Gerald A. Mauri | maryland, usa | 12/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Finally the cellini of the century....not this recording necessarily, though it is a fine one, live from covent garden of the stellar 60's production which was revived and toured to la scala in the late 70's where i had the great pleasure to see it! the cellini of the century i refer to is gedda, of course. if you listen to the other cellinis on cd, and there are now about eight including the one gedda recorded with colin davis, you can not deny that gedda was born for this role. he handles the tessitura with ease (he was in his prime)and with all of the heroic qualities that the role demands. pritchard gives a much more comfortable reading of the score than davis in his two recordings of the opera. I always felt that davis's tempi did not serve gedda well and this recording under john pritchard comfirms that, for me at least. but the berlioz lover has to be grateful for davis's championing of berlioz back in the sixties and seventies. this is a difficult opera and perhaps for that reason has been underproduced and underperformed until very recently, and i don't think that there is yet a dvd of the recent productions that have been released on cd.. and if you don't know this opera well or at all take a flyer: the price is low for the pleasure that this set offers, and by all means, if you purchase it, cheat and go right to "Seul pour lutter" as soon as you open the box. The bonus tracks offer gedda in some numbers i hadn't previously found on cd."