"The good--Milnes gives us some of his best singing here; youthful, glorious tone and interpretation untouched by the mannerisms that plagued his later singing. He is a devastating Macbeth, worthy of all the great interpreters of the past. Ludgwig, of course, has heaven in her voice and disappoints only in the sleepwalking scene when she doesn't give a high 'C sharp' at the end, understandably though since she is a mezzo. Cossutta is one of the best Macduffs. Bohm brings us a subtle yet dramatic reading of the score. The bad--some of the sound quality isn't as good as a studio performance: dry and shallow. The ugly--Milnes and Ludwig have recorded the role in the studio separately, but here together, they are electric as ever. Too bad it wasn't in the studio. Good price, good recording, one of Orfeo D'Or's better issues."
A very nice surprise
mrzee256 | Long Beach, New York United States | 03/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am not a Milnes fan, so this recording was a very pleasant surprise for me: his singing is excellent, his characterization is believable. This performance is one of the highlights of a good career. Christa Ludwig is in great voice and invests the words with meaning and beauty. There is no sacrificing of tone for effect that Verdi himself said might be necessary to convey Lady Macbeth's character, but Ludwig presents a truly formidable and complex character who is only too willing to descend into evil for a goal. Bohm never fails to amaze me at the range of his conducting: he always serves the needs of the music and his cast with a balance and integrity that enhances every measure. Not, by far, the best Verdi, but as good a presentation of it as you will find. More than worth the price you will pay for it."
"LIVE" better than Studio
Vincent | Montréal, Québec | 02/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This live performance is absolutely electrifying.Pairing two great singers in their prime under the baton of one of this century's legendary conductors. These winning elements compensate for the "in house" sound, which in this case is more than satisfying.Opera d'Oro has a gem here, there is real presence from beginning to end. Milnes in his youthful glory, convincing and forceful. And what could top Ludwig's involved Lady ? She brings this strange quality German singers can attain when succesfully assuming Italian repertoire. It is unique and disturbing. Magic (in this case of a dark nature) can be created on the operatic stage and luckily for us someone was there to record it."
Must have for Ludwig Fans
M. A COMBRINK | Cape Town, South Africa | 06/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the only version available of Ludwig's assumption of this role, and it is a must have. She has a rich and powerful dramatic mezzo to bring to the role, dramatic and acting ability to spare, and she simply is gripping in every aspect of the role. The Macbeth himself boasts Milnes, to my mind the greatest singer of the role in all studio recordings, here captured at his best. The sound quality is excellent and there are few irritations associated with some "live" recordings. The Callas version is still unique, but here the sound quality is better. Verret does wonderfully as well in studio, but Ludwig sent my spine tingling. Yes she does not sing the high D-flat at the end of the sleep-walking scene, but what she does with this scene is worth a lot more. I am glad I did not miss this one."