Johnson Lee | Irvine, CA USA | 05/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Looking for a heavyweight Tosca recorded in modern digital sound? Then this Eva Marton set is just that. Her characterization is full-blooded and almost invincible. In the famous torture scene, Tosca's screaming sounds more like a confrontation than a desperation. It carries the same weight and power as Scarpia's snarling. She might lack the tender innocence some other sopranos possess but her power more than compensates.
As one reviewer pointed out, you won't hear more beautiful pianissimo singing from any other tenor than Carreras here. His renditions of E lucevan le stelle and O dolce mani in this set are breathtakingly sensitive. Some might say he sounds a little strained compared to his earlier recording with Colin Davis, which he made before the illness hit him. I can sense it only very slightly though. Besides, Carreras brings out more than enough passion through his colorful characterizations.
Juan Pons is a dominating Scarpia. His first entry is powerfully done. His torture scene is intensive. A very satisfactory Scarpia indeed.
Unlike Marton's Tosca, the orchestra is light-weighted. It appears Tilson Thomas used most of his rehearsal time with the Hungarian State Orchestra for sweet and gentle passages, which are delivered with poignant lyricism and chamber music-like intimacy. In some intensive passages, however, they lack the necessary punch. It might be partially because the orchestra is recorded with a way far-back perspective (distantly mic'ed). But it has the advantage of leaving the spotlights on singers and making the percussions sound real.
For the vocal battle between Pons and Marton in the torture scene alone, this set is worth having."
Very interesting to many other Tosca recording
Johnson Lee | 09/18/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the must be in the TOSCA collection recordings with Callas/di Stefano,Caballe/Carreras is this Marton/Carreras recording. No other tenor has ever provide such sweet piano singing in act 3," o dolce mani" then Mr. Carreras here in this Budapest recording.Approx 10 month after his leukemia bone marrow transplant"
Best Tosca I've ever heard
Johnson Lee | 09/11/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Six months after I've purchased it I still listen to it every week. Scarpia (Pons) is the Satan itself, Tosca (Marton) is full of passion, and Cavaradossi (Carreras) is just perfect. A MUST for all opera lovers!"