Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Leoncavallo, Vickers, Carlyle|
Leoncavallo: I Pagliacci (Live Performance Buenos Aires, 1968)
Listen to Samples
The performance? Incredible! The sound? Oh, well....
Rachel Howard | ocklawaha, Florida United States | 09/10/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Bartolleti leads a workman-like orchestral performance, while Carlyle does a good job as Nedda, Canio's treacherous little wife. The reason I had for getting this set can be summed up in two voices: Jon Vickers and Cornell MacNeil.
MacNeil's vocal acting here makes liars out of those who say he can't color his voice. I cannot comment on his physical performance of the role of Tonio, but his vocal performance rivals both Leonard Warren and Titta Ruffo... and that is a high compliment, believe me. He's into his part far more than the conductor and the orchestra are into their's, and the results are electrifying. Few baritones had more thrilling high notes, and MacNeil was in good voice that day.
Jon Vickers was a tidal wave of emotion in this role of the cuckolded husband, and the intensity of his singing matches Franco Corelli in the classic recording under Matacic. This is a performance to savor, with a richness of characterization that is ultimately satisfying. For the first time, a modern tenor brought a greater wave of appreciation than even the classic Enrico Caruso performance from 1907. This man Canio was in love, in anguish, and was overpowered by a towering rage frightening in its intensity. What is the problem? The quality of the sound is extremely variable and far below the quality I've heard so far from the Opera D'Oro live recordings. Heck, it's below the standard set in Gigli's old recordings with Titta Ruffo from the mid to late twenties! Anyone out there remember the Bjoerling sets from the thirties and forties? They far outstrip this set in the quality and clarity of sound. Were the people recording this opera holding the mikes under their coats? I have the Horst Stein live recording of Don Carlos with Corelli, Janowitz, Ghiaurov, Talvela, Verrett, and Wachter, and it is a model of clarity compared to this Pagliacci. I don't remember the voices getting lost occasionally, as happens here. Maybe the singers were drowned out, but it sounds like the microphones were coverd by heavy overcoats.
For those who can overlook these particular lacunae, I would recommend this set. For those who want at least early electric era quality of sound, get the Corelli, Amara, Gobbi performance conducted by Matacic. If you can sleep through that one, call the morgue.
The performance I'd give six stars, if I could, just for Vickers and MacNeil. The sound? (And I love old Ruffo and Caruso recordings!) That brings it down."
Vickers in great form
Anton Smit | Italy | 03/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this CD to hear what Vickers sounds like, and- no disappointments there! He towers over the other performers, and gives a superbly dramatic yet controlled interpretation of the opera. His knack of remaining musical even during the most dramatic moments, never fails to impress me.Cornell McNeil is excellent as Tonio; after a bit of a dry start to the Prologue, he gets into the swing of it, and, like Warren, manages a beautiful high A towards the end of the aria. Dramatically, he isn't in Gobbi's class, but certainly very acceptable. Joan Carlyle is a convincing Nedda, and the conducting is good, with an underlying tension throughout the opera.Sound quality is reasonable- a good buy."