Search - Gaetano Donizetti, Montserrat Caballé, Shirley Verrett :: Donizetti: Lucrezia Borgia / Perlea, Caballé

Donizetti: Lucrezia Borgia / Perlea, Caballé
Gaetano Donizetti, Montserrat Caballé, Shirley Verrett
Donizetti: Lucrezia Borgia / Perlea, Caballé
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #2


Larger Image

CD Details


CD Reviews

A Classic Opera Recording from the Second Golden Age
Ed Flaspoehler | Dallas, TX USA | 04/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia was the vehicle chosen for Monserrat Caballe's New York debut at Carnigie Hall in the mid-60's. Her triumphant success in that concert performance hailed her as the new prima donna and earned her a Time Magazine cover story.Capitalizing on her success, RCA Victor decided to record the opera in its entirety, with all the notes in the printed score, no cuts allowed. The result is magnificant, making this one of the MUST HAVE recordings for lovers of great singing and Bel Canto opera.Caballe in her early career shows a vocal freshness that is never bettered in any of her other recorded work, which is saying a lot. The young Alfredo Kraus is breathtaking in his virility and ease of vocal production. Shirly Verrett has a bright effortless sound that makes you yearn for a bygone era of opera singing. The rest of the cast is equally impressive, with Ezio Flagello rumbling forth in one of his best recorded performances, and a strong supporting cast of Italian comprimario singers.Concuctor Jonel Perlea seems to know this score to perfection, coaxing from his orchestra and singers an inspired performance. Just listen to the energy in the choruses, the sensitive support to the singers in each of their arias, and the dramatic thrust of the whole performance toward its inexorable conclusion in Caballe's final aria, a show stopper for all times. The Fat Lady really sings here.Only one step in the Donizetti oevre below the ubiquitous Lucia, this opera became a vehicle for many a prima donna, including Sutherland and Sills. But other recordings, good as they may be, are just not up to the standard of Bel Canto opera performance that RCA gives here.This recording was one the favorites of my youth. It still is. Get it!Ed Flaspoehler"
Vintage Caballe and bel canto at its best
Michel | Montreal, Quebec | 06/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lucrezia Borgia is a beautiful opera and this set - the first
studio recording - does it full justice. Opinions on who was
the best bel canto singer - Callas/Sutherland/Gencer/Sills -
vary sharply but to my ears Caballe is the truest. She has a
gorgeous voice - rich and powerful yet flexible and capable of
the most exquisite shadings and pianissimi - her phrasing is
exemplary and her musicianship refined. All of this can be
enjoyed in this recording plus her tragic conception of the
evil Lucrezia caught up by fate - a splendid performance.
Fortunately she has a wonderful cast to support her. This is
one of the few recordings of Alfredo Kraus while still in his
youthful prime and what a treat it is - his voice is fresh and
attractive and he sings most beautifully matching Caballe in
musicianship and refinement. Shirley Verrett and Ezio Flagello
have both somptuous voices and offer beautiful performances.
The comprimarios are very important in this opera and they all
rise to the challenge with idiomatic and stylish singing. Cho-
rus and orchestra are excellent and Perlea conducts lovingly
and warm and atmospheric sound. Bel canto at its best.
Musically rich and swiftly dramatic opera from Donizetti
J. E. ASENCIO-NEGRON | Guaynabo, Puerto Rico USA | 08/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Even though a somewhat neglected masterpiece, the opera LUCREZIA BORGIA (La Scala, Milan, 1833), from Gaetano Donizetti, will never fail to please audiciences around the world, because Lucrezia is an alluringly melodramatic character. This digitally remastered CD (1989) from the original recording of the opera in May 1966, in RCA Italiana Studios, Rome, is a jewel to treasure for those interested in good "bel canto" music. Monserrat Caballé (soprano) give us an accurate and sweet-sounding performance as Lucrezia. Alfredo Kraus (tenor, with his delicious turns of phrase & mournful tone) is outstanding as Gennaro (Lucrezia's son from a previous marriage who is ignorant of his mother identity).Shirley Verrett (mezzo-soprano) as Maffio Orsini ( young nobleman, friend of Gennaro) is very good in the melodious & cheerful aria: "Il segreto per esser felice" (The secret to be happy/for happiness)(CD 2, Track 13). Although, Marilyn Horne, in my opinion, is the best for this role. Difficult to resist. Musically rich and swiftly dramatic. Donizetti at his best."