Search - Giacomo Puccini, Ludwig van Beethoven, Jacques Offenbach :: Great Tenors of the Century

Great Tenors of the Century
Giacomo Puccini, Ludwig van Beethoven, Jacques Offenbach
Great Tenors of the Century
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1



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What A Miss (and a mess...)
Eric G. | Laval, Québec Canada | 03/11/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The basic idea behind this Teldec release was apparently to present a little treat by several different "Great Tenors of the Century". The idea was good, but the application was...odd to say the least. First of all, some exclusions are frankly shameful: that one could compile a disc of great tenors without Lauritz Melchior and Jon Vickers is simply appalling. I don't want to join the Alagna-bashing crowd, but please, try telling me he deserved a place on this disc considering who else they left out...Now if this was the only problem, I could probably live with it: but it's not. Not only did great names get left out, but many others who did deserve to be included were with a piece that did not really suite the occasion. Siegfried Jerusalem for example is represented with his Forging Scene from Barenboim's Bayreuth Ring. Wagner does not lend itself well to excerpts and these have not been called "bleeding chunks" for no reason: but what you get here is more of an open neck-wound. The "cut" is achieved by very un-subtly turning down the volume after 2 minutes.But the most shameful insult of all is to Wolfgang Windgassen. Why the greatest post-war Siegfried is represented with a tiny scene from Lohengrin beats me: Josef Greindl actually does more singing on the track than Windgassen! Now, Teldec may try to defend itself by insisting that they had to compile the disc with material they had access to. Very well, but that will not help here: they own the rights to Knappertsbusch's 1951 Parsifal with Windgassen in the title role (a complete recording which is available on several labels). An inclusion from that recording would already have been a better choice. Finally, the Caruso excerpt (Questa o quella, from Rigoletto) should have been left out. Not because Caruso did not deserve to be included here, but because this specific excerpt is so awful as far as sound is concerned that it's simply impossible to enjoy it. And yes, by horrible, I mean *horrible*, and I'm usually very tolerant with sound (I can listen to live performances from the 30's or 40's without getting too annoyed). This one is just taking up space that could have been used to better effect. That being said, you do get a few jewels here and there, like Seiffert's "In des Lebens Frühlingstagen". The Carreras, Pavarotti and Domingo selections are excellent as well, but they are also available elsewhere. All things considered, I can't really recommend this unless you really must have every such complilation ever released. If you want a compilation of great tenors, I suggest you get Decca's "The #1 Tenor Album" instead. It's a double-disc, so you get twice as much material, and the selections are more adequate."
A good complilation of great Tenors
M. Urgino | Valparaiso, IN United States | 11/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It urged me to write this review due to the nagging of the first reviewer. That gentleman is complainating that his favorite Tenors of this century were left out and criticized heavily the "GREAT CARUSO; that Caruso's selection should not be included due to poor recording. I think he not only insulted Caruso but the entire Opera Afficionados. He should at least realized that Caruso died in 1921 before the advent of the High Fedility recording. Shame on him. Why don't he just take out his favorite Tenor CD's and make a mix selection of the Tenors of his choice. He perhaps feel that this CD is made especially for him. I recommend this CD to everyone who loves Opera. This is a symbol of the Golden Era of the Opera. 5 Star for everyone including Alagna who was unfairly belittle by the first reviewer."