Les contes d'Hoffmann, opera in 4 acts: Barcarolle
Tosca, opera: E lucevan le stelle
Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Un bel di
Les Pêcheurs de perles, opera in 3 acts: Au fond du temple saint
Track Listings (21) - Disc #2
Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b: The Ride Of The Valkyries
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492: Voi che sapete
Pagliacci, opera: Recitar!...Vesti la giubba
La bohème, opera: O soave fanciulla
Il Trovatore, opera: Anvil Chorus
Manon Lescaut, opera: Donna non vidi mai
Don Giovanni, opera, K. 527: La ci darem la mano
Mattinata ('L'aurora di bianco vestita'), song for voice & piano (or orchestra)
Faust, opera: Soldiers' Chorus
L'elisir d'amore, opera: Una furtiva lagrima
Turandot, opera: Signore, ascolta!
Don Giovanni, opera, K. 527: Champagne Aria
Così fan tutte, opera, K. 588: Soave sia il vento
Il Trovatore, opera: Di quella pira
Tosca, opera: Vissi d'arte
Carmen, opera: Toreador song
Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Love Duet
Cavalleria rusticana, opera (melodramma) in 1 act: Intermezzo
Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): O silver moon
La bohème, opera: Si, mi chiamano Mimi
Turandot, opera: Nessun dorma
The labels that are now gathered under the Universal Classics umbrella have a pretty impressive scorecard in the area of classical compilations. We've seen The Greatest Opera Show on Earth, The Yellow Guide: Classical Musi... more »c, Best of the Millennium, and now there's The No. 1 Opera Album. But that's no surprise, since Universal has some of the finest interpreters in its catalogue to draw from. This two-CD set (at the price of one), for example, brings together the likes of Cecilia Bartoli, Renée Fleming, Luciano Pavarotti, Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Georg Solti, Herbert von Karajan, and many more. Yet the other key to a successful compilation is canny anthologizing, and here again, you have a nice selection to give you a smattering of opera's heavyweights from the Italian, German, and French repertory (there's even a step outside the standard framework with an aria from Dvorák's lovely Rusalka). Ranging from 1959 to 1997, the choices from back catalogue will doubtless be the entry ticket for many into this grandest of the arts. --Sarah Chin« less
The labels that are now gathered under the Universal Classics umbrella have a pretty impressive scorecard in the area of classical compilations. We've seen The Greatest Opera Show on Earth, The Yellow Guide: Classical Music, Best of the Millennium, and now there's The No. 1 Opera Album. But that's no surprise, since Universal has some of the finest interpreters in its catalogue to draw from. This two-CD set (at the price of one), for example, brings together the likes of Cecilia Bartoli, Renée Fleming, Luciano Pavarotti, Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Georg Solti, Herbert von Karajan, and many more. Yet the other key to a successful compilation is canny anthologizing, and here again, you have a nice selection to give you a smattering of opera's heavyweights from the Italian, German, and French repertory (there's even a step outside the standard framework with an aria from Dvorák's lovely Rusalka). Ranging from 1959 to 1997, the choices from back catalogue will doubtless be the entry ticket for many into this grandest of the arts. --Sarah Chin
"I was raised in a large family headed by a single parent, my mother, who was widowed while pregnant with my brother. She had few moments of peace and quiet trying to raise the four of us in a small house. But Saturday afternoons, starting at 1:00, she demanded time for herself to listen, on the radio, to the Metropolitan Opera, live from Lincoln Center in New York, hosted by Milton Cross. This album nostalgically brings back to me those quiet Saturday afternoons, with the Opera on the radio, my mother sitting in her favourite chair reading.
None of us cared for Opera in those days. It wasn't until years later, watching a simulcast of Puccini's "La Boheme" on PBS that was also being broadcast on the radio, that I began to appreciate what my mother loved for all those years. To finally see the action, and to read the subtitles, made me realise how wonderfully romantic Opera really was, and this album is "mother's milk" to my ears. It's literally the best of the best of Opera arias and overtures, and now I regard this music with many fond memories of my childhood.
Also, if you are, like me, of the generation that was raised on Looney Tunes cartoons, you will recognise how many clever and downright hilarious send-ups they did of Opera, if you were listening to the music while watching the cartoons. Those cartoons were as much for the adult audiences as they were for children, and many of us received our earliest introductions to serious music through those classic cartoons. You will hear many of those arias and overtures that Warner Brothers used in those days in their cartoons. I only wish they would do something like that again so that today's children would not regard Classical Music as some kind of collosal bore.
If you've never listened to Opera, this is the album to get to introduce yourself to it. This features the very best of many composers and styles of Opera, and should be an essential part of any good music lover's library. I highly recommend this album for anyone who's either intimately familiar with Opera or who has never before listened to it. It's well worth your while to acquire this CD."
Good sampler for opera newbies or just a CD of favorites
Joanna Daneman | Middletown, DE USA | 04/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have plenty of opera, but I wanted this CD for my favorites all in one place. There were three particular arias that made this a very good choice; the tenor duet from the Pearl Fishers (Les Pecheurs De Perles: C'est Toi... Au Fond Du Temple Saint), Montserrat Caballé doing Turandot and Lucia Popp in Mozart's Don Giovanni. This is really a very well-thought-out assembly of opera. You can't go far wrong with this cd."
Paul J. Bellantoni | Cheshire County, NH United States | 08/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You must prepare yourself for the journey you are about to embark upon with this album. From the moving deliverance that only Pavarotti can give, to the remarkable Orchestration, right to "The Flower Duet" this album will never let you down. Whether you use it as background music as you prepare your favorite Italian recipe, or as a background to a wonderful evening this album has it all. It is flawless in its execution, has all of your current favorites and what soon will become your new favorites.
Buy it for yourself, buy it as a gift, but just buy it- you will only regret not owning it sooner."
A Perfect Start to an Opera Collection
A student | 12/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD, released by Decca, is a perfect opera compilation. All the well-known pieces are displayed, as well as some lesser known works. The CD starts off with the Prelude from the opera Carmen. Luciano Pavarotti and Joan Sutherland star in the Brindisi from La Traviata. Pavarotti follows next with an aria from La Boheme (His best role), Che gelida manina. A perfect pair of singers, Joan Sutherland and Jane Berbie, sing in the Flower Duet from Lakme. The great Swedish tenor Jussi Bjorling comes next in Amor ti vieta from Fedora. The Habanera from Carmen follows next, sung brillantly by Tatiana Troyanos. The Cd continues with the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco. Kiri te Kanawa follows in Dove sono from Le Nozze di Figaro, a song that sounds like it was made just for her. Pavarotti comes again in a superb recording of La donna e mobile from Rigoletto. Wagner's Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin takes the 10th spot. O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi comes next, sung by Renata Tebaldi. The comic aria, Largo al factotum, from Il Barbiere di Siviglia comes next, sung by Leo Nucci. A modern-day singer follows next: Angela Gheorghiu in Ebben? ne andro lontana from La Wally. The Humming Chorus from Madama Butterfly,The Flower Song from Carmen, Barcarolle from Les Contes d'Hoffmann, E lucevan le stelle from Tosca, Un bel di from Madama Butterfly, and the Temple Duet from The Pearlfishers. The second Cd is just as good as the first, with arias like: The toreador Song from Carmen, Nessun dorma from Turandot, Di quella pira from Il Trovatore, Voi che sapete from Le Nozze di Figaro, and many others."
Another superb compilation
pspa | Boston, MA USA | 04/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is difficult to differentiate among the several "only opera album you will ever need" offerings now available on the market, but this one is as good as any, showing exquisite good judgment in terms of both selections and performers (any compilation where Pavarotti does the honors on several numbers including the immortal Nessun Dorma has a leg up). Mirella Freni is particularly fine in Un Bel Di as well; Troyianos is a great choice for the Carmen; and perhaps my only quibble would be with the Pearl Fishers Duet. A perfect gift for someone who needs an introduction to the great world of opera."