"I have always admired Bergonzi's work in Puccini operas opposite the great Renata Tebaldi and their recording of Aida is very powerful. However, this CD amazed me by showcasing Bergonzi's vast assortment of roles in which he performed. From La Boheme and Tosca to Il Trovatore and Adriana Lecouvreur, his voice seems gorgeously suited to each role and is even in both timbre and stylistic interpretation. Track 10 from Cavalleria Rusticana stunned me with Fiorenza Cossotto and Bergonzi singing the most overwhelmingly involving duet I've ever heard. I am truly amazed by the enormous talent contained in this man. He is easily my favorite singer, the one which I aspire to sound like (lofty goal), and, in my opinion, the best tenor of the century. This CD set is truly a great buy: 40 digitally remastered tracks of the greatest scenes from the greatest operas sung by the greatest singers of our time for about [item price]."
The sublime vocal artist
Andrew Mayzak | 08/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen most of the great tenors of the past 50 years at the Met: Corelli, Tucker, Vickers, Gedda, Pavarotti, Domingo, etc.. For me, Bergonzi over all, was the superior Italian Opera tenor. His legato, agility, breath control, tasteful musicianship, diction, was superior to most of the great tenors. He was outstanding as Nemorino and Rhadames; Edgardo and Alvaro etc.. This CD shows him at his very best, which is a joy to hear. This CD is a must vocal lesson for any aspiring young tenor, as Carlo Bergonzi is a master singer."
One of the Legendary Greats at his Greatest
John G. Gleeson Sr. | Frederic, Mi USA | 11/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My life-long (and it's long!) love of opera began in the late 1950's with a Met broadcast of Verdi's Macbeth. The tenor in that performance was Carlo Bergonzi. Among opera fans he is recognized as one of the top tenors of the 20th century, and this album shows why. Bergonzi had a sweetness of voice and an interpretive skill that was nearly peerless. The voice is even from top to bottom, and there is never the slightest indication of forcing or strain. Particularly with the music of Verdi, his handling of the vocal line produces meltingly lyric interpretations, to the extent that the music sounds (deceptively) easy to sing. A few years ago, his farewell tour brought him to Michigan, where I had the chance to thank him personally for all the pleasure his singing brought to me. Try this album, and you'll be hooked too. It simply doesn't get any better than this!"
F. Taylor | Richmond, VA | 05/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first came to appreciate the artistry that is Carlo Bergonzi on his magnificnt recording of Butterly with Renata Scotto. Later I got the privelege of hearing him several times in person. He was among the most intelligent of tenors. He knew his voice well and how to use that voice to convey the drama and music in a wonderful combination.
If you appreciate Bergozni, this recording will remind you why. If you are not familiar with "The Tenor's Tenor", you will find out why he has that title. However, in addition to the magnificent Bergonzi, you also get wonderful performances from partners such as Tebaldi, Birgit Nilsson, Sutherland, Scotto, Fischer-Dieskau and Cossotto.
I can only find fault with a couple of the selections. First and foremost is that Bergonzi should never have even attempted the Dio Mi Potevi from Otello. That is the only performance that is in anyway subpar. It is unlike any other performance on this recording (or any other time I heard Bergonzi) -- forced. I would have far preferred a version of Una Furtiva Lagrima, which Bergonzi could sing the sock off of. Or given the presence of E Lucevan Stelle, couldn't they have included Recondita Armonia instead? The only other very minor complaint is the pairing with Nilsson . The duet is fine until the very end. On the final high C you can't even hear Bergonzi due to the sheer size of Nilsson's voice. The music and performance of both are wonderful, but a perfect Alfredo and perfect Brunnhilde do not necessarily mesh. But that is a minor quibble. Aside from a disappearing Carlo, it is quite a wonderful performance.
On the plus side a few things particularly stand out. To me, this is simply the best recording ever of Cielo e Mar. The sections with Tebaldi (Boheme and Butterfly and Aida in particuar) are fabulous. Other standouts include the quartet from Rigoletto with Scotto, Cossotto and Fischer-Dieskau and the Cavelleria duet with Cossotto.
All in all, this is, with a few minor exceptions, a magnificent collection of the best of Carlo Bergonzi."
If I had to choose only one tenor!
Armindo | Greece | 08/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That would be Mr. Bergonzi! Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of many others: M. Del Monaco, F. Corelli, J. Carreras and admire the work of R. Tucker, Di Stefano, P. Domingo, N. Gedda to name a few but Bergonzi is the one who has managed to enter my heart! It's difficult to choose among his roles since he enriches each one with his unique touch. He captures both drama and especially music with his "sublime voice" ! However, I think that his Rodolfo (he truly is a real poet), the Duke, Radames, Alfredo and Riccardo stand out. And how fortunate we are that he performed so often with Renata Tebaldi, this great artist and my favourite soprano. Together, they can make the most demanding listener cry. Heaven! However, beyond her you also get to hear the great R. Scotto, the powerful B. Nilsson, the sweet J. Sutherland, the lyrical D. Fisher-Diskau, the beautiful F. Cossotto and the spectacular G. Simionato.This is a wonderful tribute to a superb artist. A treasure for every opera fan! Don't miss it!"