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Voices Of Italian Opera

Voices Of Italian Opera / Various
Release Date: 07/31/2012 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 40509   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Vincenzo BelliniGaetano DonizettiGioachino RossiniGiuseppe Verdi,   ... 
Performer:  Maria CallasEdita GruberovaMargherita CarosioFrancesco Meli,   ... 
Conductor:  Tullio SerafinKurt EichhornAnatole FistoulariEvelino Pidò,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala OrchestraMunich Radio OrchestraPhilharmonia Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 5 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In 1902 the then fledgling five-year-old Gramophone Company recorded a young operatic tenor called Enrico Caruso in Milan and changed the perception of the gramophone from a novelty to a medium for the enjoyment of serious classical music. This collection of recordings of voices of the Italian opera tradition includes one of those historic 1902 Caruso recordings, which still holds its own today despite the extreme limitations of the acoustic recording process in use in those days, as part of a programme of the greatest singers from the years that followed, whose art was captured for ever through the medium of recorded sound that had been invented in 1877 by Edison using a rotating cylinder and then developed in 1887 by Emile Berliner who Read more discovered how to record on a flat disc. The Gramophone Company went on to record all the great singers of the time and when it merged in 1931 with its great rival, the British Columbia company, to form EMI Ltd, it went on to develop a catalogue of operatic recordings unrivalled to this day. These five CDs present a sampling of the many outstanding voices captured on record by EMI over the past century in the field of Italian opera. Not all of the singers are Italian, but the tradition of performing Italian opera has been clearly defined over the years under the guidance of the composers themselves, and the performance style has been handed down to the present day by the great singers heard in this collection.

CD 1 Opera is said to have begun in Florence around 1600. The Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi (1587–1643) was one of its first great exponents, but our survey begins with the great flowering of Romantic Italian opera in the so-called ‘bel canto’ era at the start of the 19th century with the operas of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini. The term ‘bel canto’ literally means ‘beautiful singing’ but that did not preclude the subject matter of the operas from being powerful and dramatic. The Greek-American soprano Maria Callas opens the programme with a matchless account of the aria ‘Casta Diva’ from Bellini’s Norma, one of the milestones in ‘bel canto’ literature. She is followed by two more recent singers – Edita Gruberova and Natalie Dessay – in more Bellini, and then the light soprano Margherita Carosio, whom the more dramatic Callas replaced at short notice in 1949 in Venice in a performance of I puritani that catapulted her to international fame and instigated a major international revival of many operas of the ‘bel canto’ era. In the Donizetti arias that follow we encounter two legendary tenors of an earlier generation: the very stylish Tito Schipa and the greatly-loved Beniamino Gigli, whose honeyed tone and beautiful mezza-voce singing were undiminished even in this relatively late recording of ‘Quanto è bella’. The CD concludes with music by Rossini by a diverse collection of singers including the Americans Beverly Sills, Marilyn Horne, Rockwell Blake and Thomas Hampson, the Peruvian tenor Luigi Alva and the colourful Spanish mezzo-soprano Conchita Supervia, whose Rossini heroines – their music restored to its original lower keys – were greatly admired.

CD 2 brings us to the works of Giuseppe Verdi, undoubtedly the greatest composer of Italian opera, whose works are performed today in every opera house in the world. The Swedish-born Jussi Björling, who opens this CD, was essentially a lyric tenor but he had the ability to add a metallic ring to his voice that enabled him to sing dramatic roles equally well. Other tenors heard later on this disc include the Spanish lyric tenor Alfredo Kraus, the French tenor of Sicilian ancestry, Roberto Alagna, the Mexican Rolando Villazón and two robust Italian tenors: Franco Bonisolli and Franco Corelli. We also encounter the Bulgarian bass Boris Christoff, whose sonorous vocal timbre is unmistakable, and the Italian baritone Renato Bruson. Among the women are the creamy-voiced New Zealander Kiri Te Kanawa and two outstanding Americans: Martina Arroyo and Leontyne Price, who were among the first black singers to become leading artists at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

CD 3 continue with more Verdi and introduces two Australian singers who both brought dramatic power to their performances, the tenor Donald Smith and the soprano Margherita Grandi, whose Lady Macbeth caused a sensation at Glyndebourne both before and after World War II. Two more Spanish singers appear here for the first time: the tenors José Carreras and Plácido Domingo, of whom the latter can truly be described as legendary. From Greece we hear the superb mezzo-soprano Agnes Baltsa as Eboli in Don Carlo and there is another appearance by Callas, this time as Aida, a role also sung magnificently by the Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé. The German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is most famous for his performances in German opera and on the concert platform, but his ability to sing Verdi was also outstanding, as can be heard in his Iago, opposite the impassioned Otello of the American tenor James McCracken. The CD ends with one of the greatest Verdi baritones of the post-war era in one of Verdi’s greatest masterpieces: Tito Gobbi as Falstaff.

CD 4 brings us to the operas of Puccini that usher in the era knows as ‘verismo’, in which realism and contemporary drama begins to replace the generally more historical stories set by the earlier composers. On this disc Gigli re-appears as the caddish American naval officer Pinkerton who breaks the heart of the vulnerable young Japanese geisha known as Madame Butterfly, and Butterfly herself is portrayed by two inimitable interpreters of the role: Victoria de los Angeles and Renata Scotto. The Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda, heard here as Des Grieux in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, excelled in Italian opera and we also encounter here the Sicilian tenor Giuseppe di Stefano, who made a number of acclaimed operatic recordings opposite Maria Callas in the 1950s. One of today’s greatest divas, the Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu is heard as Tosca; the fiery Bulgarian Ljuba Welitsch sings Musetta, a role that she memorably performed at Covent Garden a number of times after the war; and the English dramatic soprano Eva Turner in ‘In questa reggia’, demonstrates with her astonishingly powerful upper register why she was the definitive Turandot.

CD 5 opens with the tenor who still today stands unchallenged as the model for all others: Enrico Caruso, the boy from a poor family in Naples who rose to the top of his profession with a glorious voice and innate musicianship that shine through the primitive recording technology of 1902 in one of his signature arias: ‘Vesti la giubba’ from Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Also on this disc is another Italian legend: Luciano Pavarotti, in the ‘Cherry Duet’ from Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz, opposite the charming Mirella Freni, and the exciting American-Italian soprano Dusolina Giannini, who joins Gigli in a hair-raising account of the confrontation between Santuzza and Turiddu in Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana. The only Russian heard in this collection is the mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova, who sings an aria from Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, and there is another famous if somewhat flawed Spanish singer, the tenor Miguel Fleta, who contributes an aria from Zandonai’s Giulietta e Romeo. No new composers of Italian opera have emerged in recent years and this survey concludes with a scene from Amelia al ballo by the Italian-born American composer Gian Carlo Menotti, delightfully sung here by Margherita Carosio in the true Italian tradition.
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Works on This Recording

1. Norma: Casta diva by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano)
Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
2. La sonnambula: Come per me sereno...Sovra il sen by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
3. I Capuleti e i Montecchi: Oh, quante volte by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Margherita Carosio (Soprano)
Conductor:  Anatole Fistoulari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Italy 
4. La sonnambula: Son geloso del zefiro by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Francesco Meli (Tenor), Natalie Dessay (Soprano)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidò
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
5. Lucia di Lammermoor: Spargi d'amaro pianto "Mad Scene" by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Anna Moffo (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
6. Lucia di Lammermoor: Fra poco a me ricovero by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Ferruccio Tagliavini (Tenor)
Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
7. La Favorita: A tanto amor, Leonora by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Paolo Silveri (Baritone)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Italy 
8. L'Elisir d'Amore: Una furtiva lagrima by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Tito Schipa (Tenor)
Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
9. L'Elisir d'Amore: Quanto è bella! Quanto è cara! by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Stanford Robinson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
10. La donna del lago: Mura felici by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819; Italy 
11. La Cenerentola: Nacqui all' affano...Non più mesta by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Conchita Supervia (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Angelo Albergoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Italy 
12. L'italiana in Algeri: Pappataci by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Jan Opalach (Bass Baritone), Rockwell Blake (Tenor), Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's
13. Il barbiere di Siviglia: Una voce poco fa...Io sono dolcile by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  James Levine
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
14. Il barbiere di Siviglia: La calunnia è un venticello by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Ruggero Raimondi (Bass)
Conductor:  James Levine
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
15. Il Barbiere di Siviglia: All'idea di quell metallo by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Luigi Alva (Tenor), Sesto Bruscantini (Baritone)
Conductor:  Vittorio Gui
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
16. Otello: Esultate! by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mario Del Monaco (Tenor)
Conductor:  Argeo Quadri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
17. Otello: Era la notte by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), James McCracken (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
18. Otello: Dio, mi potevi scagliar tutti i mali by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jon Vickers (Tenor), Peter Glossop (Baritone)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
19. Ave Maria by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Katia Ricciarelli (Soprano)
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Italy 
20. Macbeth: Una macchia è qui tuttora "Sleepwalking Scene" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Margherita Grandi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847/1865; Italy 
21. Macbeth: Ah, la paterna mano by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Donald Smith (Tenor)
Conductor:  Vanco Cavdarski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847/1865; Italy 
22. Macbeth: La luce langue by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Fiorenza Cossotto (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
23. La forza del destino: La vita è inferno...O tu che in seno agli angeli by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Carlo Bergonzi (Tenor)
Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
24. Falstaff: L'onore! Ladri! "Ford's Monologue" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Tito Gobbi (Baritone)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
25. Don Carlos: O don fatale by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Agnes Baltsa (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
26. Don Carlos: Io l'ho perduta by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  José Carreras (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867/1884; Italy 
27. Don Carlos: Nel giardin del bello "Veil Song" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Shirley Verrett (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867/1884; Italy 
28. Aida: Ritorna vincitor! by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
29. Aida: O patria mia by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Montserrat Caballé (Soprano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
30. Aida: Celeste Aida by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
31. Rigoletto: Questa o quella by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jussi Björling (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nils Grevillius
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
32. Rigoletto: La donna è mobile by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Alfredo Kraus (Tenor)
Conductor:  Julius Rudel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
33. Rigoletto: Caro nome by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Daniela Dessi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
34. Luisa Miller: Quando le sere al placido by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Franco Corelli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Franco Ferraris
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Italy 
35. La traviata: Di Provenza il mar by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Renato Bruson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
36. La traviata: Ah, fors' è lui...Sempre libera by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Moffo (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
37. La forza del destino: Me pellegrina ed orfana by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Martina Arroyo (Soprano)
Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
38. Il trovatore: Il balen del suo sorriso by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
39. Il trovatore: Di quella pira by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Franco Bonisolli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
40. Il trovatore: D'amor sull' ali rosee by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Horst Nitsche (Tenor), Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
41. Il trovatore: Condotta ell' era in ceppi by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Enrico Caruso (Tenor)
Conductor:  Argeo Quadri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
42. Il trovatore: Ah si, ben mio by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
43. I vespri siciliani: O tu, Palermo by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Boris Christoff (Bass)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Schüchter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855; Italy 
44. I vespri siciliani: Mercè, dilette amiche "Bolero" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Cheryl Studer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855; Italy 
45. I vespri siciliani: Giorno di pianto, di fier dolor by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Chris Merritt (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855; Italy 
46. Turandot: Nessun dorma! by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  José Carreras (Tenor)
Conductor:  Alain Lombard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
47. Turandot: In questa reggia by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eva Turner (Soprano)
Conductor:  Lorenzo Molajoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
48. Tosca: Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
49. Tosca: Tre sbirri, una carrozza...Te Deum by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renato Ercolani (Tenor)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
50. Tosca: Recondita armonia by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor)
Conductor:  Victor De Sabata
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
51. Tosca: E lucevan le stelle by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Franco Corelli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Franco Ferraris
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
52. Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
53. 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 
54. 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 
55. La Fanciulla del West: Laggiù nel Soledad by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Birgit Nilsson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Italy 
56. La Fanciulla del West: Ch'ella mi creda libero e lontano by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Charles Craig (Tenor)
Conductor:  Michael Collins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Italy 
57. La Bohème: Si, mi chiamano Mimì by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Thomas Schippers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
58. La Bohème: Quando m'en vo' soletta "Musetta's Waltz" by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Ljuba Welitsch (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
59. La Bohème: Che gelida manina by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marcello Viotti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
60. Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julius Rudel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
61. Gianni Schicchi: Firenze è come un albero fiorito by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
62. Madama Butterfly: Vogliatemi bene, un bene piccolino by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles (Soprano), Jussi Björling (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gabriele Santini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
63. Madama Butterfly: Dovunque al mondo by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Oliviero de Fabritiis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
64. Manon Lescaut: Ah! non m'avvicinate! by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Luigi Borgonovo (Baritone)
Conductor:  Franco Ghione
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
65. La traviata: Lunge da lei...De' miei bollenti spiriti by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marcello Viotti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
66. Rigoletto: Bella figlia dell' amore [Quartet] by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Lucio Gallo (Baritone), Ernesto Gavazzi (Tenor), Daniela Dessi (Soprano),
Michele Pertusi (Bass)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
67. I Pagliacci: Recitar!...Vesti la giubba by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Salvatore Cottone (Piano), Enrico Caruso (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marcello Viotti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
68. La Wally: Ebben?... Ne andrò lontana by Alfredo Catalani
Performer:  Ghena Dimitrova (Soprano)
Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
69. Nerone: Quando al soave anelito by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1935; Italy 
70. L'Amico Fritz: Suzel, buon dì "Cherry Duet" by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor), Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Italy 
71. Cavalleria Rusticana: Voi lo sapete, o Mamma by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Montserrat Caballé (Soprano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
72. Cavalleria Rusticana: Mamma, quel vino è generoso "Addio" by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Eugenio Fernandi (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
73. Cavalleria Rusticana: Tu qui, Santuzza? by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor), Dusolina Giannini (Soprano)
Conductor:  Antonio Sabino
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
74. Siberia: Qual vergogna tu porti by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Maria Caniglia (Soprano)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Antonicelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903/1921; Italy 
75. L'Arlesiana: E la solita storia...Anch'io vorrei "Lamento" by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Jussi Björling (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nils Grevillius
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Concerts Associations Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1937; Italy 
76. Adriana Lecouvreur: La dolcissima effigie by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Aureliano Pertile (Tenor)
Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
77. 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 
78. Adriana Lecouvreur: Ecco il monologo by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Tito Gobbi (Baritone)
Conductor:  Alberto Erede
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
79. Adriana Lecouvreur: Acerba volutta by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Elena Obraztsova (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
80. Fedora: Amor ti vieta by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  James King (Tenor)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Italy 
81. Andrea Chénier: Un dì all' azzuro spazio "Improvviso" by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gabriele Santini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
82. Andrea Chénier: La mamma morta by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano)
Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
83. Giulietta e Romeo: Giulietta! son io by Riccardo Zandonai
Performer:  Miguel Fleta (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; Rome, Italy 
84. Amelia Goes to the Ball: While I waste these precious hours by Gian Carlo Menotti
Performer:  Margherita Carosio (Soprano)
Conductor:  Giacinto Orandelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; USA 

Sound Samples

Norma, Act I, Scene 1: Casta Diva - extract (Norma/Coro)
La Sonnambula, Act 1: Come per me sereno
La Sonnambula, Act I, Scene 1: Son geloso del zefiro errante (Elvino/Amina)
O quante volte (I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Act I)
L'Elisir d'amore: Una furtiva lagrima
Lucia di Lammermoor, '(The) Bride of Lammermoor': Spargi d'amaro pianto (Mad Scene)
Lucia di Lammermoor, Act III, Scena seconda: Fra poco a me ricovero darà negletto avello (Edgardo)
L'elisir d'amore: Quanto è bella (Act I) (1998 Digital Remaster)
A tanto amor (La Favorita, Act III)
Il barbiere di Siviglia 'The Barber of Seville', Act I, Scene One: All'idea di quel metallo (Conte/Figaro)
Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Una voce poco fà (Rosina)
Il Barbiere di Siviglia: La calunnia è un venticello (Basilio)
Nacqui all'affano...Non più mesta (La Cenerentola, Act II) (1990 - Remaster)
L'Italiana in Algeri: Pappataci! che mai sento
La Donna del lago: Mura felici (Act 1)
Rigoletto: Questa o quella
Rigoletto, Act 1, Scene 2: Gualtier Maldè ...Caro nome
Rigoletto: La donna è mobile
Rigoletto: Bella figlia dell'amore (Act 3)
Condotta ell'era in ceppi (Il trovatore, Act II) (2009 - Remaster)
Il Trovatore, Parte Seconda - La Gitana, Scena terza: Il balen del suo sorriso (Il Conte)
Il Trovatore, Parte Terza - Il figlio della Zingara, (Scena sesta): Ah, si ben mio, coll'essere io tuo (Manrico)
Il Trovatore, Act III Scene Two: Di quella pira l'orrendo foco (Manrico/Ruiz/Coro)
Il Trovatore, Act IV Scene One: D'amor sull'ali rosee (Leonora)
La Traviata, Act I, È strano! È strano!...Ah, fors` è lui...Follie! Follie!...Sempre libera
La Traviata: Lunge da lei...De' miei bollenti spiriti...O mio rimorso
La traviata, Act II, Scene 1, Scene & Aria: Di Provenza il mar, il suol
La Traviata: Attendo, attendo...Addio del passato (Act III)
Luisa Miller: Oh! Fede negar potessi... Quando le sere al placido
I vespri Siciliani: O tu, Palermo
I vespri Siciliani, Act IV: Giorno di pianto
I Vespri Siciliani, Act V: Mercè, dilette amiche (Elena)
La forza del destino, Atto Primo: Me, pellegrina ed orfana...(Leonora)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  6 Customer Reviews )
 The Best Italian Opera Anthology of All Time November 28, 2012 By George Pilcher (Westerville, OH) See All My Reviews ""I've been an active opera lover and record/CD collector for over 50 years, and I cannot count the number of anthologies that I have, including many that are specifically devoted to German, French, Italian, etc., repertory. This is without question the finest single Italian opera anthology that I have ever encountered, and I would say the same thing about EMI's Voices of German Opera antholoogy that was released at the same time. Exceptional thought went into not only the selection of the works and performers (some of whom are de rigueur, but a delightful number of whom are not), but also into the sequencing of the various selections in this set. If you haven't already acquired this box, you owe yourself to do so--and, at EMI's bargain-basement price--you really can't afford not to. No one investing in this set will be disappointed."" Report Abuse
 Pavarotti November 17, 2012 By J. DuPont (Hyde Park, MA) See All My Reviews "Just love these cds. However. was a bit disappointed that there was only one Pavarotti cut." Report Abuse
 STUPENDOUS September 6, 2012 By Sydney S. (Toronto, ON) See All My Reviews "I have always been of the opinion that the opera singers of the 20th century were the the greatest Brava" Report Abuse
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