Notes and Editorial Reviews
There are dozens of complete recordings of Aida on the market, and many have something unique to offer: Vickers' urgent Radames with Price's ravishing Aida; Caballé stunning in the title role; Toscanini's white-hot conducting; and more than one searing interpretation by Callas. Domingo has recorded Radames commercially four times, but I dare say that this performance, taped live in Munich in 1972 under the baton of Claudio Abbado, then head of La Scala and arguably the finest Verdi conductor at the time, overall is the most satisfying among the currently available recordings.
Martina Arroyo was a superb, under-recorded soprano. She may not have had the insights of Callas or the sheer vocal beauty of Price or
Caballé or Tebaldi, but her plush, well-placed voice, utter commitment and sincerity, and superb musicianship made her a treasure, and we're lucky to have this recording to prove it. She's wonderful throughout, the voice big and ringing in climactic moments, gentle when it needs be. Domingo sings Radames with a freshness, ardency, and eagerness--not to mention a scrupulousness to dynamic markings that all but disappeared over the years--that gives the impression that the drama is unfolding here for the first time. And his tone is golden.
Fiorenza Cossotto's Amneris is thoroughly convincing and as strong as steel; her Judgment Scene is devastating. Piero Cappuccili, never the subtlest of baritones, is correctly powered for Amonasro, and he sings handsomely, more "in" the character than I've heard him before. Nicolai Ghiaurov's Ramfis is terrifying--and beautifully intoned. And getting back to Abbado, here, on tour with his La Scala forces, he's on fire, with the drama primary, the pacing ideal, and his entire cast a great ensemble. The "live" sound is very good. These CDs are mid-priced and come with full libretto. If I wanted one performance of this opera that had just about everything, this would be it. [4/6/2004]
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Aida by Giuseppe Verdi
Fiorenza Cossotto (Mezzo Soprano),
Placido Domingo (Soprano),
Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass),
Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone),
Luigi Roni (Bass),
Piero de Palma (Tenor),
Martina Arroyo (Soprano),
Josella Ligi (Soprano)
Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,
Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Written: 1871; Italy
Date of Recording: 1972
Venue: Live Munich, Germany
Length: 139 Minutes 35 Secs.
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