FIVE STARS TO PAVAROTTI * * * * * !
Tracy L. Powell | Bangkok, Thailand | 04/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This recording taken from a string of live performances from La Scala sounds great on CD. The voices and orchestra come through very clearly and there is very little stage noise and the audience keeps quite until after each act is over. Now if only all the singers were up to their roles. Daniela Dessi as Elisabetta is adequate (which is good as I have heard her on recordings in truly dreadful voice.) Perhaps this role was a little too mature for her at this stage in her career. Luciana D'Intino was also adequate, sounding at times shrill. Paolo Coni is often put down, but to these ears he makes a fine Rodrigo. His voice blends beautifully with Pavarotti's. After having recently heard the Decca/London Don Carlo with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as Rodrigo I would say Coni is revelation. I like and respect the artistry of Fischer-Dieskau, but listening to his Rodrigo is disturbing to the ears. Samuel Ramey does an excellent job (as he always does) as Filippo. Voice and temperment are just right for the king. You may recall that it was at these performances that Pavarotti was booed for a cracked note. Well, there are no cracked notes here, just glorious tones, amazing squillo, and a convincing performance. Don Carlo is one of the very last new roles for Pavarotti and in my opinion he made a very good choice in singing it. This recording, made in 1992 is of the four act version of the opera. I won't say this is the definitive recording of Don Carlo, but I do know that I prefer it to the Decca/London/Solti recording mentioned above (as wonderful as Bergonzi is!)"
This Don Carlo is nearly perfect, especially Pavarotti
Todd L. Kosovich | St James, Minnesota United States | 05/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a recording that two groups must possess. 1-fans of Don Carlos, 2-fans of Pavarotti. I have nearly every Don Carlo recorded in the last four decades, and this is my favorite. I bought it to round out my library, and instead it has reached the top of my list. Pavarotti shows a musicianship here he had not attained recently. He is right on the mark musically and emotionally. Otello proved too big for him and may make many avoid this recording -- but they should not. Pavarotti sings with elegance and pure class. His voice has just the right heft. As for the rest of the cast, Paolo Coni is a fine Rodrigo and one can never say enough about Samuel Ramey. This is an expensive set, but necessary for any serious collector or fan."
Pass this one up
figaro | Eugene, OR United States | 06/23/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"For a live Don Carlo, I would recommend the Met's dvd with Domingo and Freni or the d'Oro cd edition with Corelli and Janowitz. I am a big fan of all the singers here, except the mezzo, whom I've never heard before or since. She is adequate in this recording, with sometimes a nice chest register and good diction, but in the big arias, she becomes potato-mouthed, unintelligible, and unnatural-sounding. I would call her performance adequate. Dessi is the most enjoyable here - very Italianate, the voice is perfectly balanced, she shows adequate emotion, with just a hint of strain on the highest notes. It's the men that drive me nuts here. They all three sing beautifully but as though they are some sort of singing machines. Wet noodles - all three of them - no emotion hardly at all. The worst is Pavarotti. Listen to him in his Decca recordings of the Duke and Edgardo, and compare him here. Where did the passion go? I'll tell you where: he himself says he was not fully prepared for these performances and that's why he slipped up one of the nights and was booed. I have wanted to love this recording but I rarely play it in comparison to my other Don Carlos. Don Carlo is a terribly passionate character and so is the entire opera. I heartily reommend getting the d'Oro Corelli recording if you don't have it - it will give you goosebumps - this one will leave you completely unsatified."