Search - Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, Leo Delibes :: The #1 Opera Album

The #1 Opera Album
Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, Leo Delibes
The #1 Opera Album
Genres: Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #2

The labels that are now gathered under the Universal Classics umbrella have a pretty impressive scorecard in the area of classical compilations. We've seen The Greatest Opera Show on Earth, The Yellow Guide: Classical Musi...  more »

      
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Synopsis

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The labels that are now gathered under the Universal Classics umbrella have a pretty impressive scorecard in the area of classical compilations. We've seen The Greatest Opera Show on Earth, The Yellow Guide: Classical Music, Best of the Millennium, and now there's The No. 1 Opera Album. But that's no surprise, since Universal has some of the finest interpreters in its catalogue to draw from. This two-CD set (at the price of one), for example, brings together the likes of Cecilia Bartoli, Renée Fleming, Luciano Pavarotti, Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Georg Solti, Herbert von Karajan, and many more. Yet the other key to a successful compilation is canny anthologizing, and here again, you have a nice selection to give you a smattering of opera's heavyweights from the Italian, German, and French repertory (there's even a step outside the standard framework with an aria from Dvorák's lovely Rusalka). Ranging from 1959 to 1997, the choices from back catalogue will doubtless be the entry ticket for many into this grandest of the arts. --Sarah Chin

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CD Reviews

A superb collection of Opera favourites!
Sally Burnell | Kent, Ohio USA | 10/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was raised in a large family headed by a single parent, my mother, who was widowed while pregnant with my brother. She had few moments of peace and quiet trying to raise the four of us in a small house. But Saturday afternoons, starting at 1:00, she demanded time for herself to listen, on the radio, to the Metropolitan Opera, live from Lincoln Center in New York, hosted by Milton Cross. This album nostalgically brings back to me those quiet Saturday afternoons, with the Opera on the radio, my mother sitting in her favourite chair reading.
None of us cared for Opera in those days. It wasn't until years later, watching a simulcast of Puccini's "La Boheme" on PBS that was also being broadcast on the radio, that I began to appreciate what my mother loved for all those years. To finally see the action, and to read the subtitles, made me realise how wonderfully romantic Opera really was, and this album is "mother's milk" to my ears. It's literally the best of the best of Opera arias and overtures, and now I regard this music with many fond memories of my childhood.
Also, if you are, like me, of the generation that was raised on Looney Tunes cartoons, you will recognise how many clever and downright hilarious send-ups they did of Opera, if you were listening to the music while watching the cartoons. Those cartoons were as much for the adult audiences as they were for children, and many of us received our earliest introductions to serious music through those classic cartoons. You will hear many of those arias and overtures that Warner Brothers used in those days in their cartoons. I only wish they would do something like that again so that today's children would not regard Classical Music as some kind of collosal bore.
If you've never listened to Opera, this is the album to get to introduce yourself to it. This features the very best of many composers and styles of Opera, and should be an essential part of any good music lover's library. I highly recommend this album for anyone who's either intimately familiar with Opera or who has never before listened to it. It's well worth your while to acquire this CD."
Good sampler for opera newbies or just a CD of favorites
Joanna Daneman | Middletown, DE USA | 04/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have plenty of opera, but I wanted this CD for my favorites all in one place. There were three particular arias that made this a very good choice; the tenor duet from the Pearl Fishers (Les Pecheurs De Perles: C'est Toi... Au Fond Du Temple Saint), Montserrat Caballé doing Turandot and Lucia Popp in Mozart's Don Giovanni. This is really a very well-thought-out assembly of opera. You can't go far wrong with this cd."
Prepare yourself
Paul J. Bellantoni | Cheshire County, NH United States | 08/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"You must prepare yourself for the journey you are about to embark upon with this album. From the moving deliverance that only Pavarotti can give, to the remarkable Orchestration, right to "The Flower Duet" this album will never let you down. Whether you use it as background music as you prepare your favorite Italian recipe, or as a background to a wonderful evening this album has it all. It is flawless in its execution, has all of your current favorites and what soon will become your new favorites.
Buy it for yourself, buy it as a gift, but just buy it- you will only regret not owning it sooner."