Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giacomo Puccini, Eleanor Steber, Richard Tucker|
This classic recording of Puccini's saddest work catches its two leading protagonists at their most youthful and most ardent. Steber is a soprano sorely missed--she rarely sang badly, in poor taste, or shallowly; if anythi... more »
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This classic recording of Puccini's saddest work catches its two leading protagonists at their most youthful and most ardent. Steber is a soprano sorely missed--she rarely sang badly, in poor taste, or shallowly; if anything is wrong here it's that she sounds a bit too... red-blooded American for Puccini's geisha. Tucker, too, is red-blooded, but his Pinkerton is supposed to be--he is his usually reliable, stentorian, unsubtle self. Rudolf's conducting is no-nonsense, and SONY has remastered the 50-ish year old recording well. Not a first Butterfly for a collection, perhaps, but one with fine, historical value. --Robert Levine
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A classic recording which offers many pleasures
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is unusual in that none of the principals had much prior experience with "Butterfly". Therefore, the performance is not exactly what one is accustomed to hearing, but that in no way diminshes its power and the beauty of the singing. True, Steber does not come across as a victim. But she is totally engaging nevertheless, and offers the listener a compelling and believable interpretation of the role. Tucker is outstanding as Pinkerton. His "Dovunque al mondo" is more ardent and convincing than most; he truly sounds like a "Yankee vagabondo". The love duet shows the intensity of emotion which both singers bring to the roles, and Steber really hits her stride with "Un bel di". While this may not be the definitive "Butterfly", it has much to offer, and should not be ignored by anyone who loves this opera. As part of the Sony/Columbia Masterworks Heritage series, it has been remastered in rich, warm mono, with excellent packaging, including good notes and a libretto."
Steber Fans, Rejoice!
Paul Bunkerr | New London, CT USA | 05/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The older I get, the more I appreciate opera singers from the past. Eleanor Steber is one of my favorite sopranos, and, as any one of her fans knows, there are not many recordings of her singing available. Thanks to Sony Classical, the wonderful Heritage series now contains a stunning reissue of this classic 1949 recording with Metropolitan Opera stars of the time. Enough has already been written on these pages about Steber bringing perhaps too much "red-blooded" Americanism to the role, but for me, this recording is a glorious treasure, capturing Steber at the height of her career. Her unfailing diction, intonation and colorful sound are thrilling to hear. Richard Tucker is a great match for Steber (they would work again in a brilliant Cosi in 1952 at the Met) and captures the essence of Pinkerton well.I agree with the others. This is not the recording to have if you only want one Butterfly. But if you enjoy Steber and have room in your collection for a worthy second or third Butterfly, buy it! P.S. Steber's Cosi is also available on Sony Classical Heritage."
Beautifully powerful and moving
R. Jessen | 01/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is music at its best, stunning, beautiful, and powerful. Puccini's classic will live forever."