Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Nessun dorma - The art of the tenor.
track details below
DG 463 783-2 [73.12]

This is an essential purchase for anyone who cares about the future of recorded music, even those (quite a few) who are not always drawn to vocal CDs. It should lead the way to what can now be expected of the sensational recent developments in recording technology, with its multitude of features which purchasers may come to insist upon as routine in the foreseeable, and hopefully not far distant, future.

The huge importance of this release is the quantum leap forward of its pluscore features. Web surfers will have no difficulty in navigating the many features with which it is packed, following the performances on the score (with a cursor that helpfully keeps your place) alongside full texts (in the language of your choice) with conveniently accessible background information about each aria and performer, with photographs.

The packaging and presentation of this compilation of operatic arias and scenes by a dozen fine tenors is blatantly populist, but if it brings in huge sales I would not grudge its heavy bias and emphasis on the Big Three (Nessun dorma is sung by Domingo, not Pavarotti), Wunderlich & Bergonzi whose names alone appear on the cover. No one should be disappointed and it may bring new converts to early opera with such delectable 'authentic' performance excerpts with period orchestras as the Monteverdi (Rolf Johnson/Gardiner) & Handel (Richard Croft/Minkowski), and welcome first acquaintances with less famous tenors such as Frank Lopardo (Rossini) and Neil Shicoff (Tchaikovsky).

The tracks have been intelligently selected from DG's huge archive of recordings dating from 1964-98 and the overall standard is predictably high, so that it serves also as a sampler for the CDs from which the performances have been taken. The scores can be edited and printed, and the whole thing is a bargain at any price. This approach will lead to a new level of appreciation of music in home listening and study, and it will be indispensable for students.

Peter Grahame Woolf


Monteverdi: Rosa del ciel (Orfeo) Anthony Rolfe Johnson The English Baroque Soloists John Eliot Gardiner

Handel: Tu vivi, e punito (Ariodante) Richard Croft Les Musiciens du Louvre Marc Minkowski

Rameau: Ah! faut-il, en un jour, perdre tout ce que j'aime? (Hippolyte et Aricie) Jean-Paul Fouchécourt Les Musiciens du Louvre Marc Minkowski

Mozart: Wenn der Freude Tränen fliessen Die Entführung aus dem Serail) Fritz Wunderlich Bavarian State Opera Orchestra Eugen Jochum

 Mozart: Dalla sua pace (Don Giovanni) Christoph Prégardien John Eliot Gardiner

 Mozart: Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön (Die Zauberflöte) Fritz Wunderlich Berlin Philharmonic Karl Böhm

 Rossini: Ecco ridente in cielo (Il barbiere di Siviglia) Luigi Alva London Symphony Orchestra Claudio Abbado

 Rossini: Oh, come il cor di giubilo (L'Italiana in Algeri)  Frank Lopardo Wiener Philharmoniker Claudio Abbado

 Donizetti: Una furtiva lagrima (L'elisir d'amore) Luciano Pavarotti Metropolitan  James Levine

 Verdi: La donna è mobile (Rigoletto) Luciano Pavarotti Metropolitan Opera Orchestra James Levine

 Verdi: Se quel guerrier io fossi!... Celeste Aida (Aida) Plácido Domingo Orchestra of La Scala, Milan Claudio Abbado

  Verdi: Lunge da lei... De' miei bollenti spiriti (La traviata) Luciano Pavarotti Metropolitan Opera Orchestra James Levine

Meyerbeer: Pays merveilleux... O paradis (L'Africaine) Plácido Domingo Los Angeles Philharmonic Carlo Maria Giulini

 Offenbach: Il était une fois à la cour d'Eisenach (Les Contes d'Hoffman) Plácido Domingo Orchestre National de France Seiji Ozawa Chorus of Radio France

 Bizet: La fleur que tu m'avais jetée (Carmen) José Carreras Berlin Philharmonic Herbert von Karajan

Tchaikovsky: Kuda, kuda, kuda vi udalilis (Lenski's aria) (Eugene Onegin) Neil Shicoff Staatskapelle Dresden James Levine

Leoncavallo: Recitar! ...Vesti la giubba (Pagliacci) Carlo Bergonzi Orchestra of La Scala, Milan Herbert von Karajan

 Puccini: E lucevan le stelle (Tosca) José Carreras Berlin Philharmonic Herbert von Karajan

 Puccini: Nessun dorma (Turandot) Plácido Domingo Vienna State Opera Chorus Wiener Philharmoniker Herbert von Karajan

Reviews from previous months

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