Perfect collection for Opera "curious"
Kurt W.G. Matthies | Colorado, USA | 07/27/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is an unfortunate side effect of modern life that the traditional sources of a classical education are disappearing. Because many classical music radio stations have transformed into yet another commercial outlet of top 40 pap, access to classical music for the general public is generally limited to movies or television in the form of background music. These sources rarely credit their music, so most people are left wondering what is was they heard and enjoyed.I am known to enjoy classical music and my friends often ask me for listening suggestions.(What is wrong with the public schools? They should be teaching this.) Normally, I shy away from collections like "Adagios" or "The Art of Herbert von Karajan" as they generally show little thought in their organization. I do enjoy and would recommend this disk "Opera Made Easy", which I discovered...one afternoon. Opera is the most imposing of the classics for the novice. The usual [$$]to [$$]price tag of a double or triple CD can be intimidating when embarking into unknown territory.This collection contains many favorites from Italian Opera: Donizetti, Mozart, Verdi, and Puccini to name the largest contributors. Many are familiar to even the novice, like the Toreador Chorus from Bizet's Carmen. Some are found in today's television commercials, like Leo Delibes' Flower Duet. There are a couple of show stoppers here: Puccini's Nessun Dorma, performed by a Pavarotti in his prime and Robert Merrill's poignant performance of the Pagliacci Si puo? And who can resist the bubbly quartet Bella filiglia del'Amore from Rigoletto which is sung in style by Pavarotti, Sherill Milnes, Joan Sutherland, and Hugette Tourangeau.While this collection presents a pleasant introduction of Italian opera to the novice, the opera-aware will also enjoy these stirring performances. A great CD for a Sunday evening dinner with friends and family."