Great performance but buyer beware!
J. Martin | Pensacola, FL | 04/19/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Thus performance of I Puritani is a classic that has circulated in collector's circles for years, going back to the days of reel-to-reel tapes. I orginially had this performance on reel-to-reel in very fine sound, and it was always a favorite. Gencer, although raw at times is, as usual, totally amazing and Raimondi does a good job handling the difficult tessitura of Arturo's music. The problem with this recording on Living Stage is this...the sound is generally only adequate, not as good as the copy that circulated years ago, and the pitch changes during the first act cabaletta of the baritone aria. The rest of the performance is running a half step high, enough to totally distort the voices and make the recording frustrating to listen to. This is not the first example of inexcusable sloppiness on the part of Living Stage and whoever is in charge of the recording engineers should be looking for a new line of work! The same problem exists in their recording of Les Martyrs with Gencer. The first 8 tracks are running fast and the rest of the opera is on pitch. Again, inexcusable. As presented by Living Stage, the recording of I Puritani is worthless. my only hope is that a more reputable comapny such as Myto will reissue it in better sound and on pitch."
HIGH VOLTAGE PERFORMANCE
W. Hidalgo Salas | Lima, Per˙ | 04/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Actually, i have not heard this edition, but i own a tape of selections of this performance, and i'm excited that this is available at last on cd. There are irritating little cuts in the music, and some flaws in the singing, but i don't think you could find a Puritani quartet as strong and big-sounding as this nowadays, with Ausensi full, manly and beautiful, if a little lacking in agility, as Riccardo, Gencer as Elvira, with her impressive ability to change at will the weight of her voice - not immaculate with the coloratura, which i think is a reason for her not being put into contract by the big recording companies - and, above all, Gianni Raimondi, with beautiful, enormous lines and blazing high notes - he, too, was under-recorded. The blemishes are nothing compared with the wealth of great singing - i cherish this performance and i want to get it as soon as possible."