Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Puccini: Tosca (complete opera) - Performed by Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra - Zubin Mehta, Andrea Bocelli,
Genres: Pop, Classical
This is Tosca lite. The role of the tenor lead, Mario Cavaradossi, is quite heavy and strenuous in Puccini?s score; in their primes, for instance, it suited the robust, darker tone of Placido Domingo over the slender, lig... more »
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This is Tosca lite. The role of the tenor lead, Mario Cavaradossi, is quite heavy and strenuous in Puccini?s score; in their primes, for instance, it suited the robust, darker tone of Placido Domingo over the slender, lighter sound of Luciano Pavarotti. Andrea Bocelli's voice is slenderer still--as the world knows, it's a beautiful pop singer's sound with an opera singer's top notes and feel. As a result, the orchestra in this brand new recording is kept pretty far in the background, and all of the soloists' voices are closely miked, with Bocelli's particularly forward. His fans will not mind the acoustic, and they probably also will bask in his still-lovely, ingratiating sound, despite some obvious strain (and, at times, off-pitch singing). His rendition of the famous last act aria, "E lucevan le stele," is ravishing--long-breathed, delicate, and sensitive without resorting to melodrama. As for the rest of the cast, Fiorenza Cedolins is an involved, if generic, Tosca who will not erase memories of Maria Callas, and baritone Carlo Guelfi sings the evil Baron Scarpia with an appropriate snarl. Zubin Mehta leads the orchestra in a reading which complements his tenor's style--there's more personal sadness than grand overstatement. This is for Bocelli fans--millions of them. --Robert Levine
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A Welcome Addition
Winnie | 05/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Andrea Bocelli's singing in Tosca is marked by the ringing clarity of the individual notes and by the integrity and coherence of the whole. He is a resolute Cavaradossi, focused and involved.This recording needs to be judged on its own merits and not on whether it is a carbon copy of Domingo's, Callas's, or anyone else's work. There is plenty of room for many interpretations of the opera, and most of us who love Bocelli and Cedolins' version are also great admirers of Domingo, Pavarotti, di Stefano, Callas, and countless others.Those who dismiss Bocelli's opera work often parrot tired and disproved criticisms (for example, panning his phrasing, intonation, or style) instead of providing meaningful, fair, and accurate analysis based on their own careful and well-informed listening. In contrast, consider this quotation from Boston Globe music critic Richard Dyer's January 26, 2003, review of Bocelli's Sentimento: "Most of the controversy about Bocelli feels bogus to this listener. He is not a pop singer who is inflicting an alien style on the operatic art. He became a pop star by accident, and he has used his pop-star clout to get the career he wanted all along (a career few thought he would ever have because of his disability). In fact he sings many operatic arias and semiclassical pieces with better phrasing and style than you hear from most other contemporary tenors."Fiorenza Cedolins is an elegant, expressive Tosca with a graceful and beautiful voice. Cedolins, along with Carlo Guelfi and the others in the cast, contributes to a recording with dramatic depth that does justice to Puccini's thrilling music."
A thrilling experience.....
LaSignoraMusica | The Netherlands | 05/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The story of Tosca is a horrifying one. Jealousy, betrayal, torture, murder...The way this recording tells the story is stunning. The orchestra sounds rich, and reminds of the days of Von Karajan - a musical carpet in which the notes of the singers are embedded, a wonderful sound. Tosca herself, sung by Fiorenza Cedolins: a beautiful voice, warm, not too much vibrato, expressive...her Tosca is a living woman, jealous, coquette, emotional. Carlo Guelfi's Scarpia is a good choice. Scarpia snarls, but also addresses to Tosca in a velvet tone. Ildebrando d'Archangelo as Angelotti is also very convincing. And then: Cavaradossi. Sung by Andrea Bocelli. His Cavaradossi is a man who, politically involved, keeps his emotions in control. Don't expect loud sobs from this interpretation, they aren't there. The emotions certainly are, the passion is there, but...you really have to listen. Everything sung with great naturalness, this is a stunning portrayal of the character. All the other characters are filled in in a wonderful way, the singing is beautiful. And extra on this cd: The printed libretto is in english and italian, cd 2 has a libretto with english, french and german translations. The advantage of this: finally it's also possible for visual challenged people to read the libretto with their computer. If you are new to opera, this cd is a wonderful introduction. Otherwise, this cd is a nice contribution to your collection!"
grobanitec | Newport Beach, CA USA | 03/16/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This Tosca may be a digital stereo recording, but it doesn't hold a candle to any other Tosca, even those mono recording made by the great Callas. One problem which besets this opera is the fact that Bocelli is turned into the main star of the opera. This shouldn't be the case, as the main characters each must have their own time on spotlight. What the producers of this opera did was they blared all the audio when Bocelli came in and tuned down the sounds when other singers sang their lines. The orchestra was also barely audible, thus leeching the opera's dramatic effect. Any music listener knows that for any successful recording to be both vocally and dramatically effective, there must be a balance between both the artists and the orchestra. Zubin Mehta is an excellent conductor. His Turandot had the best orchestra every to rear its head into Puccini's Swan Song. I just don't know what happened to him here. Whether they are trying to get the light and slender voiced tenor to sing opera for dummies, I don't know. All I have to say is this Tosca is not recommended for those who wish to explore the best of the operatic realm. Whoever said that the best products don't really sell as opposed to those made by popular artists must be delusional if he thinks that this is good enough for the effort. Powerful? I don't think so. If you really want an impressive Tosca with a gorgeous cast, get the Freni-Domingo version by Deutsche Grammophone. Still, if you don't have an open mind and stubbornly insist that Bocelli is the greatest "opera" singer around, go ahead and order this Tosca."