Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Georges Bizet, Herbert von Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra|
No Description Available. Genre: Classical Music Media Format: Compact Disk Rating: Release Date: 17-NOV-1983
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No Description Available.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 17-NOV-1983
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L'Amour Est Un Oiseau Rebelle...
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I fully agree with Ted Libbey: this marvelous recording can be a perfect introduction to the world of opera. Maestro Von Karajan achieves his trademark perfection with the Berliners and with the cast of ideal singers for Biset's masterpiece. Baltsa is simultaneously playful, witty, self-indulgent, and dangerous Carmen. She has a very long vocal phrase; and what a fiery rendition of "Les tringles des sistres tintailent"! Jose Carreras shows Don Jose's character development extremely well, from ardent and passionate, ready-to-leave-everything young soldier to a man obsessed; gradually you begin to believe Don Jose could kill. His Flower Song is very gentle and tender, as opposed to the war-cries often displayed by others. The final scene is so vividly acted, I had "tingles down my spine". Katia Ricciarelli is fully "at home" with a role of angel-like Micaela, her 1st Act duet with Carreras is one of the most beautiful things one could ever hear. Van Dam brings out everything we like to see in Escamillo: single-mindedness, arrogance, and swagger. Karajan uses an interesting orchestral arrangement of the Toreador Song before "Tout d'un coup, on fait silence..." making you imagine the pause just before the bull charges. He also slows it down a bit, increasing the tension throughout and the last chords of it are like wineglasses clashing triumphantly together. Supporting roles are taken by some impressive vocal powers, including Jane Barbie and Gino Quilico. Digital recording and great liner notes made this set more preferable to me than the celebrated Solti set, although that one too has great singing and conducting. Nothing else comes close. Btw, there is a Carmen video featuring Baltsa and Carreras, also from DG, fantastically sang and recorded."
One of the best
montecastello | Dardanelle, Arkansas United States | 09/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Levine's harsh criticism of this recording left me surpised and then, when he closed by recommending the famously awful Callas recording, simply laughing out loud (Callas overacting, vocally falling apart, and a profoundly dull conductor all working in a dry acoustic, etc.) Can you imagine a straight Don Jose pursuing that shrill termagant out of desire?
As for this recording, yes, Karajan does get the maximum value out of the work--his careful revelation of the gorgeous orchestration for instance--but since when has this been a vice? Moreover, Baltsa is one of the greatest Carmens of recent decades. Normally one has to choose in Carmens: either power or sensuality. Baltsa, however, can provide both. Her earthy Carmen has both great vocal power and an unmistakable eroticism. As in all of her work under Karajan, she sings with grace and imagination as well as drama. I concur in Levine's reservations about the Jose. Carreras isn't in his real vocal decline here however, though he isn't very satisfactory nonetheless. The trouble isn't his voice, but what he does with it. Carreras, gifted with such a lovely lyric tenor voice, insisted on using it as if it were a spinto; here it results in lovely passages interrupted by virtual roaring and barking. If he had been perhaps truer to Karajan's conception of the opera, with an emphasis on delicacy and sensuality, he might have made an interesting lyric Jose. But, no, he wants to compete with the big boys. So while some phrases of the Flower Song here are ravishing other phrases are as bad as Carreras has ever sung. To an extent, the problem is inherent in the role of Jose: overall a square, virile, sentimental village macho who gets in over his head and cracks up, except for the presence of his big aria which is as subtle and poetic as any aria in the repetoire--suddenly this big ox is a poet! Only Corelli (yes, Corelli, of all people) has successfully made dramatic sense of the aria in the context of the rest of the character (was he playing himself?) The dreamy rhapsody of the aria became one more step toward madness and the breakdown of the character. Finally, Ricciarelli isn't "forcing" at all to my ears; she sounds especially beautiful and poised and better than most of her competitors in this role.
The big drawback of this recording remains the decision to use French actors for all the dialogue: it isn't the different acoustic that makes it unlistenable, but the near impossibilty of imagining that these speaking voices belong to the corresponding singers.
In short, buy this for Karajan's revelatory conducting and the presence of one of the most vocally apt Carmens we've had (even if her French is suspect!)."
montecastello | 03/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a terrific recording; very exciting and real. The emotions are so honest and raw that you have to keep reminding yourself that these artists are standing in a recording studio! The final scene is gut wrenching."