Search - Giuseppe Verdi, Herbert von Karajan, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra :: Verdi: Il Trovatore

Verdi: Il Trovatore
Giuseppe Verdi, Herbert von Karajan, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Verdi: Il Trovatore
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #2


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Hot, Hot, Hot!
Michael Newberry | Santa Monica | 08/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of the hottest live Opera sets in existence! The principals don't sing they pour out molten streams of gold. Von Karajan conducts with sure-handed brilliance making the orchestra seem to speak for itself. Simionato taunts us with solid, solid bravada, creamy and exclamatory in her upper register, and theatrically dark in her lower depths. Corelli's lower voice is huge, and his high phrases are so great it's incomprehensible that all this sound is coming from one person. Price tosses off phrases of exquisite smoldering beauty. Her upper register must be heard to be believed, it's not just her floating stratospheric highs that are fantastic but her fluid development of the arias. In D'amor sull'ali rosee she unfolds ream after ream of silken phrases, and then launches the most vibrant, thrilling high note I have ever heard, and from there wafts to a smoky low. Bastianini and Zaccaria fill out the furnace! The sound is...good."
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This has nothing to do with the late Thomas Schippers, and thats a good thing. Conducting the esteemed Vienna Philharmonic is the great Maestro Karajan. He takes the tempi with dramatic precision, and the pacing is very well done, unlike the horrendous Decca set with Pavarotti, Sutherland and Horne, conducted by Boynge. Karajan makes the sound come alive.Speaking of the sound, although this is a live recording for Austrian Radio, the sound quality is excellant. The recording has almost inaudible hiss, it's clear and clean, and will appeal to even those used to digital stereo quality. And of course as a live recording, the passion and drama is almost palpable. It is cut, but then most Trovatore were too, and the cutting does NOT remove any of the thrill.This Trovatore has four of the best singers collected on the same stage, a truely priceless gem of an occasion! Corelli is stupendous : big, heroic, at times heartbreakingly tender, at others fiery and passionate. Di Quella Pira, though taken down a half tone, is still viscerally thrilling, and will delight all (as the prolonged applause after the aria shows) who are tired of Pavarotti's mere high notes, uninspired phrasing, and generic vocal emotion. Simionato is THE definitive Azucena, words cannot describe her...well go listen to her. IMHO, only Barbieri comes anywhere close. Price is wonderfull, she is also the definitive Leonara, and what a BEAUTIFUL VOICE! Flawless technique combined with an uncanny awareness of dramatic need produce the best Leonara I have ever heard. Bastianini is the BEST di Luna, Merril, Warren, Milnes are close but not quite his standard here. Which is superlative and Im running out of superlatives.This is the only set where you can get all FOUR of the BEST singers in the same production, combined with the Great Karajan. The RCA set with Cellini and Bjorling and Warren is let down by the rather inept conducting, Pavarotti's several attempts are practically unlistenable, always not having an inspired choice of singers. And Domingo ...well always great but not quite in the class of this SUPERLATIVE TROVATORE!"
Michael Newberry | 06/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This live performance from the 1962 Salzburg Festival was briefly available on DDG for a considerably higher price than this issue on the Gala label. My advice is: get this performance immediately. Von Karajan produces a performance of "Trovatore" that must be heard to be believed. It's as though the great conductor set fire to the orchestra and told them to "give 'em all you've got". And that's how it goes in this performance. Von Karajan has a cast of singers that may collectively comprise the greatest "Trovatore" quartet ever assembled. Leontyne Price delivers a Callas-type of performance here, involved, compelling, and highly dramatic. She is in spectacular voice here (better than on any of her three studio recordings of the role), and adds an interpolated top C in the di Luna duet that pins the listener's ears back. Her arch of vocal sound is so beautiful that one can only feel that "it simply can't be better than this". Franco Corelli, posssibly thanks to von Karajan's discipline, delivers a Manrico far superior to that which he produced for EMI two years later. The voice is clear, sunny, clarion, and remarkably free of any tenor vulgarisms. Gulietta Simionato, who recorded Azucena twice (1956 on London with del Monaco and Tebaldi and in 1964 on EMI withCorelli) surpasses both efforts in this performance. Similarly, Ettore Bastianini is even better here than he was on his 1956 London recording. This was one of those evenings when all of the principals were "turned on", in their very best respective voices, and the audience became the winner. There are those who still speak of this performance, and it's amazing that it should have been recorded in decent sound, and made available to savor again. "Trovatore" doesn't get better than this!"