Despite its technical faults...
Filippo Secondo | 07/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...I adore this recording. Having read hyperbolically negative reviews here and elsewhere, I seriously thought that I wouldn't be able to tolerate a moment of it. The performance's real stars are Caballe (Elisabetta) and the late Cappuccilli (Posa), each singing with a miraculously long breath (you'd think those phrases won't ever come to a halt, notably Caballe's); I must also mention Domingo (Carlo) and Cossotto (Eboli); Petkov's Filippo is a shade dry; as on the studio Giulini set, Foiani - never a favourite of mine - is a too tremulous Grand Inquisitor. I would have been extremely disappointed if the voices were distant, but they are generally well caught, only occasionally sounding distant: after all, this is a pirated recording, for which I thank the cougher (it was he who taped it, wasn't it?). Of course, this shouldn't be your first or only recording of the opera: as a 'supplement' to those versions that connoisseurs of historical recordings already have (I confess that I currently own 50 sets, including 8 DVDs), this one is definitely listenable and deserves a 5-star rating. If, once upon a time, you purchased a pricey record for the sake of only a single track that lasts no more than a few minutes, here is one at a silly asking price where (I assure you) much is to be treasured (I would've understood and appreciated other reviewers' negative feedback, if this were a full-price item): we're talking about top-notch performers, even if in variable sound (I got the set primarily to hear La Superba's 'O ciel!', where she stupendously takes the orchestra with her till the very end). No DON CARLO nerd attempting to build a complete library of the opera should be without it."