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Beverly Sills - The Great Recordings


Release Date: 05/11/2004 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 000246902   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Vincenzo BelliniGiuseppe VerdiGaetano DonizettiWolfgang Amadeus Mozart,   ... 
Performer:  Nicolai GeddaHeather BeggRichard Van AllanPaul Plishka,   ... 
Conductor:  Julius RudelJussi JalasAldo CeccatoSir Charles Mackerras,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic OrchestraVienna Volksoper OrchestraAmbrosian Chorus,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This 2-CD set, slightly more than two hours of music, presents arias and scenes from Beverly Sills' recordings made between 1959 (Baby Doe) and 1975 (Barbiere)--most are taken from the years 1968-73. She began to sing Elisabetta I in Devereux in October, 1969, and by early '71 the role had begun to take its toll on her voice--and it's remarkable how easy it is to tell what was recorded pre- and post-Devereux just by listening carefully from track to track. The bottom line, of course, is that regardless of when she recorded, Sills always was a great artist who brought intelligence and sensitivity to any role she sang, and so everything here is worth hearing, and hearing more than once--well, "Contro un cor" is a bit thorny and the "Mira o Read more Norma" is not very "bel" canto, with Shirley Verrett's Adalgisa more interesting than persuasive. But among the rest, the "Capuleti" aria from '68, though overembellished, is beautiful beyond description, with high notes floated almost supernaturally; her Manon is wholly satisfying and her Antonia (in Hoffmann) is stunning, though a bit rough vocally, with Norman Treigle as a phenomenally sinister Dr. Miracle and Julius Rudel conducting up a storm; "Vorrei spiegarvi, O Dio" and Strauss' "Amor" are simply ravishing; "Martern aller Arten" is a whiz-bang lesson in Mozartian coloratura; and the Devereux final scene (from 1969) is tragically exhausting in its depth of characterization and feeling. Oh yes--the aria from Robert le diable is a knockout. If you don't own at least half of these selections on other recordings, go out and buy this.

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. I puritani: Son vergin vezzosa "Polacca" by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Heather Begg (Mezzo Soprano), Richard Van Allan (Bass),
Paul Plishka (Bass), Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julius Rudel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1973 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 55 Secs. 
2. I Capuleti e i Montecchi: Oh, quante volte by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jussi Jalas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1968 
Venue:  Mozart Hall, Concert Hall, Vienna 
Length: 9 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: This selection begins with "Eccomi..." 
3. Norma: Mira, o Norma by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Shirley Verrett (Mezzo Soprano), James Levine (), New Philharmonia Orchestra (),
Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1973 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 32 Secs. 
4. Attila: Santo di patria...A lor che i forti...Da te questo by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Aldo Ceccato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1974 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 9 Secs. 
5. Roberto Devereux: Che m'apporti by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano), Kenneth MacDonald (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1969 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
6. Roberto Devereux: Quel sangue by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1969 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 32 Secs. 
7. Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio, K 418 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Aldo Ceccato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1783; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1970 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 23 Secs. 
8. Lieder (6), Op. 68: no 5, Amor by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Aldo Ceccato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1970 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 52 Secs. 
9. Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: Martern aller Arten by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Aldo Ceccato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1970 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 10 Secs. 
10. La traviata: Ah, fors' è lui...Sempre libera by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Aldo Ceccato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/1971 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 12 Minutes 34 Secs. 
11. Manon: Regardez-moi by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julius Rudel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1970 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
12. Manon: Toi! Vous!...N'est ce plus ma main by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Julius Rudel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1970 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, London, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 48 Secs. 
13. Robert le Diable: Robert, toi que j'aime by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1969 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 10 Secs. 
14. Les contes d'Hoffmann: Ne chanteras plus? by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julius Rudel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 07/1972 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 0 Secs. 
15. Les contes d'Hoffmann: Cher enfant que j'appelle by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julius Rudel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 07/1972 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
16. Giuditta: Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julius Rudel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1934; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/1971 
Venue:  Fairfield Halls, Croydon, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 20 Secs. 
17. Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume by Rudolf Sieczynski
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julius Rudel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 05/1971 
Venue:  Fairfield Halls, Croydon, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 7 Secs. 
18. Il barbiere di Siviglia: Contro un cor by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  James Levine
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1975 
Venue:  All Saints' Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 37 Secs. 
19. The Ballad of Baby Doe: Horace! ... through the changing by Douglas Moore
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Emerson Buckley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1969 
Venue:  New York City 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 

Sound Samples

I Puritani / Act 1: Son vergin vezzosa
I Capuleti e i Montecchi / Act 1: Eccomi...Oh! quante volte
Norma / Act 2: Mira, o Norma
Attila / Prologue: "Santo di patria indefinito amor!"
Il barbiere di Siviglia / Act 2: No.11 Aria: "Contro un cor che accende amore"
Roberto Devereux - original version / Act 3: Che m'apporti? (Elisabetta, Cecil, Sara, Nottingham, Coro)
Roberto Devereux - original version / Act 3: Quel sangue versato al ciel (Elisabetta, Coro)
Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio, K.418
Amor, Op.68, No.5
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K.384 / Act 2: "Martern aller Arten"
La traviata / Act 1: È strano! È strano!
La traviata / Act 1: Ah, fors' è lui
La traviata / Act 1: Follie! Follie!
La traviata / Act 1: Sempre libera
Manon / Act 3: "Ces murs silencieux...Pardonnez-moi, Dieu de toute puissance"
Manon / Act 3: Toi! Vous!...Oui! Je fus cruelle et coupable!
Manon / Act 3: N'est-ce plus ma main?
Robert le diable - opera in 5 acts / Act 4: Robert, toi que j'aime
Les Contes d'Hoffmann / Act 4: Tu ne chanteras plus?
Les Contes d'Hoffmann / Act 4: Chère enfant! que j'appelle
Giuditta / Act 4: Meine Lippen, die küssen so heiss
Wien, Wien, nur du allein
The Ballad of Baby Doe / Act 2: Always through the changing

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Mozart and Beverly Sills  March 28, 2013 By Lindley  Thomasset (Bedford , NY) See All My Reviews "I have listened to the Vorei spiegarvi oh Dio concert aria for many years and was pleased to see it included in a group of Great Recordings. It seems that my mother has sort of fallen off the map since her death 6 years ago. I remember the musical gifts that she gave me-- I was privileged to be able to see the best productions she appeared in at the NY City Opera. Her technique was flawless-- her trills were the best in the business because of her Marchese training. I grew up hearing her practice those exercises. Your reviewer Robert Levine is essentially correct. Its a shame that she didn't record more Mozart operas. Lindley Thomasset (oldest daughter)" Report Abuse
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