Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Umberto Giordano, Antonino Votto, La Scala Theater Orchestra|
Giordano: Andrea Chénier
Listen to Samples
Fantastic performance, poor sound
Mr JB | Karlskrona Sweden | 08/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes. This IS the complete recording of Callas, del Monaco, Protti & Amadini under the baton of Antonino Votto from la Scala in january 1955. Probably best know to the public as the recording from which the producers of the movie 'Philadelphia' cut Maria Callas singing 'La mamma morta' to great effect.
But there's more to it than Hollywood's sentimentality. Callas & del Monaco here give incredible performances of the main roles Maddalena & Andrea Chenier. They sparkle, and the audience loves it. del Monaco delivers the most positively vulgar italianate rendition of 'un di all'azzuro spazio' I've ever heard. The last high Bb is unending and fullsounding. One could easily imagine him actually taking off from the stage when he sings. And boy, does the audience love him... Even the great 'la divina' Callas is not allowed to start singing after the aria, cause the audience wants to celebrate him even more. It's clear that del Monaco's voice was much better suited for liveperformances than dito's in studios. Here his BIG voice is allowed to bloom out in full. And this lovely singing from both the main roles continues during the whole performance, that is securely lead by maestro Votto. Both Protti & Amadini fares more than well as Gerard & Contessa, as does a young Giuseppe Taddei in the minor role of Roucher.
The only real backdraw is the sound. It's unfortunately real poor. It doesn't stop you from hearing, and there's no great deal of hiss, but there are bumps, both from stage, audience and the recording itself, as it probably was seriously damaged by distortion on the original tapes. If considering that, the sound engineers has done what they can. But, due to the sound, this is not a clear first choice for the newcomer to the opera. But, if the sound isn't perfect, the performance surely is. A more minor backdraw is the libretto. In Opera del'Oro it's not included, and if you come across the same performance on Melodram/Verona, the libretto is only in italian. But for so little money and such singing, it feels smallish to argue. The sound is the only reason that I do not give this performance five (or six, if possible) stars.
For those still wanting a studio version of this lovely opera, and that would probably be wise to recommend, in addition to this performance, my advice is to turn to either Corelli & Stella under Santini for EMI, Domingo & Scotto under Levine for RCA, or del Monaco & Tebaldi for Decca under Gavazzeni."
Julian Rozental | Richmond, British Columbia Canada | 04/13/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Too bad that the recording is so awful that you can bearly hear the beautiful singing of del Monaco and Callas."
Beautiful live Chenier
Emma de Soleil | On a holiday In Ibiza, then back to the UK for stu | 05/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording of Andrea Chenier, a masterpiece written by Giordano is legendary. Originally "Il Trovatore" should have been given that night but a few days before the performance del Monaco asked for "Andrea Chenier" because he felt indisposed and Manrico is far more demanding than Andrea. He doesn't sound indisposed at all. I'm most thankful for it because there are several live Trovatores with Callas and thus we get Callas in a great verismo role which she had to learn in a few days. Many of you will know Maria's "La mamma morta" from the famous movie "Philadelphia" with Tom Hanks (They had chosen the best!) and to know the entire opera is most fascinating. Maddalena's duet with Chenier in the end is one of the most beautiful I have ever heard. Callas sings a shattering La Mamma Morta and her "Andrea! Andrea! Rivederlo!" is much more haunting than the usual outcry and cut of this touching line. Del Monaco and Protti sing powerfully and passionately. The quality is ok, remember, it's a live-broadcast. This shouldn't be missing in any opera-collection."