Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Florindo Andreolli, Alan Byers, Plácido Domingo|
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
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Similarly Requested CDs
Younger Scotto Better
Goodwin Deacon | Seattle, WA USA | 10/16/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you want Scotto as Butterfly, then purchase her earlier EMI set with Barbarolli. Her voice was fresher, her Pinkerton (Bergonzi) more luminous, her Sharpless (Panerai) the finest on any set, and her conductor (Barbarolli) more lyrical and sensitive. In this set Scotto's voice has lost much of her velvet and she compensates by adding annoyingly artificial "touches" to her interpretation. Domingo sounds fine, but delivers a rather faceless interpretation (he could be singing Don Jose for all I can tell). Wixell is intelligent, but gritty. Maazel is simply dull. Besides, the EMI is less expensive and more lovingly recorded. Why settle for second best? Purchase the Barbarolli."
Scotto's second Butterfly is a masterpiece of vocal acting
Howard Fink | New York, New York USA | 01/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have both Scotto recordings of Butterfly. While the first performance, conducted by Barbirolli, has more secure high notes, I find Scotto's voice more beautiful and expressive in the Columbia/Sony set. Both versions are memorable, but I also find the Columbia set to be more subtle and heartbreaking than its predecessor. "Un bel di vedremo" is so beautifully sung in this performance and has so many tints and nuances that you forget what a cliche the aria has become. Domingo may not sing as smoothly as Bergonzi, but I have always found the latter to be too gentlemanly in this cad role. Domingo captures more completely Pinkerton's lustful intentions and his insensitivity toward Japanese customs and Cio Cio San's family.Altogether a magnificent achievement."
Superior Butterfly Recording
Howard Fink | 01/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This exquisite 1978 studio recording of Madame Butterfly stars Renata Scotto, Placido Domingo, Gillian Knight and Ingvar Vixell, singing their respective roles with breathtaking realism and melodic richness. Quite possibly the best Butterfly on record, and a must have for devotees of Renata Scotto. Ciao-Ciao San is considered her signature role and one she was sadly associated with all her operatic life - though she had sung terrific Toscas, Violettas, Norma, Mimi and other traditional Italian opera heroines. On recording, her Butterfly never compared to the electrifying performances on the stage but this recording benefits from the experience of the principal singers. For both Placido Domingo and Renata Scotto, this was not their first Butterfly and had sung their roles numerous times. Only a few years earlier, Domingo sang Pinkerton in a film under the baton of Herbert Von Karajan opposite Mirella Freni. Scotto had already recorded Butterfly on another label. Their experience with their roles make for a superbly dramatic Butterfly in this recording.
Conductor Lorin Maazel and the Philharmonia treat the score to Butterfly with a grand style and reverence, as if Puccini was evoking an old Japanese legend. The music is harmoniously mixed with American themes like "Star Spangled Banner" and Mikado marches. The Humming Chorus is beautifully rendered. Placido Domingo's Pinkerton best vocally portrays the discriminatory American bravado and carelessness of the romantic lead. Pinkerton is given beautiful and romantic arias but they are quite frankly dishonest and Domingo sings with a kind of shallowness as he is a terrific actor. Renata Scotto is a strong Butterfly, too strong too fully convince as a fragile, love-sick and youthful teenager. Ciao-Ciao San is supposed to be a fifteen year old, naive girl who sees everything as either black or white and who is foolish to believe in the false promise of love of Pinkerton. Scotto instead approaches the character as a woman who has a strong will but who has made a grave mistake. Truthfully, we cannot simply dismiss Butterfly as weak. She was strong enough to defy her age-old familial traditions and abandon her native Shinto or perhaps Buddhist religion and converted to Christianity for love of Pinkerton. She is steadfast and strong in patience, even stubborn in her love. Scotto makes the final scene truly dramatic and electrifying, maintaining excess within control and never bordering on hysteria. When she commits Hari-Kiri she is wholly convincing. As for the other singers - Ingvar Vixell is a serviceable baritone as Sharpless, the Consul, but his voice is seductive, masculine and audially beautiful to hear. If only they had contracted Samuel Ramey for this one. The Susuki of Gillian Knight is gorgeous. She is a British or Welsh soprano who has sung in Gilbert and Sullivan among her many repertoire. She sings with clear diction, fluidity and a ravishing mezzo forte. Her Susuki is one of the best I've heard, and she seems to be on equal grounds with Butterfly as far as acting."