Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giuseppe Verdi, Antonino Votto, Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra|
Verdi: Don Carlo
Not a perfect but a great performance
Filippo Secondo | 06/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I got this 1960 live Chicago DON CARLO not for the sake of Christoff, Gobbi, Simionato or Tucker but Margherita Roberti, always being curious about the reasons why little-known artists like her were ignored by both audiences and record companies in their lifetime. Sonically, the recording is variable, though it sounds like early stereo (the cover - mistakenly? - reads 'MONO'): the loud vocal passages are rather scratchy (what you'd expect from middle-of-the-road studio performances made in '50s and '60s). But what's really annoying is the ubiquitous prompter: he insists on repeating even familiar lines like 'Ti guarda dal Grande Inquisitor' and 'Ella giammai m'amo', so avoid hearing this set on headphones. The third irritating thing is the unusual cutting of various passages that save only seconds, the most disastrous being the entire first section of the Act 2 trio. The fourth snag is that some bars of the music are missing from the original tapes. But all of this is easily forgiven, given the performance's strength from all concerned: the soloists, chorus and orchestra. However, I do prefer Bastianini's Posa to Gobbi's: the latter always sings as if clenching his teeth and even snarling for no reason (as if he's singing Scarpia); but I dare not criticize Christoff's Filippo, Tucker's Carlo, or Simionato's Eboli (she surpasses her performance of more than two years earlier under Karajan at Salzburg, where she sounds wobbly); Ferruccio Mazzoli is a superb Inquisitor; even more so Roberti's Elisabetta. No way out: get this if DON CARLO is your favourite opera, but only if the above-mentioned shortcomings aren't bothersome."