The Perfect Carmen!!!!! Definitely 5 stars
Rod Tierman | 02/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a find!!!! Here you have two great sopranos (Simionato and Gueden) in the midst of their glorious careers and one of the greatest tenors of all time at the beginning of his (the great Nicolai Gedda, at 29 and only 3 years into his magnificent singing career). Simionato and Gedda are just magnificent here. Gedda sings a Flower Song so virile and impassioned, it has yet to be equaled. Simionato sings a very beautiful, sexy effortless Carmen. One comment about the Viennans in the audience, there is very little applause (or noise of any kind, for that matter), Maestro Von Karajan must have had the audience sitting on their hands. The Maestro Von Karajan turns his customary great performance, with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. This is such a great performance. Everyone sings so beautifully and their French style in this music is impeccable. Once again, the accoustics on this Gala recording are great. As an extra bonus, you get great performances of Nicolai Gedda singing excerpts from Les Hugeunots and Le Prophete (both by Meyerbeer and both in French). A perfect performance of the opera Carmen. After listening to this performance of Carmen, all others pale in comparison. A must have!"
Excellent and Affordable Recording of an Excellent Opera
C. B. | Salem, OR United States | 06/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am thoroughly impressed with the quality and price of this version of Carmen, my favorite opera. For the price of one CD (I bought it when it was still only [price]), one gets three CDs including a quality live recording of this opera as well as a good number of "Bonus Tracks" performed by Gedda. The sound quality is far better than I'd expected given the price and the fact that it was recorded in 1954. There is no static or anything distracting on this recording (except perhaps for the inevitable occasional coughing of an audience member, which one must expect in a live performance). Both the conducting and the singing are great, as all the singers are very capable of their roles: Simionato's Carmen is both beautiful and nasty, Gedda's Jose is jealous yet loving, and Roux's Escamillo is arrogant and rather dislikeable yet wonderfully sung with fine enunciation. No libretto is provided, so look elsewhere if one is desired, but I'm not complaining. This is an excellent, high-quality performance and recording for a good price."