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Luciano Pavarotti Édition 1 : the First Decade
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Description du produit
'The Pavarotti Story, is in many ways, also The Decca Story as artist and record company worked hand-in-hand until the artist's death in 2007. It was a relationship that lasted some 45 years, and will continue to bear fruit forever.' James Jolly
This 27 CD set reviews the totality of Pavarotti's remarkably intense first decade with Decca. Everything the artist recorded for the company from signing his contract until 1973 is here, allowing collectors and opera lovers once more to appreciate his exceptional achievement in that first decade for the Decca label.
The set includes an anniversary re-issue in vinyl of the famous May 1964 original first EP, cut by Pavarotti as his first recording for Decca five arias including Che gelida manina from La Bohème, E lucevan le stelle from Tosca and three arias from Rigoletto.
It also includes a Bonus CD of Arias featuring the newly re-surfaced recording of Che gelida manina from Pavarotti's debut performance of La Bohème on April 29, 1961 at the Teatro Muncipale in Reggio Emilia.
The collection serves to highlight the key partnerships in Pavarotti's early recording career. The Sutherland-Pavarotti-Bonynge relationship was the first to be enshrined on record in Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda (CD 1-2). Their Donizetti recordings La Fille du Régiment (CD 2-3) and L elisir d'amore (CD 4-5) still have few rivals: 'Pavarotti has a Gigli-like quality in characterisation and this suits him ideally for the role... you should readily be won over by the sheer exuberance, vocal as well as dramatic, that Sutherland brings to the role.' Gramophone original review
Opera was not the sole musical outlet for the Pavarotti of the 1960s and 1970s. He sang in choral works, such as Verdi's Requiem and Rossini's Stabat Mater and as his reputation spread he became a dedicated recitalist. His Verdi and Donizetti Arias (CD 25) contain some of the most perfect, natural, unforced singing of his entire career.
The edition includes:
1 45-RPM EP
Booklet including track lists, castlists and synopses
An article by James Jolly
Libretti in original languages
Bellini: Beatrice di Tenda
Donizetti: La Fille du Régiment
Donizetti: L'Elisir d'Amore
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
Puccini: La Bohème
Bellini: I Puritani
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Donizetti: La Favorita
Verdi: Messa da Requiem
Verdi & Donizetti: Arias (plus extra tracks)
Pavarotti in Concert (plus extra tracks)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
I started with a long-time favorite:
DONIZETTI: L'ELISIR D'AMORE": I consider this Pavarotti's best singing on disc ever. He is so involved and his tone is so sweet that one just wants to listen on and on. And, finally, Decca has corrected one of the most serious mistakes it ever made. When this recording was first issued on CD, Decca just transferred the first 3 LP sides to disc 1, and the last 3 LP sides to disc two, never thinking twice of what they subjected the listener to. The last 6 minutes of the Act 1 finale was put on CD 2, necessitating the listener to get out of the mood of the opera and change discs. This was totally unnecessary, since there was more than enough space on the disc to include these minutes. This is now corrected with the wonderful result that one can listen to the entire first act without interruption. As for the sound, it has been totally remastered. The sound is very clean and especially the choral passages benefit from this. There seems to be more bass as well and the clarity is wonderful.
PUCCINI: "TURANDOT": This recording has been the go-to issue ever since it first appeared. The cast is just about invincible, with Sutherland, Caballé, Ghiaurov and Pavarotti all in superb voice. The recording, always considered spectacular, has also been totally remastered, with fantastic results. In the first Act, Nicolai Ghiaurov appeared to be all over the place in the opening scene. Now, with this issue, he is rock-steady in place. The sound is clear as a bell, with more definition and more natural warmth. Again, the choral passages gain the most from this treatment. Listen, for instance, to Caballé's "Signore, ascolta" with the following scene and you'll be convinced. The many choral passages jump at you and the orchestral contributions are just spectacular. When the recording was made, a friend, who was present at the sessions, told me that Kingsway Hall just about came down. The hall was barely big enough for the sound.
DONIZETTI: 'LA FILLE DU REGIMENT": This recording also has benefited from the remastering. Again, the choral passages gain the most, but the overall sound of this 1967 recording has been improved. In Tonio's first Act aria "Ah, mes amis" there was a small edit glitch, which has been cleaned up somewhat. It is not completely gone, but far less audible than before. I don't think I need to report on the performance. It has been in the catalog ever since it first appeared, and most people at all interested in these performers, will be familiar with the fun that everyone seems to be having.
VERDI: "MESSA DA REQUIEM" Another great recording that benefits from the longer playing-time of the new CDs. This CD is 84 minutes long, and thus this beautifully recorded performance can now be listened to without interruption, a great plus for the Requiem Mass. The sound is also much improved. The drum-whacks in the "Dies Irae" will literally wake up the dead.
PUCCINI: "MADAMA BUTTERFLY": This performance, never far away from my turntable, then CD player, has been remastered to fit on 2 CDs. The sound is great, as before, but there is more clarity, as with all the previous recordings mentioned above. Mirella Freni touches the heart like no one else for me, and again, Pavarotti in superb voice. The Vienna Philharmonic play for Karajan as if they play Puccini daily.
VERDI: "MACBETH": This recording was never in my collection, simply because I cannot listen to Fischer-Dieskau in Italian opera, and especially not in Verdi. Listening to this performance, I think I was right (for me). Dieskau rages through the rôle like a German stormtrooper and ruins for me any pleasure I did get from the other performers. Suliotis is actually pretty good, and the short rôle of Macduff is well served by Pavarotti. The sound of the recording is quite wonderful, but I still don't think I'll re-visit this recording any time soon.
I will post my other impressions later. I consider this set more than worth the money. I for one, am glad to not have listened to my original first thoughts. Buy it, it will disappear soon
May 21: Finally got around to PUCCINI: "LA BOHÈME": This recording has been in the catalogue non stop since it first appeared. When it appeared, on LP, I used to listen often to the classic Serafin recording, also on Decca, with Tebaldi and Bergonzi as the lovers. This recording under von Karajan is totally different, and to my mind, just as valid. Mr. Karajan lavishes on the score attention this music deserves, but seldom gets. He may be a little slow at times, but that gives the music all the more time to spell its magic. The comparison between Bergonzi and Pavarotti is interesting, in that Bergonzi tends to portray the poetic side of Rodolfo, and Pavarotti is more the young, ardent lover. Both are absolutely wonderful amd equally valid. By the time Tebaldi recorded her second "Bohème" she was no longer in the full flush of youth, but her portrayal is movingly sung. However, there can be no more lovable Mimi than Mirella Freni. I've seen and heard her in three different productions, and every time the tears flow freely in the third and fourth acts. There just is no one like her, period. The re-mastered sound is full-bodied and clear with wonderful string sound from the Berlin Philharmonic.
May 23: DONIZETTI: "LA FAVORITA": In this recording, I think it was the first time that I noticed a change in Pavarotti's singing. Like in the almost contemporaneous "Maria Stuarda", Pavarotti sounds stressed at times, something never heard before in his recordings. The bloom seems to have gone. Also, according to Richard Bonynge, the conductor in many Pavarotti/Sutherland recordings, and also in this one, Pavarotti's super-star status made him less easy to work with, and he became lazy. On occasion, the old Pavarotti magic surfaces and it is a joy to hear. There just was not and is not a voice as splendid as his, full of sunshine. Other tenors may be greater artists as such, but for vocal splendor no one can touch him. Fiorenza Cossotto delivers a very fine performance, as does Nicolai Ghiaurov. Sound-wise, there seems to be no difference with the previous CD issue. Decca could never get the same splendid results in the Bologna Opera House that it could get in London's Kingsway Hall or Walthamstow.
MAY 23: "RECITAL DISCS": The Verdi/Donizetti LP was always Pavarotti at his very finest. The new edition is clear and more care has been taken than in the original CD issue. The disc also contains some titles from the next Pavarotti recital. The rest of that second recital sits on the second CD in this box, together with "Pavarotti in Concert" with lovely songs from Bellini and also some delightful baroque items. I am disappointed in that Decca did not include the complete Rossini Stabat Mater, but only the Cujus Animam. Likewise, the complete Ballo in Maschera is missing, just three items included. The third disc, labeled "bonus" has also some live performances that Decca claims have "recently surfaced". All three operas, La Bohème, Manon and I Capuleti ed i Montecchi have been available on several "private" labels for years. They have been cleaned up though, and sound better than before. It is also nice to have Pavarotti's very first Decca recordings also on CD. This way we can keep the EP sealed. Besides, many people will not have a record player anymore.
All in all a very desirable box for lovers of Pavarotti, opera, and just great singing.
No need to extoll the quality of the recordings contained in the set, suffice it to say it spans Pavarotti's first decade as a Decca artist, partnered in the majority of the operas by one of Decca's other great exponent, Joan Sutherland.
The set is a very beautiful package, Lp sized, with a lavish booklet, plus three inserts containing the Cds proper, plus a bonus Vinyl the size of a 45 rpm record.
The main reason for purchasing the set, though, is the admirable remasterings of ALL the recordings in it.
It boasts a new 96khz/24 bit processing (apparently stemming from the original master tapes), what seems to be the new trend in the industry, (cf. the upcoming Callas Remastered Edition due in a couple of weeks, which sounds fantastic even in its iTunes preview), and well worth the double dip.
In one word, the music sounds absolutely STUNNING: brilliant, airy, with great presence and warm bass, bringing out the wonderful acoustics of the several great recording venues. Of special notice is Turandot's brilliant orchestration which comes glittering out of Kingsway Hall!
Highly reccomended even for those who already own the prevoius Cd incarnations.
Fantastic Operatic segments and arias.
I highly recommend it.