WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

The Best Opera Album In The World...ever!


Release Date: 07/27/1999 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 42203   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Giuseppe VerdiGioachino RossiniGiacomo PucciniPietro Mascagni,   ... 
Performer:  Alfredo KrausRenata ScottoThomas HampsonRoberto Alagna,   ... 
Conductor:  Riccardo MutiGianluigi GelmettiRichard ArmstrongThomas Schippers,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraToscana OrchestraLondon Philharmonic Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: n/a 
Length: 2 Hours 34 Mins. 

This title is currently unavailable.



Notes and Editorial Reviews

This collection contains both stereo and monaural, and both DDD and ADD recordings.
This CD set presents an extensive opera sampler of mostly arias, with some famous choruses as well, such as "Va, pensiero," from Verdi's 'Nabucco.' Not only does the listener get to listen to these arias from the French, Italian, and German standards, he or she is able to compare certain classes of voices. As for tenors, the "three" are certainly represented, and one is able to compare Carreras's palpable excitement and exquisite diction with Domingo's power, and the early Pavarotti's silvery, exquisite timbre with Alfredo Kraus's lyricism and Roberto Alagna's tight sound. One can explore the differences between the Italian sound of Pavarotti and the
Read more darker, red-winey Spanish sound of Domingo and Carreras.
As for the women, how does la Callas compare to one of her heirs in bel canto singing, Montserrat Caballé, with her famous pianissimi, heard here in "Chi il bel sogno de Doretta," from 'La Rondine' by Puccini?
The liner notes provide blurbs on the arias, and inform the listener which recent films one can hear them in. This collection is an excellent entrée into the world of opera, adding great breadth to an opera education. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
La traviata: Libiamo ne' lieti calici "Brindisi" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Alfredo Kraus (Tenor), Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2.
Il barbiere di Siviglia: Largo al factotum by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Gianluigi Gelmetti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toscana Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3.
La Bohème: Che gelida manina by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
4.
La Bohème: Si, mi chiamano Mimì by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Thomas Schippers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5.
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 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
6.
Nabucco: Va, pensiero by Giuseppe Verdi
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
7.
Rigoletto: La donna è mobile by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
8.
Lakmé: Viens, Mallikà...Sous le dôme épais "Flower Duet" by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Danielle Millet (Mezzo Soprano), Mady Mesplé (Soprano)
Conductor:  Alain Lombard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opéra Comique Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; France 
Length: 5 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: French 
9.
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gabriele Santini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
10.
Tosca: Recondita armonia by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra London
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
11.
Tosca: Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
12.
Tosca: E lucevan le stelle by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  James Levine
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
13.
Adriana Lecouvreur: Io son l'umile ancella by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (Soprano)
Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Ecco: respiro appena..." 
14.
Les pêcheurs de perles: Au fond du temple saint by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Ernest Blanc (Baritone), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opéra Comique Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; France 
Length: 5 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: French 
15.
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Non più andrai farfallone amoroso by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Thomas Allen (Baritone)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
16.
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Voi che sapete che cosa è amor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Ann Murray (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
17.
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: E Susanna non vien...Dove sono by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Soprano)
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
18.
Martha: Ach, so fromm by Friedrich von Flotow
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
19.
Tristan und Isolde: Mild und leise "Liebestod" by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Helga Dernesch (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: German 
20.
Aida: Celeste Aida by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Se quel guerrier io fossi!..." 
21.
Il trovatore: Vedi! le fosche notturne "Anvil Chorus" by Giuseppe Verdi
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
22.
Carmen: L'amour est un oiseau rebelle "Habañera" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  ORTF Chorus
Written: 1873-1874 
Length: 4 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: French 
23.
Carmen: Votre toast je peu vous le rendre "Toreador Song" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Jane Berbié (Mezzo Soprano), Nadine Sautereau (Soprano), Maria Callas (Soprano),
Robert Massard (Baritone)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  René Duclos Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: French 
24.
Carmen: La fleur que tu m'avais jetée "Flower song" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: French 
25.
Les contes d'Hoffmann: Belle nuit, o nuit d'amour by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Jeanine Collard (Mezzo Soprano), Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Soprano)
Conductor:  André Cluytens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  René Duclos Chorus,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Paris, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: French 
26.
Andrea Chénier: La mamma morta by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano)
Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
27.
Madama Butterfly: Un bel dì vedremo by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
28.
Così fan tutte, K 588: Soave sia il vento by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Margaret Marshall (Soprano), Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano), José Van Dam (Bass)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
29.
La Rondine: Ch'il bel sogno di Doretta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Montserrat Caballé (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
30.
Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Walter Berry (Baritone)
Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: German 
31.
Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Der Hölle Rache by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano)
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: German 
32.
Rusalka, Op. 114/B 203: O moon high up "Song to the moon" by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefan Soltesz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Bohemia 
Length: 5 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: Czech 
33.
La Wally: Ebben?... Ne andrò lontana by Alfredo Catalani
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano)
Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
34.
Werther: Pourquoi me réveiller? by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: French 
35.
Turandot: Signore, ascolta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Montserrat Caballé (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
36.
I Pagliacci: Recitar!...Vesti la giubba by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  José Carreras (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
37.
Samson et Dalila, Op. 47: Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; France 
Length: 5 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: French 
38.
Turandot: Nessun dorma! by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  José Carreras (Tenor)
Conductor:  Alain Lombard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Rhine Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In