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    $6.98 $3.95
    1. Baby Mozart
    $3.98 $2.31
    2. The Most Famous Opera Arias
    $13.99 $13.85 list($18.98)
    3. Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias
    $10.99 $8.90 list($11.98)
    4. Nessun Dorma ~ 20 Great Tenor
    $13.99 $10.99 list($16.98)
    5. Renée Fleming - I Want Magic!
    $10.99 $8.40 list($11.98)
    6. Amore II ~ Great Italian Love
    $6.98 $4.94
    7. Jussi Björling: Opera Arias
    $10.99 $7.15 list($11.98)
    8. Kathleen Battle · Wynton Marsalis
    $16.98 $10.50
    9. Roberto Alagna & Angela Gheorghiu
    $14.99 $12.87 list($16.98)
    10. Mozart Arias
    $10.99 $8.85 list($11.98)
    11. Jewel Song ~ 20 Great Soprano
    $14.99 $11.41
    12. Urban Arias
    $10.98 $7.75
    13. Verdi Arias I
    $11.98 $6.99
    14. La Domoiselle elue/Opera Arias
    $16.98 $12.56
    15. Olga Borodina - Arias
    $16.98 $12.55
    16. Bryn Terfel - Opera Arias / MET,
    $10.99 $8.92 list($11.98)
    17. Mario Lanza ~ Opera Arias &
    $19.96 list($16.98)
    18. Roberto Alagna - Opera Arias
    $14.99 $13.94 list($17.98)
    19. Nelson Eddy: Operatic Arias and
    $15.97 list($15.98)
    20. Bernstein: Arias & Barcarolles;

    1. Baby Mozart
    list price: $6.98
    our price: $6.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000065VCG
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1334
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Of all the reasons you'll click the Add to Shopping Cart button next to Baby Einstein's Baby Mozart--and there are many--the best one is that playing this record for babies doesn't feel weird. Instead of subjecting tiny, tender ears to the kind of Mozart that can make adult classical fans wilt when tackled by a maestro who means business, this is Mozart lite, mixed and mastered by a dad, Bill Weisbach, who's clearly hung around for his share of crib-side cooing. The slightly tinny sound of a child's piano sweeps the sting out of Piano Sonata in B Flat's third movement; the first movement of Concerto for Flute and Harp in C floats by, birdlike; variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman" translate to a fancy-sounding (but adorable) "Twinkle, Twinkle"; and Piano Sonata in F's third movement snuggles so deeply into its childlike setting that if you close your eyes, you'll see a pastel parade of animals floating by overhead. Other pieces (more aptly called fragments, since only one track stretches beyond the three-minute mark), like Symphony No. 41's fourth movement, wander into more robust Mozart territory, but it's here the claims about classical music enhancing young kids' abstract reasoning skills and spatial intelligence crystallize. Babies strapped in for a roller coaster of sounds that gracefully dips, swerves, and high-jumps like this version, do have to process what they're hearing somehow (and a case could be made that the instruments Weisbach's chosen--the vibraphone, glockenspiel, and music box among them--make it more appealing for them to do so). Followers of Julie Aigner-Clark's Baby Einstein empire, many of whom opted out of the fan club once Disney bought the company in 2001, won't trip over a single Mickey Mouse-ified sound here. This is pure, plugged in, and muted Mozart, and if it doesn't make your baby smarter, it'll at least sound awfully sweet issuing from your nursery's speakers. --Tammy La Gorce ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Creative & Soothing
    I like classical music, but some of the pieces have crescendos and accents that make it very difficult to listen to when you just want to relax. When I saw Baby Beethoven, I bought it and enjoyed it. I saw Baby Mozart at a different store and instantly picked it up.

    The music doesn't have the sudden musical attacks that classical music has because the instant sound can frighten little ones. That is one of the great things about this CD. I can listen to in when I just want to sit down and relax.

    I also like that the pieces and the CD itself, it's too long. I can finish the CD during a nice bath. The music also isn't too loud in general, so you don't have to have the CD player volume at full blast one moment, just to hear the music and almost off the next, so you can keep your hearing.

    I highly recommend this CD, whether you have little ones or not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun for the kids
    My twin girls loved the video so I bought the CD and they love it!We listen to it in the car and they relate the CD to the video. It's great and keeps them happy on the road.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fun - cute songs- also check out Troy & Genie Nilsson
    This is fun. Also, if you're like me you probably also want to get more music that has fun + deep moral/spiritual meaning + pro music that you can stand hearing a million times. My favorite of that kind that I would highly recommend to you is Troy & Genie Nilsson's stuff like Scripture Rock. ... Read more


    2. The Most Famous Opera Arias
    list price: $3.98
    our price: $3.98
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    Asin: B000002SCE
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 550
    Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction
    This CD is offered at a very attractive price, and features an excellent selection of opera arias. Most of the great composers are represented (such as Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, and Bizet) as well as some lesser-known but worthwhile names (such as Gluck, Gounod, and Saint-Saens).

    There is only one superstar singer on this album (Placido Domingo singing "Celeste Aida"), but don't let that deter you: the singing is uniformly rich, skillful, and warm. As another reviewer has pointed out, of the total of 16 tracks, 3 are performed by tenors and 13 by sopranos, but I feel nonetheless that the selection of arias found here is both broad and representative.

    The orchestras that are featured are lesser-known ensembles from Western and Central Europe, but they play with conviction and precision, and the CD's sound-recording quality (all the tracks are either "ADD" or "DDD") is first-rate.

    All in all, this is a great product brought to you from the vaults of the prestigious EMI Classical label. This is the perfect CD to add to your Amazon.com order if you need to get your grand total above $25 to qualify for free shipping

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction
    This CD is offered at a very attractive price, and features an excellent selection of opera arias. Most of the great composers are represented (such as Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, and Bizet) as well as some lesser-known but worthwhile names (such as Gluck, Gounod, and Saint-Saens).

    There is only one superstar singer on this album (Placido Domingo singing "Celeste Aida"), but don't let that deter you: the singing is uniformly rich, skillful, and warm. As another reviewer has pointed out, of the total of 16 tracks, 3 are performed by tenors and 13 by sopranos, but I feel nonetheless that the selection of arias found here is both broad and representative.

    The orchestras that are featured are lesser-known ensembles from Western and Central Europe, but they play with conviction and precision, and the CD's sound-recording quality (all the tracks are either "ADD" or "DDD") is first-rate.

    All in all, this is a great product brought to you from the vaults of the prestigious EMI Classical label. This is the perfect CD to add to your Amazon.com order if you need to get your grand total above $25 to qualify for free shipping

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great collection for beginners!
    I am brand new to most opera - my main exposure has been Bugs Bunny cartoons! But, I've always loved hearing the Three Tenors sing, and I liked the symphony the few times I have been. So, I thought maybe there was something I was missing. I ordered this CD and from the first minute I was transfixed. I don't understand a word of what they are singing, and I understand from other reviews that these are not the famous folks performing the selections, but this CD is wonderful! I have never been moved to tears by anyone's voice in my life, but Anna Moffo (from Rigoletto, the first selection on the album) did it to me. She also sings a selection from The Barber of Seville, which is beautiful. There's a song by Placido Domingo, and many other gifted and beautiful voices besides. If you are looking for an introduction to opera, buy this one!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Place To Start
    As some other reviews have mentioned, no, this doesn't cover the full scale of the opera repertory, but it's geared to beginners, and I can't think of a better place to start than this that's out on the market right now. So don't listen to them.

    While this collection is some small, it still has a collection of some famous arias, all sung at levels of very good and up. Anna Moffo's "Caro Nome" as the first track is mind-blowing--the cadence she pulls at the end is absolutely celestial; I've skipped back many a time just to hear her. The following aria from Rigoletto isn't done quite as well (Kraus doesn't even go for the high C), but is sufficient.

    Other notable tracks on this album include Edita Gruberova's cavatina from Romeo and Juliette "Je Veux Vivre," Yelena Obraztsova "Mon Coeur" from Samson and Delilah (absolutely beautiful), Domingo's "Celesta Aida," (definitely one of the best recordings of this aria out there), another Moffo gem with "Una Voce Poco Fa" from Il Barbiere, an excellent "Che Gelida Manina" by an underrated tenor, Nicolai Gedda, who holds the high C in "speranza" for the longest I've ever heard any tenor hold it, and possibly the best aria on the whole CD, Gruberova's rendition of "Der Halle Rocke." For some reason, a previous reviewer said this was a horrible recording of it---I beg to differ, drastically; I'd even venture to turn some people away from listening to this track, since it's possibly the best recording of this aria ever made. I've covered my ears at many sopranos her shriek through the colorature, but she sings it like an angel.

    Overall, this is a great CD to start with. There are a few problems, like another reviewer mentioned, there are few male arias and no baritone/bass arias whatsoever, but the sound and clarity is good. I must say, though, that I did have a problem with scratching on the CD---a friend of mine owns the same CD and also it appeared to scratch fairly easily, so watch out.

    Want to have some real fun? Blast Gruberova's "Der Halle Rocke" while you're driving down the street with the windows open. See how many funny looks you get.

    Enjoy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Be forewarned
    The music is wonderful, and the price can't be beat, but be forewarned -- only 3 of the 16 selections are sung by men. Evidently the producers of this Highlights CD felt that the overwhelming majority of the great opera arias are sung by women. This is clearly a matter of taste, but disconcerting nevertheless. ... Read more


    3. Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias / Myung-Whun Chung
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00002ND9N
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1051
    Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    When he was growing up, Andrea Bocelli recalls finding inspiration in a favorite recording of sacred music performed by tenor legend Franco Corelli. Bocelli--who in the meantime has come to inspire millions of fiercely loyal fans himself--returns to the genre as the guiding theme of Sacred Arias, the release of which coincides with the first English-language biography of the singer. These performances are filled with the singer's phenomenally well-known vocal signature: his flair for long, sweetly floating high notes and the gentle sense of cadence he brings to a melody.It's a mistake to compartmentalize Bocelli into a singer of "operatic" versus "popular" styles: in truth his approach is at heart the same. Lack of color and control in his phrasing remains a drawback, but the emotional empathy Bocelli evokes is never in doubt. The arias collected here sample some of the most famous devotional pieces: Schubert's "Ave Maria" and Mozart's transporting "Ave Verum," as well as an arrangement of "Silent Night" in which Bocelli tries out his English. There's also a decidedly odd choice of bedfellows for a program of "sacred" music, such as a song from Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder (whose "angel" is the object of an overpoweringly erotic attraction) and Handel's figurative ode to a tree, "Ombra mai fu." Still, Bocelli sings with an unfeigned directness that is sure to expand his already enormous following even further. --Thomas May ... Read more

    Reviews (111)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Tenor Sings Gregorian
    This is a very fine album which I enjoy immensely. Andre Bocelli's tenor voice is a pleasure to listen to. He has scored 5 Stars with me. His various versions of "Ave Maria" are splendidly performed. It is a best-loved religious song. "Panis Angelicus" is sung so well, so meaningful, which is the way the song is to be sung. The song is from 1871, when Franck was a resident organist at St. Clotilde in Paris. The work was originally scored for tenor, organ, cello, harp, and double-bass. Mr. Bocelli has done an album worthy to be in anyone's collection, especially if you are a 'music lover.' The material that is covered on the album is directly related to 'The Mass' as it has been sung in the past generations of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, most specifically done in Gregorian Chant. The listener is taken back to a time pre-Vatican II. A most pleasing voice has taken me back to my childhood singing in the choir, as I have sung most of these songs also. And, I was pleasured by these wonderful songs then and now. Another beautiful song is "Pieta, Signore." Someone whom may enjoy this album may also enjoy listening to Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavorotti, and also, Michael Bolton. They all are tenors with beautiful voices. The song "Ave Maria" has also been sung by the three above-mentioned artistes. This album is comparable to the other artistes' rendition's of "Ave Maria" that has been sung also by the above. I would highly recommend this album to any one who appreciates the sound of an excellent tenor such as Andre Bocelli.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Spiritually uplifting
    "Sacred Arias" was my first Bocelli CD (it hasn't been my last!). As a pastor, seminary student, and lover of classical music (especially sacred music) I was drawn to it the moment I saw it. And, when I first listened to it, I was not disappointed. I find each of the arias to be tremendously inspiring. But, the "Sancta Maria" brought tears to my eyes when I first heard it. This CD provides me with 62:22 minutes of worship as I listen to each of these beautifully sung praises and prayers that have served as a testimony of faith over time. It is obvious that these pieces are dear to Bocelli's heart because his heart is definitely in his interpretation of them.

    A note for reviewer Nicole Kimberly of January 25, 2000. She had asked for the choral music for the "Gloria a te, Christo Gesu." It probably is not available yet. If I am not mistaken, this piece was written specifically for the Roman Catholic Jubilee Celebration of the new milennium, and Bocelli publically debuted this hymn at the start of the Vatican Christmas Service Christmas day, which marked the beginning of the Jubilee Celebration. Bocelli was honored by being selected by the Pope to sing this hymn for that special celebration.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding CD
    This was the first Bocelli CD I heard. A friend thought I would like it and got it for me for Christmas. I loved it the first time I heard it. It was an outstanding collection of Christmas hymns, we actually sang one in my church choir and one in my school choir. It has helped expanded my library of songs, since I sing Tenor. So now when I go to sing at Christmas and Holiday shows I can now do more than Jingle Bells, and Away in a Manger.

    With Andrea's outstanding Tenor range this is an excellant addition to anyone's music collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
    Genuinely uplifting and spiritual. If you liked this, you'll love:

    50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Tryin'
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    5-0 out of 5 stars Special Edition with both DVD & CD is available
    Instead of this CD alone, I suggest the Bocelli, Andrea : Sacred Arias CD & DVD Special Edition (ASIN: B0000CE9VO). It includes the full 77 minute concert on DVD, plus the two bonus tracks on the DVD, plus the full 72 minute CD. This includes two bonus tracks on the CD not available on the original CD. Amazingly, the Special Edition is a few dollars less than the DVD alone and only a few dollars more than the CD alone. What a bargain! This is an amazing concert with a tremendous picture quality on a big screen TV. It is one of those DVD's that captures the feeling of "being there". A must-see for any Andrea Bocelli fan. ... Read more


    4. Nessun Dorma ~ 20 Great Tenor Arias / Pavarotti, Carreras, Domingo, Bergonzi, Aragall, Björling, Di Stefano, Kollo, Corelli, Del Monaco...
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
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    Asin: B000007OTX
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2126
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fine singing by the best post-war tenors
    If you think that Bocelli and Alagna are real tenors, then listen to this tenor compilation issued by DECCA. Here we find the greatest of ALL singers;Jussi Björling together with the most famous of all singers; Luciano Pavarotti and more great latin tenors of the past. The sound is quite allright apart from the Gioconda aria in which Björling sounds unfamiliar and dry - a bad transfer truly. Pavarotti gives his best in the recordings from the 60`s, before his voice tended to sound contracted and his notes a bit tight. His Che gelida manina from 1972 is only surpassed by those of Björling, and his Spirto gentil is really fine. Giuseppe di Stefano had a short vocal peak, and in 1958 his voice had already broken up by wear and tear, and he forces all over the place. Domingo and Bergonzi did not have the free vocal production of Björling, Pavarotti and Caruso, but they were fine musicians and much more convincing than Pavarotti in the dramatic repertoire. The highlight of this compilation is Amor ti vieta, in which Björling -age 46- sweaps everyone off the floor with this masterly controlled and passionate rendering of Giordano`s aria. Still unmatched. Only a better transfer can better that one...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great examples of Tenors who can REALLY sing
    A wonderful cross-section! Some of the best tenors from the last 50 years, really singing some of the most beautiful arias.
    THESE people have all been on stage without a microphone, and still made an impact on the ears and the soul. Of course, the best are not all here, but at least there are NO micro-phoney's such as Michael Boulton or Andrea Bocelli.
    An excellent sampler, to teach the standards of greatness to those who are ready to learn more about the real thing. Or to keep close by the CD player, for an hour of what will become old friends.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent selection of great tenors and great arias
    I can only recommend this CD. Especially if you are not so keen on listening to operas in their full length. Instead here some of the best arias with some of the best tenors have been carefully selected. If you eg. have been listening to The Three Tenors this CD will take you a step further and introduce tenors as eg. Bergonzi, Di Stefano and Björling. In the enclosed booklet there is a fine description of the tenors and their career. A subject for a heated debate will of course always be - who is the best tenor of them all ? On the cover it is stated that Pavarotti is the greatest of them all - allthough inside the booklet it is also mentioned that such a title could as well be claimed by Domingo or Björling. I think this shows that such a rating is very difficult to make and depends on the criteria used in the comparison. My own favorite is Pavarotti in his younger years (listen to Che gelida manina - it is absolutely heartbreaking)but in general I think all the tracks on the CD are great and the CD deserves 5 stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent First Opera CD foe anyone.
    This Nessun Dorma 20 Great Tennor Arias would be a great CD for anyone's first Opera CD or a welcome addition to any Opera Fan's collection. How can you go wrong when you have Pavarotti, Carreras, Domingo, Bergonzi, Aragall, Bjorling, Di Stefano, Kollo, Corelli and Del Monico singing such great Arias as Che Gelida Manina, Donna Non Vidi Mai, La Fleur Que Tu M'Avais Jetee, M'appari, Mi Batte Il Cuor...O Paradiso, and on and on. This is a wonderful CD. Its fantastic to sit back and listen to each great's interpretation of the aeria's. Every Area is great but my favorites are Pavarotti singing Che Gelida Manina, M'appari, Favorita Del Re...Spirto Gentil, Di Quella Pira, and he just rules on Nessun Dorma; Corelli singing E Lucevan Le Stelle (you can really hear his influence when you hear Andrea Bocelli sing); Also I am very impressed with Carlo Bergonzi sings beautifully on Mi Batte Il Cuor...O Paradiso, I can just go on and on Carreras, Domingo, Aragall, Bjorling, Di Stefano, Kollo, and Del Monico all wonderful. ... Read more


    5. Renée Fleming - I Want Magic! ~ American Opera Arias
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000AFR4
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 7406
    Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Like Dawn Upshaw's The World So Wide on Nonesuch, this program is such an inviting cross section of American opera of the last 50 years, you wonder why more of it hasn't been recorded. Composers include Carlisle Floyd, Douglas Moore, Samuel Barber, and Gian Carlo Menotti, whose childlike "Monica's Waltz" from the otherwise lurid opera The Medium is a highlight. Old favorites are here, such as Gershwin's "Summertime." And new favorites, too: Andre Previn's forthcoming "A Streetcar Named Desire" graciously offers Straussian lushness and bitonal wind-instrument details suggesting Blanche DuBois's mind departing from reality, all sounding remarkably true to Previn's pre-World War II upbringing in Berlin. This dramatically alert arioso isn't so melodically memorable but makes all necessary dramatic points eloquently. Though she performs vividly throughout, Fleming often lets her vocal tone overwhelm articulation of the words--a middling drawback. And comedy is not her thing: Bernstein's "Glitter and Be Gay" is way too hammy. --David Patrick Stearns ... Read more

    Reviews (23)

    2-0 out of 5 stars One great singer, and one utterly forgettable album
    Ms. Fleming has a beautiful voice - no doubt about it. Her stab at contemporary operatic repertoire is a complete miss, however. This is very clearly a "me too" album, in which Fleming is trying to compete all too obviously, yet very unsuccessfully, with Dawn Upshaw's breathtakingly masterful renditions of contemporary American composers on her "World so wide" album. But where Upshaw soars, and it seems the sky is hardly the limit, Fleming never gets past that Mozart/Puccini "pompous diva" sound, lacking the subtlety needed to make those contemporary arias work. The comparison of Fleming's bombastic version of Floyd's "Ain't it a pretty Night" with Upshaw's well thought-out, and much more tame interpretation only proves that perhaps one singer who is quite perfect for one type of repertoire, is all wrong for another. Still, this is a nice CD, and obviously a very competent performance. It's just that Fleming has accustomed her fans to expecting so much more than barely "competent."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Astounding perf. by R. Fleming of American Crown Jewels!
    Renée Fleming amazes and astounds with a voice so emotionally complex as to simultaneously bring a smile to one's face and a tear to one's eye. B. Herrmann's surreal "I have dreamt," from his opera Wuthering Heights, does just this. Remember folks, he composed all those fantastic scores for many of the best Hitchcock films! "The Letter Song," is an extraordinary American gem from Douglas Moore's Ballad of Baby Doe; with libretto by a great poet of the American musical theatre, John Latouche, who, incidentally, also contributed lyrics to many of the pieces in Leonard Bernstein's Candide--A piece from this great fusion of American musical theatre and opera is also offered, "Glitter and be Gay," which is a true tour de force; Ms. Fleming astounds once more with what seems effortless vocal control, wonderfully communicating the wry humor of the piece. Samuel Barber, Menotti, Carlisle Floyd, Stravinsky, and Previn's new opera A Streetcar Named Desire (based on Tennessee's work of course), two Gershwin favorites--all will sweep you away as James Levine conducts one of the best CD's of 1998. You need this CD in your collection!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional
    The music recorded is simply wonderful, and sadly, so much of it is so neglected. We are hearing quality music. I really love Flemming's voice, but I must chastize her here, for her diction in English is not good enough. It falls far below her diction in other languages which are foreign to her. The music we are treated to is simply wonderful, engaging (Wuthering Heights simple blew me away, and this selection from it is moving), and truly exceptional. What is needed is diction that is equally clear and crisp. We don't ever get that from opera singers when they sing English, even if English is their native language. That was not a problem in the past so much, for I have old recordings from the early part of the 20th century and the diction is super clear. Singers then knew they had to sing English with as much clarity as they sang the Italian masters. Some of them in the past, like Ponselle, sang a too heavily rolled "R" for what is natural, but I doubt most singer would do that today. It is even more important for us who speak English to have the privilege of hearing our language sung so we can understand it. When we hear oratorio (the Messiah, for example) we are nearly always treated to excellent diction. Why can't we have this in opera? Flemming sang jazz before opera, and she knows all about the "belting technique." That sort of very forward focus with less back space than used in classical singing suits English, and brings clarity to the words. Total belting would sound too much like broadway, but total "classical technique" sounds too Italian and foreign, and makes English sound like the singers are "affected" or singing with a mouth full of mashed potatoes. When singing English, singers need to strive more for clarity, even if that means they must sacrifice a bit of the very round tone used in singing in Foreign languages. They need to understand that English has no pure vowels, and to stop singing it as if it does, that only adds to the lack of clarity, and the "foreigner" sound they bring to their words. When one hears a native English speaker, like Flemming, and then has difficulty understanding her words, it is truly disappointing. I fully appreciate the comment by one reviewer that stated, "Does she even know what she is singing about." From the amount of words one actually can understand, one has to wonder. Too often English sounds like mournful vocalizes. In some ways, Flemming has accomplished that here. What makes it worse is the microphone would pick up the tiniest of nuances, and it should have picked up her diction better, but it can't give us diction that is not there.

    I loved the recording just the same for the beauty of the singing, the beauty of her sound, and the beauty of this incredible music. I really can't understand its neglect.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Fleming's feet of clay
    an incredible voice...but does she know what she's singing?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Aguably my favorite collection by this singer
    Renee Fleming's legacy is growing fast. Already we have at least a dozen fine recordings, including her superb Richard Strauss songs, a collection of more well-known opera arias, and her surprisingly moving work in "A Streetcar Named Desire."

    This disc may be my favorite, however, mostly because it includes so many marvelous pieces that are not very well known. The opener, from Bernard Herrmann's "Wuthering Heights," is stunning. Why is this not recorded more often? (Granted, Ms. Fleming has now set the performance bar pretty high.) The two arias from Carlisle Floyd's "Susannah" are better known, but receive extra-special treatment here.

    James Levine and the Met Orchestra are up to their usual high standard and could not be more sympathetic collaborators, and the sound overall is glorious.

    There is not a misstep anywhere in this collection - an outstanding example of a great singer presenting a highly unusual program. ... Read more


    6. Amore II ~ Great Italian Love Arias
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004C4MX
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 7062
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Beautiful!
    Two words describe the music found on this CD: ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! The beauty of the vocals and music combine to allow one to transcend from the daily grind to a world of beauty. Bravo!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where is Amore I?
    This CD is a selection of arias from Italian operas. Most of the time when you get a compilation like this, you feel lucky if you like 2/3 of the selections. In this case, whoever did the selecting did a great job, there isn't a clinker in the lot. About half of the arias are by Puccini, the rest are by Verdi, Donizetti, and Giordano. Singers include Kiri Te Kanawa, Luciano Pavarotti, Richard Tucker, and Andrea Rost. There is enough variety to keep the whole CD interesting, yet the mood is consistent throughout. The sound is generally quite good, and while I am not generally a fan of live recordings, the audience response in the performance by Pavarotti really does add excitement to the presentation. Given the title of this CD, I assumed this was the second in a series, and I liked it so much I went looking for the original. Unfortunately, I can find no other CD on the Sony label titled Amore - too bad. ... Read more


    7. Jussi Björling: Opera Arias
    list price: $6.98
    our price: $6.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000038I7N
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 49765
    Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Jussi Björling was one of the strongest and steeliest lyric tenors of the 20th century, as famous for his Rodolfo in La Boheme as he was for his Calaf in Turandot. This superbly engineered survey of his early career takes us from 1936 to 1948, and covers, for the most part, his standard repertoire of French and Italian music--extracts from Aida and from Faust, and from both Massenet's Manon and Puccini's Manon Lescaut. He was a singer equally at home with the elegances of bel canto and with the passionate sorrows of verismo--he is particularly finein "Vesti la guibbia" from Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. Björling was always going to have to struggle to make this repertoire his own--much of his early audience had heard Caruso. What Björling brought to his roles was a superb theatricality and a capacity for thoughtful passion; amid the lyricism, you also always remembered that his heroes were for the most part tough guys. --Roz Kaveney ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars best of bjorling
    bjorling was in his prime in the 1940's, when most of these arias were recorded. the top register was still warm and full, and had no sign of the hardening that started to creep into his voice in the 50's. so these are truly the 'best of', sound quality notwithstanding. naxos has done an excellent job remastering these tracks. at this price, this is a must have for fans of good singing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very nice summary of the very best opera arias
    This is a great album with the highlights from the repertoire of Jussi Bjorling. Even if there are several others of CD's where you can hear whole concerts with the great Jussi, this is a very nice summary of the very best opera arias he sang. I would recommend this album to anyone that is interested in beautiful music and a marvelous voice!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo Bjorling!
    As a member of the first generation of opera lover's to know Bjorling's voice only by recordings I urge everyone to treat themselves to this. The power, accuracy and youthful sparkle of his voice are gloriously evident on this remaster. Think of Pavorotti, Corelli and the other Mediterranian masters as sunshine, with warm undertones i think of Jussi's voice as moonlight, cool undertones of the North. Knowing of his struggles with depression and/or alcoholism makes the sound even more poignant. The opera world lost a treasure far too soon.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bjorling's voice shines in this outstanding remastering
    Jussi Bjorling was one of the greatest tenors of the last century; many would place him in the top three, along with Caruso and Gigli. This CD contains some of the most familiar arias of the Italian and French repertoire, all sung with a style and controlled passion that was Bjorling's hallmark.

    These recordings are from the 1930s and 40s, but the sound is remarkably good for that time. I have an earlier EMI remastering of most of these same recordings, but the sound on Naxos is so far superior that there's really no comparison. The engineer eliminated the worst of the surface noise, but did nothing to restrict the high end, so that the listener can hear this wonderful voice in all its beauty.

    There's an excellent 2-CD Bjorling set on RCA/BMG, made from different masters with better sonics, but these earlier recordings captured his voice at a younger age and are indispensible. Naxos's super-bargain price should convince any wavering Bjorling fan who already owns the EMI versions of these recordings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest of all time!
    Just a short review, since so many others have said it better; Jussi Bjoerling had a sweet lyric-spinto tenor voice, which he used with taste and excitement. If you love Pavarotti and Bocelli, and you haven't heard Bjoerling, you are missing something.

    The transfers are excellent. The sound is what you might expect from the thirties and forties, but the voice is clear and undistorted.

    Bjoerling's sound was something like Pavarotti's, with a little more concentration of tone and a slightly sweeter sound. His talents with diminuendos can be heard to excellent effect on the Dream (Reve) aria from Massenet's Manon. Bjoerling had a ravishing pianissimo; sweet, smooth, and concentrated, yet unforced.

    One of Jussi Bjoerling's finest roles was Rodolfo in Puccini's La Boheme and Pinkerton in Madam Butterfly. The former was sung under the able leadership of Sir Thomas Beecham, with Victoria de los Angeles and is justly acclaimed as a classic. The latter was one of his latest recordings, made close to his death, but the sounds he made! The singing on this album is absolutely stunning.

    Highly recommended for all those who love great voices... ... Read more


    8. Kathleen Battle · Wynton Marsalis ~ Baroque Duet / Anthony Newman · Orch St. Luke's · Nelson
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B0000027C1
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 22695
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (20)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Baroque Heaven
    A lot has been said about the way both Kathleen Battle and Wynton Marsalis sometimes embelish their baroque performances, but this recording is an exeption: all feeling and no flashiness - both performers display a dazzling enthusiasm coupled with immense talent. The opening track, Handel's Let the Bright Seraphim, is a brilliantly refreshing version of a very famous and often recorded piece that sets the tone for the whole CD. Other highlights include Handel's Eternal Source of Light Divine and Bach's Seufzer Tranen Kummer Not. Kathleen's voice is delicate and expressive and perfectly suited for this type of music, her technique may not be perfect, but her ability to convey feeling makes up for this minor drawback. Wynton in the ultimate trumpet virtuoso, both innovative and technically flawless, and you feel he could turn any piece of music into something worth listening. The repertoire is fabulous and you can hardly imagine two more complete performers for these masterpieces.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Baroque Perfection
    It is difficult to express in words the experience of hearing Kathleen Battle and Wynton Marsalis perform this brilliant and difficult pieces on this recording. Every single number on this recital of Baroque pieces for voice and trumpet is a wonder of energy and technical precision. Kathleen Battle's silvery voice is particularly fond of the Baroque repertoire. The extremely difficult arias and cantatas of this CD suit Battle's voice perfectly. The soprano shines with nimble coloratura, soaring high notes (up to brilliant C's and D's)and precise control of dynamics. Marsalis is a perfect partner for Battle, a true virtuoso capable of establishing an effective rapport with the vocal line. The ornamentation used by both artists is both tasteful and brilliant, always mindful that this music calls for both display and ensemble work. John Nelson, an accomplished Baroque conductor, conducts with his usual mastery the Orchestra of St. Luke's, an ensemble who brings excellent support to the work of the soloists. Among the highlights of the recording are Let the Bright Seraphim, with the brilliant trills of both Battle and Marsalis, the fours arias from Scarlatti's Arie con Tromba Sola, and above all, the two movements from Bach's Cantata No. 51 that close the program. These are perhaps the best interpretations of this cantata movements I have ever heard. An unique recording that proves what the term "virtuoso" really means. Highly recommended.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointed in NE USA
    Oh, well - what did I expect? Baroque just isn't Ms Battle's forte - I've heard her perform Mozart reasonably well, although she's a singer I just can't bear to watch - what with all the excessive mouthing and grimacing which I find extremely distracting - I hope this recording never comes out on DVD! Wynton Marsalis, on the other hand is on top form, as usual - what a performer! I'm surprised he has time to play this type of music, what with him being so busy saving Jazz from extinction 'n all - whew! what a guy!

    2-0 out of 5 stars One Annoying Battle, One Great Talent
    As a lover of Baroque music, I was looking forward immensely to hearing this cd, but what a disapointment it turned out to be!

    Kathleen Battle is just not suited to the baroque repetoire, and having heard her sing on this cd, it is difficult to know what repetoire, if any, would suit her! She is technically okay, but imbues all her singing with a coldness that would chill the devil himself! Her voice is too light and too boring and I found it impossible to sit through the whole cd in one go. Whilst other opera singers can combine emotional intensity, colaratura pyrotechnics and technical brilliance, Ms Battle only manages to bore the listener with her ramblings, her colaratura sounding more like warbling than actual singing, whilst after a few arias, her voice becomes intensely annoying due to its lack of variation.

    Thankfully, Kathleen battle is not as popular in Britain as she appears to be in the USA, and on the evidence of this cd, I cannot see that changing any time soon.

    The only reason why I gave this review 2 stars is because of the playing of Wynton Marsalis, which is outstanding, especially next to the mediocrity of Kathleen Battle.

    My money may have been wasted in purchasing this cd, but at least I now have an extra drinks coaster onto which I can place my cup of coffee!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Blown Away!
    What a spectacular event! A collaboration made in Heaven!
    Battle & Marsalis literally do the impossible here! Play it
    on the way to work - it will energize your whole day! ... Read more


    9. Roberto Alagna & Angela Gheorghiu - Duets & Arias
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $16.98
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    Asin: B000002RWA
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 8968
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A musical marriage made in heaven!
    In the early 1990s I began following the careers of two immensely talented young singers then on the verge of international stardom. The French tenor Roberto Alagna wowed Covent Garden audiences as Romeo and Rodolfo, and had received rave reviews throughout Europe. The splendid Mimi of Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu enlivened an otherwise lackluster 1994 Metropolitan Opera broadcast, and an astounding triumph at Covent Garden as Violetta followed. I had often longed for these two splendid young artists to sing together, and I got my wish in spades when it was publicly announced that they were madly in love - this disc was recorded 6 months before and released in the U.S. 4 days before their real-life marriage. While I and many opera fans are hopeless romantics who are delighted by such things, what really matters is that their VOICES are married. Let's just say that I have heard other singers who are either married or otherwise romantically involved who do not have nearly the rapport that these two people do. They are supremely sensitive to and supportive of each other's artistry and even more importantly, are ultimately the servants of the composer.

    Alagna's sweet, warm, earthy tenor and Gheorghiu's velvety, starlit soprano blend so perfectly that it often seems one voice is coming out of two mouths. Nowhere is this more true than on the triumph of the disc, 'Nuit d'ivresse' from Hector Berlioz's 'Les Troyens'. This is a good candidate for the best joint recording they have ever made and is certainly their best individual duet recording. While it is usually sung by a tenor with a heavier voice and a mezzo-soprano, the sheer lyricism of their voices renders this music utterly ravishing - I have never heard this piece sung more beautifully. And how many typical operatic 'love duet' albums would include something this rare? Their 'one voice' quality is also evident in 'Tornami a dir' from 'Don Pasquale', a triumph of heady sweetness, and again, not exactly standard fare. Throughout these selections, and indeed the entire album, we hear superb dynamic sensitivity and gorgeous pianissimo singing, and everything is sung with such dramatic intensity and immersion in character that you think you're hearing a live performance and not a recording. About the only quibble I have is that Alagna's diction in both French and Italian is so perfect that Gheorghiu's comes up a bit short by comparison.

    The Cherry Duet from 'L'Amico Fritz' which begins the album is full of sweet affection and wistfulness. In the Saint Sulpice scene from 'Manon', Gheorghiu is irresistibly seductive and tender and Alagna believably torn between Des Grieux's pain at Manon's betrayal and his love for her. Some may actually prefer this version of the duet to the slightly more 'verismo' and less subtle rendition of their complete recording under Antonio Pappano. The Garden Scene from 'Faust', albeit not quite as intense as in their recent Metropolitan Opera performances, is still a triumph of French style, sensitivity, and drama, again with absolutely gorgeous pianissimo singing, this time at 'Eternelle!'. This should be no surprise to anyone who has heard them sing 'Romeo et Juliette'. And, of course, these masters of Gounod's version of 'Romeo and Juliet' also make something special of Bernstein's. I don't believe I've ever heard 'Tonight' more beautifully and musically sung - and as Gheorghiu pointed out in an interview, this is not 'easy' music to sing. The only problem here is that 'West Side Story' is more about Anglo/Puerto Rican culture clash than about family feuds, and so it hurts somewhat that the singers have the wrong (and more importantly, too similar) accents. Nevertheless, their English is clear and understandable, and as usual they mean every word they sing. The disc concludes with a radiant 'O soave fanciulla', where Rodolfo's and Mimi's romance is off to a tender and teasing start.

    In addition to the six duets, each singer has two solo arias. Alagna's first is a splendid 'Ah, fuyez douce image', where he not only begins the aria pianissimo, but he makes more of the words than just about any tenor since Georges Thill. He follows this with a rollicking version of Paris' Entrance from 'La Belle Helene'. While not even Alagna can negotiate the B flat octave leaps with the ease of Jussi Bjorling (in his unsurpassable 1938 Swedish-language recording), he has the considerable advantage of native French speech, and a far better appreciation of the piece's humor. Gheorghiu has surpassed her two solo selections since making this recording - the 'Al dolce guidami' on her 'Casta Diva' bel canto disc and the 'Depuis le jour' on her live Covent Garden recital - but these versions demonstrate her ravishing top, command of legato, and extraordinary emotional expressivity.

    Richard Armstrong (the music director of the Scottish Opera, who also conducted Alagna's solo debut album) is with his singers all the way and he has the Covent Garden Orchestra play gorgeously . In particular, his molding of the orchestral line and color in the Berlioz is very impressive. Excellent documentation, with full texts and translations, by British vocal collector John Steane. Although this is focused (as it should be) on the music rather than the singers, there is also brief biographical information on both Alagna and Gheorghiu, which none of their subsequent EMI CDs have had.

    In short this album is a triumph from beginning to end and an absolute must for any lover of the human voice, absolutely giving lie to the common whine of 'all the great singers are gone forever'. Of course, you'll also have to buy Alagna's and Gheorghiu's complete opera recordings, their equally stunning Verdi duets CD, and too many individual solo albums to count. Almost anything either of these splendid artists do, separately or together, is worth buying and devouring. They're a Golden Age all by themselves!

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Nice Collection, But Something's Missing
    Since Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu are opera's favorite lovebirds, and real life husband and wife, it is not inconceivable that EMI would release a disk of arias and duets featuring the couple. The disk is reasonably good. It has the standard duets such as "O Soave Fanciulla" from LA BOHEME and "The Cherry Duet" from L'AMICO FRITZ as well as a few lesser known pieces that make the disk interesting. The Broadway stage is also included in a duet from Leonard Bernstein's WEST SIDE STORY. As beautiful as Bernstein's music is, it somehow does not fit in this recording. The two do a reasonably good job, both as soloists and together, but the disk lacks power. The two fail to generate the energy on this disk that the two seem to have on television and in video performances. Their acting abilities surpass many "Golden Age" stars, but their music, while technically good, fails to generate the same excitement as a Corelli--Price, Pavarotti--Freni, or a Callas--Di Stefano pairing would generate. None-the-less, the recording is not bad, and it will certainly be pleasing to fans of the two.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfection
    This is lovely from beginning to end. These two singers really know how to put together a recital CD. It's always satisfying no matter how often I listen to it. The selections they sing are well suited to their voices. It's a pleasure. I can't recommend this CD enough. It's truly a shared program with neither one overwhelming the other. They each get their solo turns and the duets are wonderful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's a Lovely, Lovely duet!
    This duets disc is very pleasant. I have heard of many duet disc in which Tenor and Soprano sing, and I'm tired of hearing such a disc. But this disc is cheerful. it seemed to me they are very happy to record this one. Arias and duets recorded here are chosen well. (But I hope they should have recorded more because there is a little room to record...)French, Italian, and American (Bernstein's "West Side Story".) arias are suited well to their voices. Speaking of "Tonight" from "West Side Story", I prefer this one to Kiri Te Kanawa and Jose Carrelas' version. (Because the latter couple is not suited well...why do Kiri want to record many Musical such as "My Fair Lady" and "South Pacific"? Her Eliza is the awful one I've ever heard.) Their English is so-so. In Italian and French, they do a good job. I hope they will record unknown Italian or French operas...I recommend it highly because this album is pleasant to hear. I always love to hear it. But this linernote is bad. I wanted to know more about these artists...and there are few pictures on it. However, this is worth buying to hear lovely duets. Speaking of arias, I don't know why they record the except from "Anna Borena". It doesn't work.

    Highly Recommend! ... Read more


    10. Mozart Arias
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B000003FD2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 31526
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Vox Quasthoff, vox Dei
    This cd is excellent. I had never liked opera. I'm not really into classical music, but Thomas Quasthoff's voice transcends all genres of music and touches the soul. It is the most amazing voice, I don't have the words to describe. You have to hear it for yourself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A true revelation!
    It is a triumph of spirit, talent, and a testimony that art truly has magical powers. To opera fans impressed so far only by Thomas Quasthoff's gorgeous voice, I want to recommend an article by Elizabeth Gleick in Time magazine published June 30 1997. This article was the first in the US, I believe, to alert the public that a singer of phenomenal magnitude has arrived. Without going into the odds that Thomas Quasthoff beat with seeming ease, let's just say that here we have an incredible personality and, as a result, an incredible artistry. Do not miss this CD -- it will bring you endless wonder and delight.

    From the first listen, it is apparent that no vocal challenges present any difficulty to Quasthoff; with his impeccable technique he makes Mozart's notoriously difficult, coloratura-laden arias seem as natural as skirt-chasing for Don Giovanni. My favorite has to be "Rivilgete a lui lo squardo", a rare aria, sometimes included in Cosi fan Tutte. Quasthoff hits all the high notes with such accuracy, it's only more staggering to hear him sing Sorastro right in the next track. The power of his voice is astonishing; this is the kind of voice suitable for Dutchman or Don Quixote (both Massenet's and Ravel's). But just when you think you understand the way it is set up, he delivers the most charming account of Papageno, a role usually reserved by light, high baritones. I am fantasizing about hearing him in Verdian roles, what a treat it would be to hear his Simon Boccanegra!

    It is all but impossible to describe Thomas Quasthoff's phenomenal artistry in a couple of short paragraphs. I predict numerous books and articles will appear soon, although to even get a glimpse of understanding we first need to listen to his recordings. This one is not to be missed for anything!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Quasthoff...unequivically a master of the voice
    For baritones anywhere, Thomas Quasthoff's Mozart CD is a "must-have" in the collection. His voice rivals those of Fischer-Dieskau, Hampson, Van Dam, and other opera greats. I can't say much else than the person from Texas, other than the fact that it is hard to believe that such a wonderful, rich, warm tone comes from the small frame of this man. As a baritone myself, I can only hope with more years of practice and maturity, that I shall be producing this quality of voice. One last note to make... Shame, shame on Amazon for yet again not giving people a good sample of his work on this CD, and just having samples of the first 5 tracks, instead of a glimpse into the different operas. Either way though, one can still hear Quasthoff's magnificent overtones and phrases, making this CD a joy to hear and own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Consummate artistry by a remarkable performer
    A recent Wall Street Journal article outlined Quasthoff's remarkable story. But his artistry stands apart from the circumstances of his life. His technique, tone, and treatment of these familiar masterpieces is impeccable. This is a listening experience which should not be missed by any lover of the Mozart repertoire. ... Read more


    11. Jewel Song ~ 20 Great Soprano Arias / Crespin, Freni, Te Kanawa, Sutherland, Jo, Tebaldi, Cotrubas, Caballé, Cerquetti...
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000024581
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 17813
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very Nice
    As a big fan of the many "Top such and such sopranos" type CDs, I found this to be one of the best yet. It exemplifies the highlights of each sopranos career...and leaves you with a great impression of them all.

    Also, the CD is quite enjoyable, for it varies from heavy, matured sopranos..to those younger, more glittering and creamy. I found this to truly be money well spent, for it a wonderful addition to my "opera hits" collection. One point off for the rather stereotypical selection fo arias and such ...otherwise...Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great CD!
    If your a fan of Sumi-Jo, this is a must get! I recently bought one of her earlier CDs - you can tell that she's learned more and matured more in this CD. She has a great variety of singing that she uses in this CD and does a great job with many of her songs ... There's only 1 or 2 tracks that I really don't like that much - but other then that, it's awesome! Sumi-Jo at her best once again =) ... Read more


    12. Urban Arias
    list price: $14.99
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B00012FN90
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 17115
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Album Description

    Mia Miata's Urban Arias - Offers a rich blend of Jazz & Neo Soul cultivating a new sound, "Jazzy Soul".Featuring: "Pulse to the World" and "Music Is" ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars JAZZY SOUL
    This was definately a jazzy soul cd. All of the songs has a very special meaning to them. Mia Miata has a striking voice that makes you stop and listen. You have to hear it all in order to appreciate it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sleeper
    This is one of the most underrated Soul albums I have heard. Mia Miata delivers a unique vibrant sound like no other.Her projection and delivery sound far beyond the limits of a new artist as takes soul music to a new height.I love this masterpiece.Mia Miata do your thing...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional talent!
    What has your soul music done for you lately? I hope it continues to enhance your drive and zest for life. Mia Miata's "Urban Arias" duly compliments the cherished intangibles of love, freedom, and expression. The album is a gem replete with expert production and deep lyrical prose. I caught Mia's vibe while cruising one day and listening to XM Satellite Radio. The track "Music Is" immediately garnered my attention and I began my quest to find out more about this talented woman. She hails from Baltimore, MD and is part of music label Tha Corporation. (Kendall Leonard is also on this label!) Mia's vocals are powerful and through her music, she presents with grace and aplomb. If your soul collection is in need of upgrading then don't sleep on Urban Arias. Sample the sound samples and take note of the reviews. The word about Mia is spreading and her vibe is a timeless treasure. Here at the DJ Consortium offices, this cd is on "heavy rotation." -One- DJ Come of Age

    5-0 out of 5 stars New Music Revolution
    I deeply appreciate this CD. She has a true unique sound that allows you to flow thru the universe with her. With all 16 tracks her beatiful voice range takes you to all limits.
    I Love It!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Center of American City Life
    Mia's music exalts the hope and caring that is always present, but is very rarely depicted in American pop-culture. Musically, the tracks blend smooth jazz with spiritual traditions. Although the music builds on sounds of past artist, there is a unique freshness in the sincerity of Mia's lyrics and voice.

    This is the kind of CD that will grow on you --- getting better with each spin. ... Read more


    13. Verdi Arias I
    list price: $10.98
    our price: $10.98
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    Asin: B000002S9Z
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 58662
    Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    Of all Maria Callas's recital discs, these 1958 discs best capture the full range of her interpretive genius. She tosses off "Ernani, involami" with tremendous elan, and brings similar intensity to "Anch'io dischiuso" from Nabucco. The heart of this collection, though, is found in the Macbeth excerpts. Every note, every word of the Sleepwalking Scene is charged with specificity and emotional purpose, while honoring Verdi's careful phrasing and dynamic markings to a proverbial "T". The mood couldn't be darker and more despairing, yet the clarity and truth of Callas's singing shines like the sun. A disc that will never get old. --Jed Distler ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars TOTALLY UNSURPASSED!!!
    1958, an excellent year for the voice of Callas. Ultimate interpretive maturity and the voice still having all of its possibilities.
    In this recital which will remain Classic as long as people listen to music, Callas tackles some of the darkest and heaviest arias ever written. Indeed the ultimate gem of this CD is Lady Macbeth's Scena della Sonnambulismo, where the tortured soul of the murderess tries to wash off her hand an imaginary spot of Blood... Callas begins "una macchia..." sounding distant and distracted, in the word "maledetta" cursing the blood stain she wakes up for a second and then goes back to the Endless fight with the Horrible Herinyas the Goddesses of Guilt... The low region of her voice is used here with incomparable art... the high notes are also easy and expressive... her voice is dark, almost manly as Verdi had demanded in his instructions (it should be noted that Toscanini had never conducted Macbeth because he had never found the proper Lady whom he did find in the face of Callas... unfortunately the Macbethian "Curse" prevented the 2 geniuses from collaborating on stage). At the end Callas reaches one of her most glorious notes she ever sang... a high pianissimo D, sung with some kind of totally Unexplained Internal Echo created not only by her vocal chords but using her entire body as a "resonator"... just compare it to her high D at the end of "Quanto cielo" in Madama Butterfly and you will realize how different the same note can be heard from the voice of Callas, an ultimate example of vocal coloring and singing versality. With that note we hear the tortured Soul of Lady Macbeth leaving her body, transfixed somewhere between life and death (somehow resembling Isolde's F at the end of Liebestod). This is the singing of a Genius!

    Then La luce langue... all the darkness in the world concentrated into simple phrases that bring shivers down your spine... I have heard La luce by Dramatic Goddesses like Nilsson and Varnay... before Callas even the Desperate High Drama of Astrid Varnay seems pale... Hear Callas saying: nuovo delitto... e necesario... and be frightened...

    Then comes Abigaile... not to mention the perfect two-octave leap from high C to low C 2 octaves below... Truly the reincarnation of Abigaile before our eyes... yes eyes cause it is as if you see Callas before you each time you hear her sing...

    This compilation is one of the greatest recordings of Callas ever and totally unsurpassed in terms of her Lady and her Elisabetta from Don Carlos.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Callas - The greatest Verdian voice!
    Callas sounds like Verdi described his Lady Macbeth in his famous letter, but she doesn't sound ugly... It's the beauty of an inferno that makes her Lady Macbeth so unforgettable... The fire of her Abigaille, the tenderness of her most exquisite Elisabetta... Rysanek was far too Straussian and Wagnerian in her approach to Verdi (E.G. her Desdemona and Lady Macbeth) plus she lacks Callas' fantastic coloratura and pacing. Buy this, the greatest Verdi-Recital ever recorded! Also, look for Caballe's recordings of early Verdi-Arias and you'll be in heaven!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I concur
    This is a great recital of Verdi soprano arias. Callas sings really well, though some of her high notes are iffy, and her dramatic commitment is never in doubt. I want to point out that Fiorenza Cossotto sings all of the fioratura and trills that Verdi wrote for Lady Macbeth. Anyone with ears who listens to her "Macbeth" recording would know this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing recital
    I absolutely adore this recital. I love Rysanek and others too. Esp. Caballe's "Verdi rarities" is stunning as well. But to deny that this is one of the best recital disks ever made is plain ignorance. But what can you expect from a basher? Why can't he be our guide when it comes to his favourites instead of bashing Callas? He's no better than that traitor, Brutus. Hides a knife under his clothes and stabs his victim in the back! For shame! Callas, Sills, Caballe, Sutherland and Nilsson would be ashamed if they read this. You can see the tragic extremes of venom here. It's sad...

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best Verdi-Recital ever.
    Period. It's a must for every opera-collection. Even the notorious Callas-Basher gave it even three stars! Whoa! Callas rules as Lady Macbeth! BASTA! ... Read more


    14. La Domoiselle elue/Opera Arias
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $11.98
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    Asin: B0000029YH
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 60657
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Even if she wasn't game enough to wear a Columbia record in her hair (as pictured on thecover), Bidu Sayao had a voice that could make you forget Kathleen Battle. This Brazilian soubrette of the1940s was as vocally lusterous and far more versatile, taking on heavier roles such as La Traviataand even an aria from Madame Butterfly with a gracious sense of style, passionate sense ofcharacter, well-placed high notes and an endearingly fallable coloratura technique. She's most at home inMarriage of Figaro arias from several different characters, but the sheer force of her personalitycarries her through the heavier stuff. Great sound for its time.--David Patrick Stearns ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars 1940's Gem
    I have loved her voice since 1981 when I destroyed a Bidu Sayoa LP "French Songs and Arias" listening to it repeat for hours (Guess I could make a hat out of that record now).
    I cannot add anything original to previous comments lauding her silvery tone or elegant. intelligent, brave, sophisticated, subtle, balanced sense of style. Emotion and control!
    I would not normally have chosen a recording of the Debussy piece with its chorus and orchestration but am won over after several listens. I find her "Un bel di vedremo" refreshing and satisfying.
    The liner notes insightfully outline her career; translated lyrics, for the Debussy piece at least, would have been welcome. Great sound quality with notes on sound transference technique from LP to CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great singing by a legendary singer
    This is a great CD by the lengendary Brazilian soprano, Bidu Sayao. A better performance of the Debussy does not exist even though it was recorded about 50 years ago. Sayao has not been surpassed. Also, the Mozart arias are a special treat as are the Bellini, Verdi, and Puccini. Sayao was a wonderful artist and very unique in her interpretations. This CD offers great singing and should be acquired by record collectors who value sensitivity, style, and voice qualities above and beyond the superficial. The tragedy is that Sayao was not recorded as frequently as she deserved -so what we have are limited treasures.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great artistry, voice and style--the CD is a treasure
    Sayao --with a multi-colored voice of silver proved to be a great singer of Debussy--too bad they did not record her Melisande or Sayao in the extensive French song literature-or early baroque Italian songs-only 6 beautiful renditions of Mozart--Why not more?The most touching Violetta --not only deeply expressive but with great technique--Her Bellini and Puccini are in the same league--why wasn't she recorded more? Recording executives missed the opportunity to preserve more fully one of most wonderful vocalists of the 20th century-- Her one recorded operatic role was recorded when she was not well --reported to have had a cold

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cool name, great singing
    How can you resist someone whose name is "Bidu"? Don't bother trying: listen to this CD and you'll hear the same warmth and sensitivity that enchanted listeners half a century ago. It's hard to believe that these recordings date from the 1940's, since the mono sound is full and there's hardly any surface noise. Sony deserves high praise for a wonderful remastering job, as well as beautiful packaging and good notes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Recording of Early Debussy Work
    This is sheer delight. For an evening of complete sensory pleasure, read the Rosetti poem, let a Godiva chocolate melt in you mouth, look at the Pre-Raphaelite painting, sip some sweet sparkling wine, and listen to this recording(lying down, of course). ... Read more


    15. Olga Borodina - Arias
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $16.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000041KL
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 104693
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Greatest Voice of our Time
    This recording shows Borodina at her most marvelous - so far - and she IS marvelous. Her technique is superb, with a range of notes, volumes, timbres, even vibratos which she uses with amazing skill to bring her characters and every word they sing to life. Her empathy with the audience and with the roles she plays comes across even on this CD, so no one can doubt her great ability as an actress as well as her phenomenal voice which is rich, solid, and full. The instrument is well trained and conditioned and Borodina uses it more skillfully than most. What a great treasure this CD is!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
    As my first experience with the voice of Olga Borodina, I must say that I am impressed. Her voice is sumptuous and seductive. I have not experienced Olga live, but I am sure that for one who has heard her on the stage, a recording does not do her justice. I must say, however, that I think this is a beautiful recording. Olga's voice is amazing, and I can only imagine how she must sound in a live concert if she sounds this good on a recording.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing -
    I was really thrilled by Olga Borodina when I heard her in the concert hall (as Marfa in Khovanschina, then as Amneris in Aida) and her contributions to a lot of the recording of Russian operas with the Mariinski under Ghergiev, or to Haitink's Don Carlo have justly been encensed by many. I therefore bought this CD, Borodina's first opera arias "collection", without a second of hesitation... and I have to say I am quite disappointed. Of course, the voice is here : large, sumptuous, sensual, but there is not much characterisation and involvement. Could this be due to the lack of stage experience in the many roles she approaches in this recital ? I am still happy to own it for her glorious Dalila in the 3 excepts of "Samson..." and for the 2 Tchaikovski numbers, but I tend to skip the other tracks... and am waiting for another aria collection CD that would do better justice to this wonderful singer. ... Read more


    16. Bryn Terfel - Opera Arias / MET, Levine
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $16.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000001GP8
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 31913
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (10)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Magnificent
    As a fellow bass-baritone, I was too busy trying to emulate and capture the exquisiteness of his technique the moment after I heard his CD to actually rate it for anyone else who wanted to know what I felt! When I first heard the incomparable Sam Ramey in high school, I was awestruck at the possibilities of excellence that lay before me in a future career. When I first heard this CD by Bryn Terfel, who does some of Sam's rep almost as good, I was awestruck by the responsibility of excellence that lay before me as an adult professional. After seeing him perform several times and being driven to happy laughter at his tremendous characterization of Leporello in DON GIOVANNI, I am all the more satisfied by this master class he gives all of us, disguised as a magnificent recital of arias.

    Bryn inspires you to run into a practice room before you even find the words to say how good he is. The Mozart is tremendously enteratining- and yes, the Wagner is flawless. Definitely worth owning.

    5-0 out of 5 stars awesome..
    this is an awesome cd. if you're a fan of Bryn Terfel, you should buy this. you'll enjoy every song in this cd. I also recommend his recital dvd.

    ps) don't listen to what the guy under my review said. i don't think this person knows how to sing.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Why do people think this guy can SING???
    It baffles me that people think that Bryn Terfel is a great singer. It sounds like he is SINGING HOLDING HIS NOSE CLOSED. Absolutely AWFUL. Just because you can sing LOUD and POWERFUL does NOT mean you are GOOD. I would rather listen to my dishwasher running than this stuff!! The TONE of the voice is what matters to MOST people, and this guy doesn't have it. If you want to hear a beautiful voice, do yourself a favor and go buy Josh Groban's new CD, Closer. You won't regret it!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the all-time great aria albums
    Bryn Terfel's "Opera Arias" is great from start to finish. It displays not only Terfel's glorious bass-baritone voice (with a lovely mezza-voce -- just listen to his seductive "Deh, vieni alla finestra"!), but also his musicality and expressiveness.
    Terfel was smart in his choice of arias; each one suits his voice and temperament ideally. The Mozart sequence is perfection. The Dutchman's monologue is amazing. The aria from PRINCE IGOR is magnificent. The "Song to the Evening Star" from TANNHAUSER is greatness itself. I was most surprised, though, by the excellent bel canto renditions (from DON PASQUALE and LA CENERENTOLA), as Terfel is not usually associated with this repertoire. He should definitely perform Don Magnifico in CENERENTOLA onstage someday. Please, do yourself a favor and buy Bryn Terfel's "Opera Arias."

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great variety of Arias to listen to.
    Bryn Terfel has an excellent emotionally engaging voice. All these songs are from standard operatic repertoire and he sounds great on all of them. ... Read more


    17. Mario Lanza ~ Opera Arias & Duets, from Andréa Chenier · La Bohème · I Pagliacci · Madama Butterfly · Otello
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000JMH3
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 16582
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (20)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, should be given a rating of 10 stars
    This CD is truly one that everyone who loves the tenor voice whether it is singing pop, operetta, or opera, must add to their collection. Some of the arias such as the Andre Chenier aria "Come un bel di di maggio," plus Giordano's "Amor ti vieta," Leoncavallo's "Un tal gioco, credetemi" and Cilea's "Lamento di Federico" are exquisite. Another highlight, the duet from Madama Butterfly, "Stolta paura, l'amor," with Mario Lanza and Elaine Malbin.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Lanza Legend: Fact and Fiction
    Being that tomorrow, January 31st, would've marked the 80th birthday of Mario Lanza, I feel it fitting that this particular CD serve as a way of finally settling fact from fiction in understanding the Lanza legacy. First, Lanza was (in fact) initially a tenor on his way to possibly doing great things within the opera world before making his first film in 1949. In fact, the NY Metroplitan and SF Opera both showed enormous interest in trying to secure this vocal phenomenon when he was still in his twenties. Lanza also received vocal coaching from legends such as Enrico Rossati and Giacomo Spadoni. Even Toscanini was to have proclaimed Lanza's natural voice perhaps one of the greatest of the 20th Century! More interesting is the fact that anyone who heard or saw Lanza record or perform "in person" all insisted that his natural vocal ability was second to none - even establised tenors. Many of today's best tenors are still in awe of Lanza's God-given ability, not to mention the legendary, unmatched power of his enormous voice. If the selections on this CD prove anything, they prove that whatever Lanza lacked technically, he more than made for in the dynamics, diction, timbre, power and excitement of his interpretations of these classic arias. They also prove that Lanza was an original tenor who copied no one who came before him. Perhaps this is why nearly all of the greatest tenors since his death have all cited his legendary career as the reason they decided to perform opera!

    4-0 out of 5 stars BMG Needs to hire Folks in the Know
    There are several cuts on this CD that Lnaza did in fact record much better at other times. I have all his records LPs, 78s and movies and I wish BMG would consult a Lanza fan,or me,for the cuts would make the perfect CD. I think its great that we have such a wonderful collection of recordings of Lanza and this one warts and all is still one of the best. The best Lanza set was the RCA LP 2 record set put out in the 70s with Lanza on the cover in M. Butterfly. Where oh where can it be??? Long live Mario Lanza!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mario Lanza WAS a trained opera singer
    To the reviewer from Michigan who said Mario never performed an opera on stage, you are wrong. He did two performances as Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly before going off to Hollywood.

    Mario had extensive operatic training from some top teachers. He was sought after by many opera companies, including the Met in New York.

    It is true that some of Mario's recordings are not as good as others. He did various versions of much of his material, both live and studio, so of course you will find some you prefer to others. But the beauty, power and expressiveness of his voice is unmatched by any tenor I have ever heard.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mario WAS a trained opera singer
    To the reviewer from Michigan who said Mario never performed an opera on stage, you are wrong. He did two performances of Madame Butterfly as Pinkerton before going off to Hollywood. He was sought after by many opera companies, including the NY Metropolitan Opera. He had extensive vocal training for years, and had some top teachers. The great conductor Toscanni said "There is no doubt, this is the greatest voice of the 20th century" Toscanni worked with the great Caruso, by the way.

    Yes, some of Mario's recordings are not as good as others, and there are several recorded versions of some of his material, both live and studio, which are superior to others.

    But the sheer beauty and power of Mario's voice is unmatched, in my opion, by any other tenor I have ever heard. ... Read more


    18. Roberto Alagna - Opera Arias
    list price: $16.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000002RVI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 180148
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Still my Favourite.
    I bought this 6yrs ago,and still adore it,true its studio enhanced,what hits you is the perfect silvery timbre,that freshness,after so many dark italian voices.What astonishes you,is he has all their insticts,the one gripe,he seems to have a problem with making what is his, his own,if he finds that,THEN,THEN,THEN.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Exquisite Performance by Alagna
    This recording, the first recital disc by Roberto Alagna, presents a talented and musical tenor in a beautiful program of Italian and French operatic arias. The program is a delight from start to finish: Alagna's lyric tenor is very well suited for bel canto and French opera. The tenor is also an expressive artist. Among the highlights of the recording are Alagna's impassioned rendition of Edgardo's aria and the moving interpretation of Ela solita storia del pastore from L'Arlesiana. Alagna is also very much in his element, both idiomatically and vocally, in the French repertoire. If Alagna survives all the hype, he can be the succesor of Alfredo Kraus in the French tenor roles, specially Werther.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Tenor worth hearing
    While Alagna naturally sings with little musical integrity (due to his lack of formal training), here in this album, with the help of Richard Armstrong, he pulls off an excellent performance.

    Take for example his smooth "Fra poco a me recovero", or his heartfelt "Salut! tombeau sombre et silencieux" from "Romeo et Juliette". Alagna is definitely a tenor worth listening to, and while he may not always please a thinking audience with a subtle and unique performance, he at least makes a valid musical statement, and sings beautifully.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Alagna is a supreme tenor,one of this generation's best.
    This record is one of the finest I have heard in recent times. The sound recording, the orchestra, everything is terrific. Roberto Alagna's interpretations are perfectly executed and carefully delivered in each and every aria. The program is really enjoyable and projects a wide range of Alagna's artistry, the melancholic sentiments of "Tombe degl'avi miei", "E la solita storia (Lamento di Federico")and "Pourquoi me rèveiller", the beatiful romantic arias from Carmen and La Bohème, and between others, the heroic lines from act IV of Guillaume Tell, with really powerful and solid high C's. His is a lyric tenor that expresses dramatism without exceses, a beautiful and clean voice which shows perfect technique. It also comes with a liric booklet with translations of the arias, very useful for the listener so he (she)can catch the very essence of each aria. This record is a jewel!!! ... Read more


    19. Nelson Eddy: Operatic Arias and Concert Songs
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004WZTF
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 50677
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nelson Eddy's operatic recordings
    This CD contains all of Nelson Eddy's recordings of classical music. However, given that he recorded over 200 songs, this is a small amount of his recorded legacy. Also note that, other than the Mozart (Italian), the Strauss (German), and the last 4 selections in French, the rest of these selections were recorded in English, although Eddy could and did sing them in the original languages. Despite what the previous reviewer said, these recordings are not from "the early years", when Nelson Eddy was an opera singer. These recordings are from the 1940's. Nelson Eddy had performed in his last operas in 1935, and he was almost never associated with actual opera on film. He performed yearly in concerts, solely of classical repertoire, from before his national fame, until the early 1950's. He was a very popular radio performer in the 1930's and 1940's. He sang many more operatic pieces/classical songs on radio (usually in their original language) which he never recorded. I, for one, regret that he did not record more from his classical repertoire, because that essential part of appreciating his art is mostly gone forever. My point is, that these songs do not give a full sense of the wide range of Eddy's work in the non-popular areas of song.
    The liner notes are pretty good, although there are some errors in them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nelson Eddy : The Opera Years
    Ah Sweet Mystery. A trip back in time. Is there any music medium Nelson Eddy did not excel in? First opera, concerts, movies, radio, tv, nightclubs. He was the master of them all. This is a great introduction to the early years when he was opera's leading and most exciting baritone. ... Read more


    20. Bernstein: Arias & Barcarolles; Barber: School for Scandal Overture; Gershwin: American in Paris
    list price: $15.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000006X1
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 334614
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    Amazon.com

    Gerard Schwarz leads a scintillating performance of An American in Paris, especially admirable for the way it reveals orchestral detail that usually escapes notice. This version also contains three minutes of music that until now totally escaped notice because Gershwin cut them before the first performance. As heard here, they certainly don't weaken the piece. The playing is bold, colorful, and wonderfully crisp, and--as always when John Eargle is the engineer--it is captured in a recording of ideal spaciousness and high impact. --Ted Libbey ... Read more


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