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Verdi: Aida / Leinsdorf, Price, Bumbry, Domingo, Milnes, London Symphony

Release Date: 10/06/2017 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 88985434852  
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Ruggero RaimondiGrace BumbryPlacido DomingoLeontyne Price,   ... 
Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis ChoirLondon Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Sony Classical is delighted to offer lovers of singing another ten complete recordings from the RCA Red Seal, CBS/Sony Classical and Eurodisc catalogues. The latest instalment of this wide-ranging series not only features some of the greatest voices of the last century but also spotlights once popular works that have been unduly neglected in recent times. At the Metropolitan in the second half of the last century, the core Italian repertoire was dominated by a formidable triumvirate of stars: soprano Leontyne Price, tenor Plácido Domingo and baritone Sherrill Milnes. Two of their most memorable recordings were set down by RCA in London in the early 1970s, both conducted by Erich Leinsdorf. “Price, the supreme Verdi soprano of her Read more time,” declared the BBC Music Magazine, “is unsurpassed as Aida … [with] Domingo and Milnes on top form and Grace Bumbry as a formidable Amneris.” Gramophone also lauded Leinsdorf’s contribution: “He catches the grandeur of the public scenes, the delicacy of the intimate ones and carefully judges the weight and pace of each scene.” Read less

Works on This Recording

Aida by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Ruggero Raimondi (Bass), Grace Bumbry (Mezzo Soprano), Placido Domingo (Tenor),
Leontyne Price (Soprano), Sherrill Milnes (Baritone), Hans Sotin (Bass)
Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Ceremonious, Self-Conscious AIDA November 19, 2019 By W. Clegg (Pocatello, ID) See All My Reviews "RCA released this AIDA in 1971. Producer Richard Mohr noted in the accompanying booklet that it was the fourth recording of the work to be released by RCA in twenty years. While the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the opera’s premiere in Cairo was the official excuse to embark on this latest endeavor, there was another, more basic motivation also at play. A cooperative deal between RCA and the English recording firm Decca/London had produced the successful and highly lucrative 1962 stereophonic recording of AIDA conducted in Rome’s spacious opera house by Georg Solti with Leontyne Price in the title role. Part of this deal gave RCA the right to issue the recording worldwide under their own label for a certain number of years after which that right would revert to Decca/London. Time was about up and RCA was about to lose revenue from a recording of one the world’s most popular operas featuring the unanimously-acknowledged owner of the opera’s title role to a serious market rival. They desperately needed to outdo themselves by adding a superior new stereo AIDA to their catalog to stay competitive. To be blunt, the desperation shows. It shows in the numerous audible splices and edits that betray the micromanaging of every moment, nowhere more obvious than in ‘O patria mia’ during Price’s ascent to the climactic high-C. It shows in the overly-cautious miking and mixing-board management which makes the whole thing sound more like it was recorded in a padded room rather than London’s sympathetically resonant Walthamstow Town Hall. It’s almost like Mohr was determined to avoid the overload distortion that plagued RCA’s IL TROVATORE of the previous year at all costs. It shows in RCA’s choice of conductor, Erich Leinsdorf, a musician whose radically conservative musical orthodoxy took every tempo marking in a score at face value, leaving no room for the music to breathe and live. His tempi are either heedlessly swift or suffocatingly slow, bearing little organic relation to each other or the drama unfolding in the story. In short, the whole endeavor comes across as an unnervingly self-conscious, carefully ceremonious presentation, lacking any genuine emotion or visceral connection to the inner lives of AIDA’S characters. When compared with her previous recording, Leontyne Price’s voice is as luminous as ever, with a greater consistency of tone throughout her range. Many moments are exquisitely sung and certain dramatic points have been refined in their delivery. Yet, instead of the vulnerable, enslaved Ethiopian princess of 1962, this is clearly a great operatic diva, lauded around the world and ever conscious of her cultural duty to correctly represent all African-Americans at all times, presenting Aida to her expectant public. As frustrating as it all is, there are still things to enjoy for their own sake. Domingo, in his first of four recordings of Rhadames, sounds young, virile, and ardent, everything Rhadames should be. Bumbry and Milnes both have a great time showing off their glorious voices. The deliciously sung high priestess of Joyce Mathis makes an especially enjoyable highlight of her short role. Had certain circumstances been different, this could easily been the studio AIDA to stand beside the 1953 Callas TOSCA and Solti’s 1958 DAS RHEINGOLD as a generally acknowledged ideal opera recording. Instead, it falls into company with the many AIDA recordings that fail to bring the opera fully to life. One last note: the previous re-issue of this recording on CD was sadly mishandled, compressing an already compressed recording to the point of painful listening. I haven’t heard this remastering, but for those looking to purchase it, I hope it’s an improvement." Report Abuse
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