"Not very often does one run into an opera recording that takes your breath away and moves your heart like this one did to me. Renata Tebaldi gives Adriana a character of noble strength yet full of compassion which makes her performance most memorable. The same holds true of Mario del Monaco's performance of Maurizio. To me the high points were Maurizio's aria, "La dolcissima effigie sorridente", the ravishing love duet, which the previous aria leads into in the first act and Adriana's aria, "Poveri fiori", in the 4th act. There are many more high points and Cilea's hauntingly beautiful melodies throughout. Another important note about this recording is the quality of the recording itself. It is one of the best I have ever heard of an opera. This is remarkable since it was done in 1961. What adds to the quality of the recording is that there has been no effort in electronically reducing the tape hiss via the "Cello" system of the "ART" system which has become all the vogue in recent years. This means the full frequency and naturalness of the original recording is intact. The tape hiss is only slightly audible and does not deter from the listening experience whatsoever. Also, the recording has a wonderful ambiance with excellent reverberation. The strings are most sumptuous and detailed. In contrast to this recording is another Decca recording which is a digital one done in 1988 (Decca 425815 AISN # B00000E45S) with Sutherland and Bergonzi. Both Sutherland and Bergonzi are past there prime, particularly Bergonzi who, I'm sorry to say, is painful to listen to. The recording is not at all as good as the Tebaldi/del Monaco recording. I recommend you get this Tebaldi/del Monaco recording before they discontinue it."
Tebaldi sublime as Adriana
harrmor | Athens, Greece | 05/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a fan of this Cilea's opera you will practically love this recording featuring one of the most acclaimed Adrianas, Renata Tebaldi. Paired here with Mario del Monaco, Giulieta Simionato and Giulio Fioravanti, Tebaldi gives a very pesuasive and dramatic interpretation of this role.
One must hear at her "Poveri fiori" as well as her duets (especially the final one) with del Monaco to understand that Tebaldi "owned" the role. She not only sings beautifully but also acts magnificently. When near the end she screams that she doesn't wish to die (who does?) we truly sympathize with her and our heart breaks.If you like "Adriana" buy this one. It is highly recommendable."
Beautiful chemistry between the performers!
Armindo | Greece | 11/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Adriana Lecouvreur is Cilea's most famous opera. It's closer to a theatrical play, so don't expect a lot of arias, duets etc; yet it has some really ravishing musical moments (like the final duet). Maestro Capuana has chosen the well-tried formula of Tebaldi-Del Monaco-Simionato, this time accompanied by Fioravanti. It was recorded in the 60s (1961) when Renata Tebaldi revived the score on stage. Here she uses a darker voice that fits this veristi role ideally (like her other success during the 60s, Gioconda). Another great Adriana was Magda Olivero (Adriana being Olivero's signature role) but lacks the vocal luxury and caliber of Tebaldi. You should hear Tebaldi's dramatical "Poveri fiori"! She gives the role the "grand Tebaldi touch". Beside her, once again, Mario Del Monaco a heroic, powerful, great Maurizio. I regard this as one of his best performances on disc. Simionato is not my favourite mezzo but she does a fine job here. Fioravanti as poor Michonet is sublime! Sound quality? Excellent! Don't miss this beautiful Adriana Lecouvreur set!"
A Sublime Recording with heavenly singers.
Carmela Altieri | Williston Park, NY United States | 10/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This can't get any better! The angelic voice of Renata Tebaldi is breathtaking. Del Monaco is wonderful and so is Fioravanti as Michonnet. I was surprised to hear such magnificent sound in an older recording. It beats the newer recording with Scotto, Domingo and Milnes. I am so happy to have bought this fine verismo opera with the greatest singers. Everyone should have this in his opera library."