seville "Seguidilla" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Grace Bumbry (Mezzo Soprano), Jon Vickers (Tenor)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 4 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1873 - 1874). 
6.
Carmen: Act 1 Prelude "Les toréadors" by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
7.
Carmen: Les tringles des sistres tintaient "Gypsy Song" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Grace Bumbry (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 4 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1873 - 1874). 
8.
Carmen: Votre toast je peu vous le rendre "Toreador Song" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Kostas Paskalis (Baritone)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 5 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1873 - 1874). 
9.
Carmen: La fleur que tu m'avais jetée "Flower song" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Jon Vickers (Tenor)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 4 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1873 - 1874). 
10.
Carmen: Act 2 Prelude "Les dragons d'Alcala" by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
11.
Carmen: Mêlons! Coupons! [Card Scene] by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Viorica Cortez (Mezzo Soprano), Éliane Lublin (Mezzo Soprano), Jon Vickers (Tenor),
Grace Bumbry (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 7 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1873 - 1874). 
12.
Carmen: Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante "Micaëla's Aria" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 5 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: French 
13.
Carmen: Act 3 Prelude "Intermezzo" by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
14.
Carmen: Les voici! Les voici! by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Viorica Cortez (Mezzo Soprano), Kostas Paskalis (Baritone), Grace Bumbry (Mezzo Soprano),
Éliane Lublin (Mezzo Soprano), Bernard Gontcharenko (Bass)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Chorus,  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 6 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1873 - 1874). 
15.
Carmen: C'est toi! C'est moi!...Carmen, il est temps encore by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Grace Bumbry (Mezzo Soprano), Jon Vickers (Tenor)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 6 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: French 
16.
Carmen: Où vas-tu? - Laisse-moi! by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Grace Bumbry (Mezzo Soprano), Jon Vickers (Tenor)
Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Chorus,  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  France 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: French 

Sound Samples

Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): Prlude
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): Avec la garde montante (Choeur/Morales/Jos/Zuniga)
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): Quand je vous amerais?...L'amour est une oiseau rebelle (Carmen/Choeur)
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): Monsieur le brigadier?...Ma mre je la vois (Micaela/Jos)
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): C'est trs bien...Prs de ramparts de Seville (Jos/Carmen)
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): Entr'acte
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): Les tringles des sistres (Carmen)
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre (Escamillo/Choeur/Frasquita/Mecedes/Carmen)
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): La fleur que tu m'avais jete (Jos)
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): Entr'acte
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): A la bonne heure...Mlons! Coupons! (Carmen/Jos/Frasquita/Mercedes)
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): Oui je reste!...Je dis que rien ne m'pouvante (Le Guide/Micaela)
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): Entr'acte
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): A deux cuartos! (Choeur/Zuniga/Frasquita/Mercedes/Escamillo/Carmen)
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): C'est toi! (Carmen/Jos)
Carmen - excerpts (2000 Digital Remaster): Ou vas-tu? (Carmen/Jos/Choeur)

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