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  • Bartoli, Cecilia
  • Battle, Kathleen
  • Bonney, Barbara
  • Caballe, Montserrat
  • Callas, Maria
  • Crespin, Regine
  • Eaglen, Jane
  • Ferrier, Kathleen
  • Flagstad, Kirsten
  • Freni, Mirella
  • Fleming, Renée
  • Gheorghiu, Angela
  • Horne, Marilyn
  • Janowitz, Gundula
  • Jones, Gwyneth
  • Kasarova, Vesselina
  • Kirkby, Emma
  • Larmore, Jennifer
  • Ludwig, Christa
  • McDonald, Audra
  • Milanov, Zinka
  • Modl, Martha
  • Nilsson, Birgit
  • Norman, Jessye
  • Otter, Anne Sophie von
  • Podles, Ewa
  • Ponselle, Rosa
  • Price, Leontyne
  • Sayao, Bidu
  • Scotto, Renata
  • Soderstrom, Elisabeth
  • Sutherland, Joan
  • Te Kanawa, Kiri
  • Troyanos, Tatiana
  • Upshaw, Dawn
  • Vishnevskaya, Galina
  • Von Stade, Frederica
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    $3.98 $2.28
    1. The Most Famous Opera Duets
    $22.99 $19.49 list($24.98)
    2. Ragtime - The Musical (1998 Original
    $13.99 $12.56 list($16.98)
    3. Renée Fleming - The Beautiful
    $10.99 $8.81 list($11.98)
    4. Bach for Babies: Fun and Games
    $34.99 $7.49 list($38.98)
    5. Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro
    $13.99 $12.01 list($17.98)
    6. Classic Wynton
    $11.98 $8.91
    7. "The Pearl Fishers" Duet
    $9.98 $8.04
    8. Mozart for Relaxation
    $10.98 $7.55
    9. Aria: A Passion for Opera
    $13.99 $12.55 list($16.98)
    10. Mozart - Mass in C minor / Te
    $7.98 $5.46
    11. Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy-My
    $30.49 $25.60 list($33.98)
    12. Verdi - Rigoletto / Sutherland,
    $14.99 $12.99 list($17.98)
    13. Annie (1999 Television Film)
    $18.99 $14.99 list($21.98)
    14. Verdi - La Traviata / Callas,
    $10.99 $9.58 list($11.98)
    15. Porgy & Bess: High Performance
    $14.99 $1.40 list($17.98)
    16. How Glory Goes
    $13.99 $10.99 list($16.98)
    17. Renée Fleming - I Want Magic!
    $13.99 $12.59 list($16.98)
    18. Renée Fleming - Signatures ~ Great
    $13.99 $12.56 list($16.98)
    19. Mozart: Coronation Mass - Exsultate,
    $10.99 $8.91 list($11.98)
    20. Amor--Opera's Great Love Songs

    1. The Most Famous Opera Duets
    list price: $3.98
    our price: $3.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000002SCA
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 859
    Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    This is a misnomer--not all of these duets are all that famous--but it's a fine compilation nonetheless. You'll hear selections from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers (Nicolai Gedda and Ernest Blanc at their most elegant French), Madama Butterfly (Carlo Bergonzi and Renata Scotto--an impassioned pair), Lucia di Lammermoor (a classy Alfredo Kraus and Edita Gruberova), the lovely Lakme duet, The Presentation of the Silver Rose from Der Rosenkavalier (with the earnest Christa Ludwig and the other-worldly Teresa Stich-Randall), and a fine Trovatore "Miserere" (with Leontyne Price and Franco Bonisolli singing up a storm). There are many others, too--a veritable cornucopia of couplings--and a treat for the opera lover. --Robert Levine ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Selection at a Great Price
    When it comes to opera artists, my motto is "The more Gedda, the bettah." You get a substantial amount of him at his best on this CD, which has a lot of great duets from a variety of operas. You have one of the most beautiful duets ever in my opinion as the first track on the CD(Bizet's aria about two friends in love with the same woman, "Au Fond du Temple Saint" from Les Pecheurs des Perles); this recording with Nicolai Gedda singing the tenor part of Nadir is the best one could ask for.

    The rest of the best include "Bei Mannern, welche Liebe" from Mozart's Die Zauberflote(a beautiful ode to the connection between men and women), and (not surprisingly), "O mimi, tu piu non torni" with Gedda and Sereni from La Boheme.

    Other notable arias include a nice recording of the famous "Sull'aria," from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, and an above par recording with Victoria de los Angeles and Carlo de Monte of "Un di, felici, eterea" from Verdi's La Traviata.

    This would be a great CD to start an opera collection. Enjoy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful introduction
    I bought this CD because wanted the "Lakme" duet that I heard in a movie. Little did I know the rest of the music would blow me away. This is an excellent intro to opera for people like myself that have never really been "into" opera. The selections are short, just a taste, and the price is unbelievable. I highly recommend this selection to anyone who wants to get their feet wet.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Blissful Collection of Arias
    As an avid opera fan, I was thrilled to find this CD. The duets are beautifully arranged and the sound is superb. I love to listen to this CD on a lazy afternoon, while laying in my bed. This music simply takes me away into my own little dreamworld. I also love the idea that there are 14 songs on this CD, which is great for the price. So sit back. Have a nice cup of tea and enjoy the opera.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful Collection
    This is a wonderful collection of duets. It has been said that not all of them are that famous, well, that is simply not so. They are all famous since the operas featured are all extremely well known and part of the standard repetoire of all opera houses, and perenial favorites in small opera companies because they draw the crowds. So, don't be deceived by the official Amazon review that gives the impression there are duets that are new and relatively unknown. You won't be getting anything you have not heard before, or that you are not familiar with.

    The recordings are all wonderful, and of course, are exerpts from complete recordings. If you find that you enjoyed these renditions (not all of them are the best representation of the opera from which they come, but they are all exceptional in quality) and are not familiar with the operas, go out and listen to them, you may be surprised with the quality of the music you expose yourself to. For those of us who have been listening to opera for a long time, make sure you don't have all this in our collection. If you buy it just reading the title, you may be frustrated discovering it is once again everything you already have, and in probably more than one rendition.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong with this CD
    I got this very reasonably priced cd just to have my favorite duets such as "Au Fond du Temple Saint" and "The Flower Duet. If you have friends who are just starting to like classical opera, this is a terrific little gift. Almost everyone melts at the sound of these duets. And it's convenient to have so many on one CD. A real winner. ... Read more

    2. Ragtime - The Musical (1998 Original Broadway Cast)
    list price: $24.98
    our price: $22.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000064XS
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3679
    Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

    The epic sweep of Ragtime is captured in its opening prologue, a nine-minute kaleidoscope of fictional characters mingling with historical figures from the early 20th century as originally captured in E.L. Doctorow's sprawling novel. As the story continues, we meet pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr. (Brian Stokes Mitchell) and his child's mother, Sarah (Audra McDonald), who has been taken in by a respectable family (including Marin Mazzie as Mother). Parallel story lines of the Latvian immigrant Tateh (Peter Friedman), the entertainer Evelyn Nesbit (Lynnette Perry), and even Harry Houdini (Jim Corti) and Emma Goldman (Judy Kaye) eventually mingle and merge. Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Once on This Island) mix marches, cakewalks, and of course ragtime to create a rich, compelling score, including Sarah's song to her baby, "Your Daddy's Son," her soaring duet with Coalhouse, "Wheels of a Dream," Mother's self-revealing "Back to Before," and numerous set pieces, all performed by a perfect cast. Ragtime was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 1998, with wins for McDonald, original score, book, and orchestration.The CD also includes an eight-minute symphonic suite conducted by Paul Gemignani and a booklet with photos, full lyrics, and a history of how the score was written. Tragic, touching, and ultimately triumphant, Ragtime is an American classic. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

    Reviews (140)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ragtime shows muiscal theater has a future!
    In a time when Sondheim is unfortunatly writing fewer musicals and Lloyd Webber tends to be dominating with his somewhat gratuitous "blockbusters," Ragtime is the glimmer of light through the hopes of the stages resonance. In this musical you have a show with a excellent melodius score and wonderfully resounding lyrics. This proves that the "classic" musical will still be around as longs as Stephen Flaherty is around to composer more music. This is a two cd set with full libretto and a top-notch original cast.

    Brian Stokes Mitchell, as Coalhouse Walker, gives a stunning versitile and energetic performance. Marin Mazzie, who is usually superb, soars higher then she ever has as Mother (Although with the revival of Kiss Me Katie now out, that might be a challenged comment). Audra McDonald sings and acts her way to a much deserved Tony. She takes her supporting role and makes it shine, while not distracting from Mr. Mitchell. Peter Friedman is superb in the role of the immigrant, Tateh. He brings such charm and inncocense to the role the listener falls into his grasp. These characters along with wonderful supporting characters help make this show one of the best to come along in nearly a decade.

    If you feel like the classic American musical is gone forever buy this cd and Im sure you will feel differently after the first listen. Every song is beautifully resonant of every culture and time period depicted in the show. Ragtime is, indeed, a dream come true.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Ragtime" Rules!!
    WOW! Is no wonder that the songwriting team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens won the Tony Award for Best Original Score! Always engaging, this soundtrack is a Broadway musical triumph with incedible and moving performances from Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marin Mazzie, and three time Tony winner Audra McDonald. From humerous tracks like "The Crime of the Century", "What a Game!", and "The Show Biz" to emotional tracks like "Your Daddy's Son", "Wheels of a Dream", and "Back to Before", I recommend this CD to any Broadway fan! "Ragtime" rules!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Show
    I think this show is amazing. Absolutely point blank amazing. I am in the show right now and I play the role of Sarah and I can't get enough of Audra McDonald. Amazing. What else can I say? And I am also writing in protest, because there is this extremely stupid person who writes negative reviews about every musical ever. I am very frustrated after hearing their opinion about Ragtime, Wicked, Le Miz, Little Shop, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Phantom of the Opera, Urinetown, Once on this Island, and a ton of others. Are you some kind of idiot? Wow you are rediculously dumb. Because honestly, you hate every show in existance. And really, why do you bother to review any of them? We know you hate everything ever written. What's the point. And really its amazing because I have never in my whole life met someone who hates as many of the greatest shows ever as you do. Next you're going to decide to hate Miss Saigon, The Sound of Music, Chicago, Cabaret, Parade, Songs for a New World, oh and wait, everything else EVER. I am very angry right now. VERY. You are the dumbest person that has ever existed and I would just like you to know that. As for everyone else reading this, ignore this person's reviews. Their opinion means absolutely nothing to almost everyone. I think 4 people found any of this person's 12 reviews helpful. REDICULOUS. And who are you exactly to be discussing anyone else's performance, since I doubt you have any talent and I really doubt you have been on broadway. And since you haven't...

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this CD and this show
    This CD was like the best thing I've heard in a while. IF you haven't heard it, go find it because you are missing out on something good. I've heard Audra McDonald sing "Daddy's Son" a billion times and I still get teary. That should tell you something about her performance. Some of Mother's work also makes me teary. I'm serious: GET THIS CD!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good also from experience...
    I was recently involved in a production of "Ragtime" at my community theater. It is not only one of the best shows we have ever done, it is also an amazing show within itself. I purchased this cd shortly after to get the chance to listen to every song with this cast. I am so amazed by the pure talent shown in every single song. Mind you, it's not one of the usual musicals. This one has more emotion and raw feelings involved, and doesn't have a happy show stopper ever 5 minutes. it does, on the other hand, have mind blowing songs that show the true talent of these performers. My personal favorites are "Wheels of a Dream", "Your Daddy's Son", "Til We Reach That Day", and "He Wanted to Say". I hope you buy this cd and go see the show, it's one of the best shows I have ever seen. ... Read more

    3. Renée Fleming - The Beautiful Voice ~ Gounod, Lehár, Orff, Puccini, Rachmaninov, Strauss
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000042I6
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1249
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

    This vocal recital certainly lives up to its title, perhaps too well. It's a collection of arias andsongs Fleming has sung for years that for some may be too much frosting and not enough cake. Surely, herperformances are rich with interpretive nuances, wonder-filled portamentos and word colorings that reflecta long history with this repertoire, which ranges from Charpentier's "Depuis le jour" toRachmaninoff's "Vocalise." Some may find Fleming a bit much, but agree with her or not, she'sfar more interesting than singers who keep a safe, discreet distance from the music. --David PatrickStearns ... Read more

    Reviews (39)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Oh, exactly "beautiful voive"
    I love this recording. I heard Renee Fleming's voice in television when I was 15-year-old. I thought she would be a great opera singer so I was looking foward to hearing her voice in disc someday. Now I can hear her voice at last!

    I'm very happy to listen to those songs. In every songs, her beautiful and enchanting voice is suited well. I think it's very natural that this album received the Grammy Award.

    So, I have three of my favorite singer. Julie Andrews, Cecilia Bartoli, and Renee Fleming.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A New Generation of Soprano
    Since many people feel the need to compare Renee Fleming to Dame Joan Sutherland I guess I will too. Both have big, full bodied voices, Sutherland's is rounder, Fleming's has much better projection. Both have a particularly fine vocal trill technique and considerable vocal range. Fleming has absolutley clear diction so that you har every word clearly, Sutherland sacrificed diction for tone to the point that most of the words weren't distinguishable. Both are magnificent musicians, Fleming has a tendency to be overly dramatic at points. When you add it all up these two sopranos are pretty much even. So if you approach this cd with the notion that Fleming can't compare to Sutherland you're really going to miss out on some beautiful music. Some tracks of particular note are a splendid rendition of Che il bel sogno di Doretta, Morgen, and Rachmaninov's Vocalise. Fleming's vibrato is very natural and not forced or overly wide. Fleming is already showing all of the characteristics of a mature vocalist. All in all, this is an essential cd to any music fan. Highest Recommendation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of those magical recordings
    You will love this CD. I heard a friend playing it and knew that I would have to get it some day. It is truly gorgeous.

    I am amazed by some of the reviewers who can dare to give this recording fewer than five stars. I know there are some opera perfectionists out there who can be fickle, but this recording is gorgeous. I'm willing to concede that Renee Fleming may not be the greatest opera singer the world has had in the last 100 years, but her voice is what the title says--beautiful. Fleming has worked hard to get where she is today and it shows. Jeffrey Tate seems to do a fine job, and he doesn't get in the way.

    Fleming sings each aria with flair, amazing presence, and musical integrity. Each aria showcases her voice, and yet is quite musically inspiring. "Chi il bel sogno" by Puccini and "Marietta's Lied" by Korngold (an oft-overlooked composer) are among my favorites. I also like the aria from Carmina Burana as well as the one from Manon. If you click on the Manon aria (Track 3) to listen online, you will be sold on the CD.

    If you don't know anything about opera, you will love this recording. If you are an opera fanatic--no matter who your "favorite" soprano is--you will be forced to admit the singing here deserves instant respect.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful voice in the world!!
    This woman sings and heaven opens up. A golden, pure voice and yet an artist, an artist working on her portrayals. Like all human beings she isn't perfect but every breath she records is filled with this incredible passion and emotion. Seeing her in several Strauss-operas was absolute heaven, what would I give for a video of "Der Rosenkavalier" with her as Marschallin! Mind you, I love Schwarzkopf and Jones in this role but, my god, Fleming would be heaven.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfection
    Fleming here gives some truly magnificent examples of singing.
    Her Sogno di Doretta is the best I have have ever heard. This aria devides the singers into 2 categories. Those who can sing the difficult part and those who omitt a note in it.
    I won't refer to the well known singers who omitt the very small note in the fioritura part, but I will mention that Fleming here does an exemplary reading of this aria plus with the best vocal colour I have heard for Doretta.
    Marietta's Lied is what we would call a super hit for Fleming. It is truly amazing how she sings this piece. You will play it again and again and again...

    One of Fleming's most magnificent creations is Manon... her sensual erotic voice and her perfect techinique has allowed her to become the Definitive Manon casting all other great Manons miles away. This is how a contemprorary singer can fight all the phantoms of the past and distinguish herself as the Best...

    Fleming posseses a God given voice (her trills are almost as accurate as Schwarzkopf's and MORE beautiful than Sutherland's)... we only hope she follows Beverly Sills' advice and sings Norma before it is too late for her voice. ... Read more

    4. Bach for Babies: Fun and Games for Budding Brains
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000IIYV
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3450
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Programmed similarly to the Beethoven for Babies collection, this set of Bach compositions runs the emotional gamut, from the gently eye opening to the jumpy arm raising, collecting each set of pieces under a thematic header. The first several selections ("Waking Up") feature solo piano works that come directly from Bach's more pedagogic works, compositions intended for students to use as exercises to loosen their touch. Played superbly by pianist Sviatoslav Richter, as well as the Romero brothers (Pepe and Celedonio) on warm guitar, these compositions urge the ear to open. And then you come the pieces gathered under the "Playtime" heading: jazz pianist John Lewis picks up a couple pieces, as do the folks in Canadian Brass. Then the mood shift heads back to the sleepyhead state with "Winding Down" and "And So to Bed," each of which slows the tempo and quiets the passion to a doze. This is a fine set of Bach works. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bach and Roll!
    You can't beat Bach. If classical music is the thing you want for your baby, get this CD. If you are single and have no kids, but classical music is your thing, get this CD. This is fantastic reading music, study music (regardless of what you're studying), and just plain relaxing music. I also highly recommend the CD, BUILD YOUR BABY'S BRAIN 1.

    4-0 out of 5 stars My daughter loves this CD
    She's one-year-old now, and she's been listening to this CD since she was 1 month old. Recommend it for those new parents that can't come up with any other way to lay their little ones to sleep.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Soothing
    Very soothing. Calms my baby everytime I play it! And yes, they actually do listen to music and enjoy it! I recommend this as an essential item for any new baby!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classical, Jazz and Opera Bach all in one
    This is a versatile collection in terms of composition, performance and layout. Comparing to most of CD with classical selections for baby, this edition is more nutritious and rich on musical experience. Genre wise, the piano solo, concerti, chamber and opera are all included. Performance wise, it is absolute a feast -- Sir Neville Marrier conducting Academy of St. Martin-in-the fields, Jazz Pianist John Lewis delivering the charming and uplifting variation, and Kiri Te Kanawa's heavenly creamy voice. The combination of these musicians and recordings is a decision with great artistic sensibility. The layout is perfectly arranged -- from the waking up, playtime and to the bed. This is not just another CD juggles some pieces together from a brandy composer. For a more serious editing of baby music, this shall be something as a guideline.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great for Big Babies too
    I'm a student and I like to listen to classical music while I'm studying and this is great for that. It's lively enough not to put you asleep, but soft enough that it doens't distract from what you're studying. Plus, it's long enough that you don't have to get up to change the CD every 5 minutes. ... Read more

    5. Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro
    list price: $38.98
    our price: $34.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000001GX8
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 8997
    Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The greatest "Figaro" of all time!
    There are countless recordings of an opera that is worthy of even more--but if you could only choose one, Boehm's would be it. First, the soloists: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as the Count, adds tremendous personality to the role, storming his way through the opera; Gundula Janowitz as the Countess has a voice so incredible, with perfect purity, that you hang on every note of "Porgi Amor" as if your life depended on it; Edith Mathis is a wonderful Susanna, and the Figaro of Hermann Prey, while perhaps not as funny as others, is exceedingly sly and nimble (which seems more important, since the music itself conveys the humor). Perhaps the most stunning voice on the set is the Cherubino of Tatiana Troyanos. She takes the two arias at a very slow pace, and her deep mezzo simply oozes with sensuality and yearning. But the greatest aspect of this recording is Boehm's pacing and his attention to detail. You discover so many beauties in this version which are difficult to hear in others. The entire recording is truly inspired: the performance at the end of Act I (Figaro's aria) has such energy and enthusiasm, you feel that Boehm has driven the orchestra and soloists to heights that are rarely captured in the studio.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Figaro that turned me on to Opera
    Like many newcomers to the Opera genre, after hearing "Sull'aria" in the film "Shawshank Redemption", I patiently watched the credits to find the exact origin of that unearthly recording - and found it to be 1968 Bohm's version. Without much hesitation, I bought this set, almost immediately afterwards, and listened to the whole 3 hours of it non-stop for several months. "Figaro" became, bar none, my ultimate favorite classical composition, all thanks to Bohm.

    To this day, I find no imperfections whatsoever with the performers or the conducting. It baffles me why anyone would find fault with Mathis' Susanna or Dieskau's Conte - they fit their roles to a tee. And the "extra" arias in act IV, in my mind are welcome additions, especially that of Marcellina, which is not only exquisitely beautiful, but also a thematic counterpart of Figaro's later diatribe about the opposite sex. Hermann Prey, Gundula Janowitz, and Tatiana Troyanos, are the living embodiments of Figaro, Contessa, and Cherubino. Never has Mozart's accent on the humanity of these characters been better expressed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The very best
    Karl Bohm knew how to conduct Mozart better than just about anyone else; his speeds were often slower than usual, which meant that the words in the operas were always clear, and his rhythmic resilience and attention to detail avoided any feeling of heaviness. The duet "Che soave zeffiretto" sounds more sensuous here than on any other recording. And on what other recording of "Figaro" are the plucked strings in "Voi che sapete" so noticeable? Bohm is helped by an exceptionally strong cast. The women, in particular, are glorious: Gundula Janowitz sings the difficult role of the Countess with incomparable purity, and she's ideally contrasted with Edith Mathis's Susanna. (Their voices blend wonderfully in their duet). Tatiana Troyanos is at her richest as Cherubino. The men aren't quite at this exalted level, but they acquit themselves well: Fischer-Dieskau's Count is much more strongly characterized than most, and Prey, if not the most ebullient of Figaros, sings with a satisfyingly warm, mellow sound. DG's sonics are, on the whole, first-rate. With an absolutely complete text, this is an essential purchase.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What joy!
    To keep it simple, this is THE Nozze di Figaro recording that humbles all others. The singers are at the top of their game and these are the best singers of the time to start with. The Deutsche Opera Orchestra played their hearts out for the man who was and still is the most incomparable Mozart conductor. Everything about this recording, including the engineers who captured the sound and the transfer guys who made sure it was edited and mastered correctly, all knew this was special. They have every right to take a bow, too. There are a just a few recordings that transcend the everyday and transport you to a different place and time. This is surely near the top of that short, wonderful list.

    5-0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST
    First of all Bohm is well known for the "perfection" of his performances. The tempi reach perfection and the crystal quality of the sound is obvious.

    Janowitz is undoubtedly the most beautiful vocally Countess ever. She uses her Angelical effect to deliver the Countess' arias so beautifuly you wont believe your ears by the way she sings them. She was after all the only true Angel of the 20th century. One expects from Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, the other Greatest Countess, only a deeper and more detailed characterization. Surely Schwarzkopf gave the interpretive perfection in the role but Janowitz also, is indeed not only a rival, but a true No1 in the role.

    Dieskau is the best Conte with his full, dark voice and that exceptional singing ability revealing the greatest Schooling he had received. Such a pity he never met in a studio with Schwarzkopf for Nozze.

    Troyanos has such a tremendously beautiful voice as Cherubino. So does Edith Mathis who sings the duetto with Janowitz as if the 2 of them came right down from heaven.

    The alternatives for this recording are: 1. The live Dieskau, Schwarzkopf, Seefried, Ludwig (!!! the best Cherubino ever) recording with good sound, 2. the studio Schwarzkopf, Taddei, Moffo recording and 3. the Karajan Schwarzkopf Seefried Jurinac one (one has to hear Schwarzkopf and Seefried in the duet and not be able to separate the two of them). ... Read more

    6. Classic Wynton
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000DI10
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4298
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Wynton Marsalis may not have an easily recognizable or even particularly handsome tone, but this erstwhile jazz trumpeter is an amazing virtuoso with a fine sense of classical style. If you've never owned/heard any of his classical CDs, and you love (mostly baroque) trumpet music, this compilation--a sort of "greatest hits"--is for you.From such cruddy, sensationalistic works as Carnival of Venice to the glories of Haydn's E-Flat Concerto, this is grand entertainment. Marsalis is joined by Kathleen Battle in an exciting version of Handel's "Let the bright seraphim," and the treat there is doubled. A fine piece by Hovhaness for trumpet and organ, never before released, is another surprise. Come listen to the endless, seemingly casual roulades that come out of this guy's trumpet--they'll wake you right up. --Robert Levine ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Too Much Fluff
    The trumpet-playing here is, as always with Marsalis, brilliant, but there's too much "trumpet lite" on this CD - classical elevator music, like the Masterpiece Theater theme. I recommend you get Marsalis' original releases if you'd like to hear great trumpet playing AND a disk full of interesting music. Here you get only one movement of the Haydn concerto, one movement of the Brandenburg, one movement of the Thomasi; the rest of the disk is filled, mostly, with simple, uninteresting D major wedding-music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent CD
    I have bought this Cd and I have found it shows the agility of the Player Wynton Marsalis. He has really hit the trumpet world hard (and I mean hard) I met him once and one thing I really noticed is that he always Strived for perfection in his music . when I was in the listening room with him for the Duke Ellington rehersal at Live from Licoln center I thought that it sounded Great, But he tried to aachive one step higher and he did. So I believe that if you really want to hear someone play the trumpet with an amazing tone, and great skill you should really get this CD. -Joe

    5-0 out of 5 stars Clear and Open Trumpet Solo Work
    Here the jazz trumpeter excellent shifts to classical numbers, and pulls them off with a vibrancy and clarity that makes for great listening enjoyment.

    Many, especially J. Clarke's are Processional type pieces, so they are royal and magnificent. Marsalis is very crisp and clean in his phrasing. His sound is crystal and sharp.

    Especially enjoyable is his work on J. Haydyn's Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major, which moves and showcases his allegro abilities.

    The delicacy emitted on the piece with soprano superb Battle is magnificent, a rendering of Handel's "Let the Bright Seraphim."

    Truly the versatility of this premier trumpeter pours forth for the near seventy minutes of this collection, from Vivaldi to Bach's Brandenburg, to Mozart to Bernstein's Rondo for Lifey.

    4-0 out of 5 stars the other side of the incomprable wynton marsalis
    I've been a fan a wynton for a few years and have the greatest respect for him. I am a college trumpet player who listens to a lot of different players and genres, but i find him to be my absolute favorite. This classic album has a great list of some of the most frequently performed classical works for trumpet ever. It has been very helpful for auditions and just plain entertaining.
    Also, he is incredible live! Check out his jazz.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Winton At His Best!
    This is Winton at his best I say. (I only heard one cd of his) I love his tone and the given songs. I picked the cd cause I play Trumpet. The first few songs weren't that great but towards the end it was the best he played. Never being out of tone. It is long. It has a perfect 20 songs. I haven't seen him better. ... Read more

    7. "The Pearl Fishers" Duet
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B000003ERE
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 35941
    Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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    This disc is essential for Jussi Bjoerling fans--doesn't that includealmost everyone?--and for anyone who wants a distinctive sampling fromrecorded opera's most eloquent age. Best are Bjoerling's duets with baritoneRobert Merrill--especially the classic "Au fond du temple saint" fromThe Pearl Fishers--and the scene with Renata Tebaldi, "Signore,ascolta; non piangere, Liu," from Turandot. Although the sound isvariable--and sometimes disappointingly, annoyingly glitch-ridden in theserecordings made between 1950 and 1959--the voice, the style, and the passionof the inimitable Bjoerling more than make up for it. --David Vernier ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most famous opera duet recording ever
    In January 1951, Jussi Björling - who posessed the most perfectly developed singing voice in history - recorded duets with the American baryton Robert Merrill. Although Björling had never sung the Pearlfishers duet before, his first and only recording of it became a landmark in the record-history. The free and completely unstrained notes that flows from his perfect instrument are without paralell. The beauty is breathtaking and his singing is divine throughout. Mr.Merrill has his share of the glory, but it is Björling who makes the experience sublime.
    In other duets like Don Carlo and Otello, he gives a lesson in dramatic singing to all dramatic tenors; del Monaco, Corelli, Domingo, Bergonzi et al. These classic duet recordings are mixed with later recordings when Björlings voice was darker, but his art and interpretation had developed even further. In the Nile scene from Aida, he sings so beautiful with Milanov that it is a sheer bliss from beginning to end.
    When or if RCA decides to make transfers of these fantastic recordings from the original mastertapes which will add to these recordings more beauty, fullness, clarity, dynamic range and vocal nuance, then they will be in every true music lovers cd-collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Recording of the Pearl Fishers' Duet, Hands Down!
    Jussi Bjorling is usually listed as one of the greatest tenors of all times, and is always thought to be a tenor who died too young. Fortunately we have quite a few recordings of his work, and this recording of excerpts is a great treasure. It contains duets and scenes from great operas and Bjorling is paired in the recordings with some of the greatest starts of his day including Robert Merrill, Renata Tebaldi, Zinka Milanov, and Lucia Albanese. Opera excerpts included in the recording are TURANDOT, THE PEARL FISHERS, AIDA, LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, LA BOHEME, OTELLO, MANON LESCAUT, DON CARLO, and TOSCA. While each excerpt is exceptional, and each person paired with Bjorling is a perfect match, the outstanding track on this recording has to be "Au Fond du Temple Saint" from THE PEARL FISHERS. Bjorling is paired with Robert Merrill and is considered by many to be the best recording of this work.

    It should be noted that this is an historical recording, and most of the pieces were recorded in the 1950's, so the sound quality is not the greatest, but given the talent on the disc, this is easily excused.

    5-0 out of 5 stars SINGING WITHOUT EQUAL
    What can one say about this album? To my ears, Jussi Bjoerling ranks as the greatest tenor who ever stood before a microphone. Robert Merrill was certainly the leading American baritone of his time. Their duets together, especially the famous one from "The Pearl Fishers" are models of their kind. Soprano Zinka Milanov, one of the great dramatic sopranos of the twentieth century, is heard with Bjoerling in the Act I duet from "Tosca", which is beautifully vocalized, and in the Tomb Scene from "Aida" (from the complete recording they made), which might well qualify as one of the most beautiful vocal documents ever preserved on records. The "Manon Lescaut" duet with Licia Albanese is exciting and pulsates with drama. Finally, the "Turandot" scene - in addition to Bjoerling, features the sublime Tebaldi in her most creamy vocal estate. To go into great detail about ANY of the items on this recording is very difficult. It is far easier to sit back, relax, and to experience this feast of vocal riches.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pearl Fishers and Patroits
    Here's a true story: 40 years ago a man's driving his car,; "The Pearl Fisher" duet comes on the radio; the man pulls over and is brought to tears. 30 years later the same thing happens to that man's son - by the same song, same singer.

    Jussi Bjorling (and Robert Merrill) sing about loving the same woman but putting aside that to remain friends. I know of no men singing that can create more sublime music as this. Also transcendent is the third song ("Io l'ho perduta" from Don Carlo). I don't have translated lyrics but when they get to "liberta" - that leaves me in a puddle.

    I don't care what you normal musical preference is for; if you are unaffected by Jussi Bjorling, sell your ears to someone who'll use them

    3-0 out of 5 stars Pearl Fishers and Patroits
    A better CD is Bmg/Rca Victor - #63468 which is a 2-CD set and you get some other goodies like: Pagliacci: Vesti La Giubba and Turandot: Nessun Dorma (Live Version, With Piano).

    I ... Read more

    8. Mozart for Relaxation
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    Asin: B00000I9M0
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 6504
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Musical Tranquilizer
    This is a terrific collection of many of Mozart's best known and most beloved pieces. You will probably recognize many of the melodies - and with this CD, of course, you'll learn their names. This CD is really aptly named - it is a very 'relaxing' collection of beautiful music. One reviewer said that its great for the car - but also after that long, grinding day at work - you know, the kind of day where you feel especially eaten-up. You just want to go home and sit in your favorite chair and put on some music... It is also an excellent album to get the kids started on lovely classical music. Highly recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars guaranteed to relax you whether at home or in the car
    this assortment of melodies is the perfect gift for the new mother, the new baby, or anyone else who wants to be stimulated by the classical sounds and soothed by the melodies. a definite must for the car - where much stress occurs in traffic jams. ... Read more

    9. Aria: A Passion for Opera
    list price: $10.98
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    Asin: B000002S5M
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 15956
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    If you've ever heard an opera excerpt in a film or TV commercial and wondered from whence it came, this compilation will probably provide your answer. The disk is an extensive superstar sampling of opera's greatest arias, featuring beloved stars from 1958-1987. Newbies will delight in hearing the young Freni's developing, but not yet perfected, artistry; Corelli's soaring tenor emoting in "Vesti la guibba" and "Nessun Dorma"; and Callas being Callas in "Habanera" and "Casta Diva." Megatalents Caballé, Gobbi, Di Stefano, and Domingo round out the mix. It even includes the Lakme duet and the chorus from Nabucco, in case arias aren't enough. An enjoyable variety. --Barbara Eisner Bayer ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars loved it
    Callas singing Harbanera backed by the chorus is majestic and sublime. Heard it one day at work on public radio and had to have it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars NEW LOVER OF OPERA



    5-0 out of 5 stars Music to Wed By
    Corelli's "Nessun Dorma" makes the overplayed Pavarotti version pale by comparison. We (a pair of newlyweds) heard it while sampling this album for wedding reception music and were so blown away that we used this piece for our recessional, earning the following wisecrack from our Cantor, "Oy! You followed me with Corelli? Thanks for nuthin'." We dare you to listen to this track without getting a shiver. ... Read more

    10. Mozart - Mass in C minor / Te Kanawa · von Otter · Rolfe Johnson · R. Lloyd · Marriner
    list price: $16.98
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    Asin: B00000418D
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 7285
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An overlooked masterpiece of sacred choral music
    I had the fun of performing the Mass in C Minor in grad school--what a joy. While listening to it is not nearly as much fun as performing, I enjoy this particular recording for the great soloists.

    This work is not nearly as well-known as Mozart's Requiem, but there are wonderful gems here, in particular the bouncy and almost military Credo, the Kyrie and you can enjoy Te Kanawa in the "Et Incaratus Est." If you like Mozart's sacred music, you should not miss the Mass in C minor.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful CD
    Most of the mass, quite honestly, does not appeal to me and I much more prefer the Mass in B Minor by Bach. However, Mozart has some very nice pieces in the mass which include the Kyrie, Laudaumus Te, Gratias, and the Credo in Unum Deum. The soprano, Kiri Te Kanawa, is first rate and her crystal clear voice rings out with perfect clarity. Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is, quite honestly, one of the best orchestras in the world. Their devotion to presenting a well thought-out and performed work shows in this cd. The sound is perfectly clear, the soloist, chorus, and orchestra are excellent and one cannot help but get swept away in the power of the music--especially in the Kyrie. While the Baroque sound appeals to me more this CD is the premier cd out of all the copies of Mozart's Mass in C minor--A must for ANY musical fan

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding clarity, wonderful interpretation
    You just can't go wrong with The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. I was already a fan of this wonderful chamber orchestra, and became even more fanatical after hearing them preform live, here at the University of Texas at Austin.

    The only thing worse than a poor chorus and weak instruments is a hissy recording. This particular recording of Mozart's Great Mass in C minor features remarkable clarity, definitely the best of all my Mozart CDs. Aside from the wonderful sound quality, the Academy seems to so elegantly capture every subtle emotion of what is perhaps Mozart's grandest sacred work. The powerful instrumentation and vocals are balanced perfectly, neither one ever trumping the other. The Academy seems at all times precisely in sync with the notes; they really "know" Mozart extremely well, and it shows.

    I recommend this CD to anyone looking for a crisp and powerful recording of the Great Mass. Even in its slightly incomplete state (Mozart never got around to writing some of the Credo and all of the Angus Dei), this piece speaks as if directly from Heaven.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A superb work, superbly performed...with a bonus.
    While it lacks the weight of, say, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, this work is pure and purely Mozart. "Et incarnatus est" may be one of the most lovely soprano arias extant. I have always admired the clarity of St. Martin in the Fields under Neville Marriner, and when you add Kiri Te Kanawa, Anne Sofie von Otter, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Robert Lloyd and a fine chorus you have an unbeatable combination. As a bonus (actually, to pad out the CD) Philips added Mozart's sublime "Ave Verum Corpus," worth the price of the CD in its own right. ... Read more

    11. Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy-My Favourite Opera For Children
    list price: $7.98
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    Asin: B00000424Y
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4341
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars My six-year old liked it!
    My six year-old son enjoyed hearing this CD. We like to sing together, so we found many of the pieces quite alot. But to be honest, when we discovered the more recently released CD, The Classical Child AT the Opera, he went wild because all the pieces have been translateded into English, so it's much more enjoyable for us to sing along. So I would recommend it, but check out the other one as well -- your kids will be glad you did. All the best, Steven

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun, accessible opera for you and your child to enjoy
    I bought this CD for my then 3 year old son. He loved it then because it was the "Bugs Bunny" music he was familiar with from the cartoons. He listened to it for awhile then we put it away. After he turned 4, he said to me one day -- let's listen to opera, and now we listen to this CD every day. This music gets his blood going; he struts around his room when he listens to this. And, he is in every respect a typical boy who likes Pokemon and the Back Street Boys. So, I consider this CD successful in introducing opera to a youngster. ... Read more

    12. Verdi - Rigoletto / Sutherland, Pavarotti, Milnes, LSO, Bonynge
    list price: $33.98
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    Asin: B0000041Q2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4020
    Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

    This Rigoletto has been around for so long it might beeasy to take it for granted or skip it for a newer set. Don't! It features all three principals in superb voice, as well as pacing from Maestro Bonyngethat is much heavier on drama than most of us expect from him. Sutherland may sound a bit mature (and mush-mouthed) for Gilda, butnot only is she sympathetic, she sings gorgeously. And speaking of gorgeous, those familiar only with the Pavarotti of the last10 years would be wise to hear him here--this is stylish, full-blooded,Golden Age singing. The beautifully round tone, the easy high notes, theimpeccable diction, and the pointed characterization are unique. Milnes, inthe title role, is also in splendid voice, offering smooth legato, brilliant,Verdian ring and real attention to the text. The ADD sound is excellent. Noother modern recording offers the visceral thrill of this Rigoletto--go for it.--Robert Levine ... Read more

    Reviews (50)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Famous Rigoletto but not the best.
    Milnes is a wonderful Rigoletto and he is the main reason I like edition. He sings perfectly and acts nicely. Like many opera fans I first heard "La Donna e mobile" performed by Luciano Pavarotti and indeed he has spectacular high notes. I never thought another tenor could ever sing this aria better until I heard Carlo Bergonzi. Even though I had also heard him singing some other roles, as the Duke he really enchanted me!!His voice when singing this aria or some minutes later the "bella figlia dell'amore" is not only spectacular but really characterizes the Duke.Pavarotti lacks the sweetness especially on lower notes that is soooo beautiful when listening to Carlo Bergonzi.

    The choice of Gilda on this Rigoletto is another drawback as already mentioned in some other reviews. Sutherland never sounds like the teenager Gilda she is supposed to be. Although she does have a well technically trained voice she sings like she has a tennis ball in her mouth! The ideal Gilda to me is with no doubt Renata Scotto who possesses a beautiful, fresh, clear voice so perfect for Verdi roles. As Gilda she manages to sound exactly like the girl she is supposed to be in this opera.

    On the whole, if you are a Milnes-fan this set is certainly worth buying. Otherwise, try finding a recording with Scotto or Bergonzi and a good Rigoletto. In fact, there is a recording with these two and D. Fisher-Diskau as Rigoletto by Deutsche Grammophon that I regard as one of the best recordings of this opera !

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
    This Rigoletto not only demonstrates how opera should be performed, it also serves as a demonstration of the capabilities of the human voice. Sutherland, although a bit too mature sounding for Gilda, sings with a beautifl voice that stays consistent even up to the stratopheric notes that the soloists take. Pavarotti is in the prime of his voice on this recording keeping a young round tone up to his high notes as well. Milnes is absolutely perfect as Rigoletto. He sings with such passion and excitement that you can't seem to put this recording down. And most importantly, this disc preserves some of the legacy of perhaps the greatest bass singer ever, Martti Talvela. He died way too early in life but he left us a masterful performance of Sparafucile. This is definitely THE Rigoletto to own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good
    I was never much of an admirer of Sherrill Milnes. I found his singing to be one diminsional. He also had an odd habit of singing very slightly under pitch.

    However, there is something about his performance here that simply blows past any objection I might have. It is almost palpably powerful. He doesn't emit what I find to be beautiful sounds. But there is nothing "beautiful" about this distorted character's story.

    This also reminds us of why we all went nuts when the young Luciano Pavarotti burst upon the scene. He was surely something!!

    I don't know how often Joan Sutherland sang Gilda in the early days of her career, but it was a rarity in her prime decades. As was often the case with Dame Joan, this recording was preceeded by a series of stage performances of the work. She always benefitted with some stage time in a role before recording it. Especially a role she hadn't sung in a while.

    To that end, she sang Gilda prior to this recording at the Met, not during the regular season, as I recall, but during a summer Verdi festival, or something like that. Frankly, she blew the roof off the place. The critics went bonkers, one saying "Where has she been hiding this role? She is the perfect Gilda".

    Perhaps a little more mature than the usual chirper in the role, and perhaps not as "diction-perfect" as someone else might be. But THAT VOICE!

    And this recording, in my opinion, captures what everyone was so ecstatic about perfectly.

    Oh yeah, and Richard Bonynge does a great job also.

    This may not be the only "Rigoletto" in your collection, but it should not be the one left out.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A lovely Rigoletto
    This recording is a classic and very beautiful. The highlights are definitely Pavarotti's vivacious duke and Milnes' Rigoletto. This is the best Duke Pavarotti ever recorded and even though he's lacking the sunny charm of di Stefano (The Duke on the legendary Callas-Recording) he sings the role incredibly well. Milnes was still great in those years, he sounded far better in Puccini and Verdi than in Belcanto. Of course he doesn't dig in as deeply as the unsurpassed Tito Gobbi (Truly the greatest Rigoletto of all time) but he definitely deserves his fame. Bravo Milnes! As for Sutherland, I think her earlier Gilda is better, by far. Here Sutherland sounds too matronly for a girl, also her middle has already this veiled, mushy sound. Still great singing but her "Caro nome" on "The Art of the Primadonna" outshines this easily. Not the best Rigoletto there is but a good one. Don't miss it AND the set with Tito Gobbi and the sublime Gilda of Maria Callas. Both are great.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Rigoletto.
    This recording of Rigoletto is the first opera I ever listened to. Luciano Pavarotti may be the best Duke on records because he is playing himself in a way. Plus the timbre of his voice is so recognizable. The style of the role just comes so naturally to him. La Donna e mobile is fantastic. Sherill Milnes is a fantastic Rigoletto. He even throws in a high C flat at the end of the opera. The aria Cortigianni is very musical and emotionally intense from him. My favorite part of this recording has to be the confrontation between Rigoletto and Sparafucile. Talvela had one of the most impressive bass voices of all time. You can picture the late Talvela who was six feet seven inches playing this part. The low F at the end of the duet is wonderful. The only minor drawback to this recording is the Gilda of Joan Sutherland. The diction needs to be much clearer. One can forgive a lack of diction on high notes. However it needs to be there otherwise. She is good in Act III because she has the voice size to keep up with the large orchestra. Arturo Toscanini always used a heavier voice for Gilda because of the big orchestration in Act III. The role is problematic because of Act III. A good Gilda is Cortrubas on the recording conducted by Giulini. The orchestra is fantastic on this recording. The backstage sounds are spectacular in Act III. This recording is probably the best known recording of Rigoletto. I recommend it. ... Read more

    13. Annie (1999 Television Film)
    list price: $17.98
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    Asin: B00002MZ57
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 6158
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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    The cast of Disney's 1999 television production of Annie reads like a who's who of Tony winners: Grace is played by Audra McDonald (Ragtime, Carousel, Master Class), Rooster is Alan Cumming (Cabaret), and Lily is Kristin Chenoweth (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown). Add Alicia Morton (Young Cosette in Broadway's Les Misérables) in the title role and Victor Garber (Sweeney Todd, Assassins) as Daddy Warbucks, and you have a cast that is refreshingly not driven by Hollywood box office, other than Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan.

    Resumés aside, how is the soundtrack? Well, McDonald might be a touch operatic and Garber a little young, but these are minor quibbles with a cast that is effective throughout (even Bates). Morton might not be the belter Andrea McArdle was in the original cast, but she's very good, and if anything the difference makes her sound like the little girl she is. Perhaps the best moment is McArdle--still sounding great at the ripe old age of 35--making a brief cameo as the star-to-be in "N.Y.C."Longtime fans of the show will notice that, in order to fit a two-hour prime-time window, the production had to leave out most of the historical context of the FDR administration ("A New Deal for Christmas," "We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover"), as well as some other familiar numbers ("You Won't Be an Orphan for Long," "Annie"). This soundtrack is thus best considered a souvenir of the television production or a complement to, rather than a replacement for, the original cast recording.--David Horiuchi ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars almost as good as the obc recording
    Alicia Morton gives an outstanding performance as Annie in the new Disney version of the classic musical. Along with her are performances by Audra McDonald as Grace, Alan Cumming as Rooster, Kristin Chenoweth as Lily St. Regis, Victor Garber as Mr. Warbucks, Andrea McArdle as the star to be, and Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan. It's nice to see that there are the real musical numbers on this cd. Audra McDonald has done a magnificent job as Grace, she was more than perfect for the role. It was also nice to see Andrea McArdle back on the Annie stage, as we all know she was the original Annie. Kristin and Alan both do oustanding as Rooster and Lily. I especially loved Kristin's role, she was adorable. All in all, an excellent cd with a great cast.

    4-0 out of 5 stars overall-pleasing presentation of the ANNIE score
    This soundtrack to the ABC-Wonderful World of Disney version of ANNIE stays faithful to the musical's Broadway origins, unlike the gritty John Huston film version of 1982. The cast is largely made up of seasoned Broadway veterans, with a few newcomers. Alicia Morton heads the cast as the titled moppet, and is a wonderful singer with a lot of personality and presence.

    The amazing ensemble also includes Victor Garber (SWEENEY TODD, DAMN YANKEES) as Daddy Warbucks, Audra McDonald (MARIE CHRISTINE, WONDERFUL TOWN) as secretary Grace Farrell, Kathy Bates ('Misery') as Miss Hannigan the addled orphanage mistress, Alan Cumming (CABARET) as Rooster and Kristin Chenoweth (WICKED, STEEL PIER) as Lily St. Regis. Apart from a truncated Overture, the score plays out pretty well with a faithful nod to the original orchestrations by Philip J. Lang (Doug Besterman and Danny Troob are among the new orchestrators credited here). And Broadway fans will get a huge kick out of Andrea McArdle's cameo as the Star-To-Be in the "NYC" musical sequence (McArdle was the original Annie on Broadway and in London). On the whole a very satisfying new version of ANNIE.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Annie is the best
    This version of Annie is the best ever. I love the soundtrack and listen to it everyday. Alicia Morton is the best she sings beautifuly and is deffinetly worth your money.

    4-0 out of 5 stars It's Still About Andrea
    Finally a decent movie version of Annie. The first one was awful!! The very, very, very best moment for me is Andrea McArdle belting out the star-to-be's part in "NYC." She will always be "Annie" to me and her voice still gives me goosebumps.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
    I love all the "Annie" movies and plays I've seen, and this CD is one of my favorites!

    Highlights of the CD are:
    "Maybe" - Alicia Morton has a really good voice, and should have a career in singing...maybe replace some of the cruddy ones out there. She definately pulled this off.
    "Tomorrow" - once again, she did really well. Also, it's just a great song, it's a happy one.
    "N.Y.C." - I don't know the name of who "Broadway Star to Be" was, but she was great! This is my favorite song on the CD
    "Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" - The version by the orphans is better, I think, because it's a lot more fun!

    I love this CD and it's always in my CD player. If you like Annie, I reccommend it! ... Read more

    14. Verdi - La Traviata / Callas, di Stefano, Bastianini; Giulini
    list price: $21.98
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    Asin: B00000630Y
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 8687
    Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

    This live recording of the 1955 Visconti production at La Scala is the best ofthe available Maria Callas Traviatas. Aside from a minor pitch problem or two,she's in great voice, coloring phrases to reveal character and investing the coloratura withvariety and passion. Her "Addio del passato" is heart-breaking. She fullycaptures Violetta's pride and vulnerability in the scene with Germont, though her partner,Ettore Bastianini, sings insensitively, if beautifully. Giuseppe Di Stefano is all one couldask for as Alfredo. Carlo Giulini conducts a performance that delivers all the lyricism anddrama of the score. The recorded sound is primitive, but in EMI's latest transfer you canlisten through it to a wondrous performance. --Dan Davis ... Read more

    Reviews (66)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another high-water mark from mid-century
    The lure of "Traviata" had always eluded me until I listened to this set of a live recording circa 1955. All of a sudden, a small and intimate opera took on a power, a poignancy, and a beauty I had never before heard. The finely etched singing of Maria Callas was an eye-opener: this contains perhaps the only "valid" rendition of "Sempre Libera" on CD---all the notes are seemingly there, for once, and all the layers of emotion and expression.

    I am not sure that the recording is as fair to Giuseppe di Stefano: the sound becomes "iffier" towards the last act. However, in the dinner party scene, his confrontation with Callas's Violetta contains a bite, a bitterness and a fury I have never "caught" in another tenor's performance. Was it Mr. John Ardoin who described Callas and di Stefano as taking this scene "in a white heat"? (Probably Mr. Ardoin, who is such a gifted critic that we virtually "hear voices" through his words.)

    Don't want to dwell on the baritone's contribution: certainly cannot have been at his best that night, for whatever reason.

    Try listening to this set for the first and last act, and substituting the "Lisbon Traviata" for the middle act---my idea of a complete "Traviata" is the juxtaposition of those two sets.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Bad Sound, but Great Singing
    When I first got this recording, I immediately thought, "What a mistake." The sound IS bad, and seemed to unfortunately get worse as the night progressed. By Act 3 the vocal distortions were extremely frustrating. Also, the engineers, who seemed unable to record Callas and company singing, COULD record, with precise sound and accuracy, the coughing, walking, and other noise that night.

    But after two, three listens, I saw why the guy in the record store had recommended this recording. Callas, as Violetta, had none of the vocal troubles that would mark her later recordings. She goes for it all and then some -- by the time she's finished her "Sempre libera" and goes for the popular-but-unwritten E-flat that most sopranos duck, she's won you over. I've never heard any Violetta go for that note with such flair, and fearlessness. It just made the song so much more dramatic. Of course she's a great actress, and her Act 3 is heartbreaking (well, what you can hear of it). And unlike Joan Sutherland, you can follow her pretty well in the libretto, because she has great diction and enunciates excellently! You can hear the audience applauding her wildly several times during the recording, and just makes me want to have been there that night.

    Of the rest of the cast, Giuseppe di Stefano is a passionate, if not "beautiful" Alfredo. Of the two voices, I think that night Callas actually had the edge in the beauty department. But still he's young, and sings with enthusiasm, which is all that's needed for Alfredo, really. The man who sang Germont had an off-night. For this reason Act 2 is sort of flawed -- Callas sings beautifully, but the poignancy of the duet is lessened when your Germont sounds impatient and ... constipated! Guilini's pit gives a nice, well-paced orchestral reading.

    So if you want to hear Callas at her absolute prime, with none of the later "ugliness," buy this recording. But if you need great sound, buy another Traviata.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable
    This is the greatest Traviata ever recorded! Period! Callas was in top-form then, as was Bastianini and di Stefano! A glorious performance on all accounts! Bravi!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best Traviata!
    This is the top choice for a recording of La Traviata. It's caught live in La Scala's greatest time, when La Scala was ruled by La Divina who had her greatest year in 1955. Enjoy the Traviata of the century!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The one and only!
    This Traviata is superbly sung, well interpreted and perfectly conducted! A keeper! ... Read more

    15. Porgy & Bess: High Performance
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B00000I9MJ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 10726
    Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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    RCA's 1963 highlights disc brought the stars of the early-1950s revival of the work, Leontyne Price and William Warfield, together again. By this time, however, Price was well advanced on her meteoric rise to operatic stardom and Warfield was gaining renown as a recitalist. Both are glorious here and Price's shimmering "Summertime" is worth the price of the disc. A plus is the spirited Sportin' Life of John W. Bubbles, who created the role in the original 1935 production; an old-time vaudevillian, he wrings fun and irony from his all-too-short excerpts. Henderson conducts with vigor and RCA's "High Performance" sound, when heard on a good system, is remarkable.--Dan Davis ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Desert Island Recording...
    I first heard this recording as a high school student in the '60's, and it changed my life. I later became a New York freelance musician, and worked with Skitch Henderson on occasion... and every time I saw him I was reminded of this performance.

    To respond to some of the other reviews... John Bubbles is phenomonal as Sporting Life - he was, after all, the composer's personal choice for the role - and those who quibble that his acting is better than his voice are missing the point: "Porgy and Bess" is, first and foremost, meant to be acted! (And, truth be known, I like his voice...)

    Which brings us to the legendary Leontyne Price/William Warfield combination. After listening to this again (and the restored sound is wondrous), I felt that a definition of Hell would be to have to follow Leontyne Price in this - or ANY - role. She owned the role of Bess by the time this recording was made, and her acting and vocal skills are matchless (It's possible that the opening "..Ooooh.." in "What You Want Wit' Bess?" is one of the sexiest and most dramatic ten seconds in the history of recording). William Warfield is not far behind in his portrayal of Porgy - it is beatifully sung, if not as convincingly acted as some of the other characters.

    But that said, what makes this recording absolutely matchless - and probably forever - is the playing of the nameless 1960's New York studio musicians who comprise the "RCA Victor Symphony Symphony Orchestra." What they bring to the "pit" is what is missing from virtually every other "Porgy" recording: the innate swagger, confidence, and panache that come from a career of working with one foot firmly in the "symphonic" world and the other firmly in the "commercial" (in New York's, case, Broadway/Jazz) world. It is the equivalent of listening to Johann Strauss performed by the Vienna Philharmonic: unique, absolutely right, and unduplicatable. Unfortunately, it's not just a matter of place, but also time... the environment that nurtured these musicians was soon to disappear, and it's been "Gone, Gone, Gone..." for many years now.

    But it lives on in this recording. I played it for a friend of mine not long ago who was unprepared for the experience - I looked at her fifteen minutes into it and there were tears rolling down her cheeks. Mine, too.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Audio engineering disgraceful
    As wonderful and exceptional performers that Price and Warfield are, this recording is a disaster. It sounded as if the microphones were located in the second balcony and the voices come across as weak and lacking in spirit. The chorus, on the other hand, had a noticeably loud sonic presence, almost drowning out the principals, that made one think their voices were dubbed in later.

    Sportin' Life's rendition was lacking in spirit and intensity. Perhaps I'm too used to hearing Cab Calloway's and Sammy Davis Junior's version.

    I've never been so disappointed in a CD purchase as this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Porgy & Bess-highlights - Leontine Price
    The beautifull voice and perfect control of Leontine Price and other singers in this cast blend into a perfect performance with the subtly directed music. This recording of main songs from the greatest American opera gives a sheer pleasure to the listener. After a recent hearing of the live opera performance given in 2002 in New York, with the orchestra playing too loud and the voices trying to be louder and struggling with control, coming home and putting on this CD was a wonderfull relief and a reward.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Peerless
    This is my all-time favorite recording of Porgy & Bess. Leontyne Price quite rightly won a Grammy for her performance on this album. John Bubbles is the best Sporting Life I've ever heard; bringing to the role a mischievous energy (and a wonderful sand-papery voice) that is utterly engaging. William Warfield (the father, I believe, of comedian Marsha Warfield) is splendid as Porgy. Although this album isn't the full opera, it offers the best-known numbers; the ones we all know and love. I originally found a cassette of this recording in England, wore the tape right out and just, happily, bought the CD.
    Most highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Definitely a keeper!!
    This is my absolute favorite recording of "Porgy and Bess." The orchestrations are just exquisite and I love the tempo. Leontyne Price is my favorite Bess. She gives the right attitude and vocal technique that Bess needs. Another reason why I love this recording is because there are great performances all around. "Summertime" is just marvelous; not soft and operatic with no feeling like many opera singers make it, but real and with real feeling. I have yet to find a better rendition of "My man's gone now." Again, REAL attitude and I love the personality that the singer brings to it; and the last notes are not mushy, like many singers do with it. The only criticism is with Sportin' Life, he's not a real opera singer. It seemed like they just cast him because of his speaking voice and acting skill. William Warfield, by the way, gives Porgy that delicious huskiness and cut that only a good baritone can give to it.

    Just a marvelous recording, definitely a keeper!! ... Read more

    16. How Glory Goes
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B00004GJXS
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 10619
    Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

    After Audra McDonald's audacious recording debut with Way Back to Paradise, a collection of newly composed, highly sophisticated theater music, this new disc dominated by Harold Arlen standards would seem to be a retrenchment. On closer inspection, not so. Anybody who would risk comparisons with Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland by recording "A Sleepin' Bee" and "The Man That Got Away" isn't playing it safe. McDonald comes out fine, though, not because she's better than her elders, but because she's different. What pop singers do with rhetorical flourishes, the operatically trained McDonald does with color and phrase shape, much more so here than on Way Back to Paradise. Indeed, she is in radiant voice. The differences multiply with the orchestrations, which give a Coplandesque slant to "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home." Then there's the sequencing, which follows "The Man That Got Away" with "Somewhere" from West Side Story. On a dramatic level, it's a progression from devastation to healing. On a symbolic level, the signature song of gay-cult icon Garland is followed by the unofficial anthem of the AIDS era--with staggering impact. Not everything is great: sometimes McDonald runs dry of interpretive ideas. But at least five cuts are each worth the price of the CD. My favorite: "Come Down from the Tree," a playful gem about love and change cut from the Broadway show Once on This Island. --David Patrick Stearns ... Read more

    Reviews (59)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Harold Arlen has never sounded better!
    Audra McDonald, one of the most talented singing actresses of our time, scores hit after hit on HOW GLORY GOES, her second solo CD. Unlike her first CD, which featured compositions by the latest generation of Broadway composers, Ms. McDonald has found fourteen songs - well-known standards, newer compositions, and gems from forgotten shows - that feature a wide range of styles that all suit her voice perfectly. Especially good are three of five songs on the CD written by Harold Arlen: "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home," "I Had Myself a True Love," and - the highlight of the recording - "The Man That Got Away." Ms. McDonald's connection with the harmonies and rhythms of these pieces, even when the lyrics are somber, transforms each into a joyous, soulful celebration of musical theater at its best. Three other favorites: Jerome Kern's "Bill," Jeff Blumenkrantz's "I Won't Mind," and Stephen Flaherty's "Come Down From the Tree."

    5-0 out of 5 stars How GLory Goes is Glorious
    Rarely does a solo artist have a 2nd cd that surpasses the first. Audra McDonald does! From the opening number, "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" Audra's voice is beautiful. Her voice shows tenderness in the song "I Won't Mind" and breaks your heart in "The Man That Got Away". Singing songs from past and present Broadway shows, as well as original compositions, Audra's voice masters songs from Johnny Mercer's "St. Louis Woman" and Truman Capote's ill-fated, "House of Flowers". For those who liked Audra's first cd, "Way Back to Paradise", (and even those who didn't) or have heard her on the soundtracks of "Ragtime" or "Carousel", Audra's voice reigns supreme on this cd. Absolutely beautiful!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Try "Way Back to Paradise" first.
    "How Glory Goes" is a beautiful CD. McDonald makes these
    standard show tunes her own. The track "When did I fall in Love" from the Broadway show Fiorello is a total knock out. However, compared to her album "Way Back to Paradise," this album is not as interesting or original because the material is so familiar. I don't know if anything could top the beautiful and edgy "art songs" on McDonald's first solo album. If you are up for more of a listening challenge, try "Way Back to Paradise" first. That one is totally five stars plus, in my view.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Audra and Arlen: Match Made in Heaven
    This CD provided my intro to Audra McDonald, because on it, she sings "A Sleepin' Bee" (from "House of Flowers")...Now, to the music. Several reviewers here have noted that Harold Arlen would be pleased to hear how Audra does his music, and I've thought the same thing. Since hearing "A Sleepin' Bee" done by Audra, I think all the prior versions of it lack something. Similarly, "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" (from "St. Louis Woman") as Audra sings it is a listening experience that's incomparable to all the preceding renditions. And, yes, the same for "The Man that Got Away." What makes Audra's delivery of Arlen's difficult melodies so extraordinary is her unique combination of timbre, timing, and training; she has a gift, and she has nurtured it well.

    Buy this CD if you ever felt, as I do, that Harold Arlen's music got several bad breaks on Broadway, and now there's a singer who can really make it live again. In fact, buy this CD if you're just curious about Audra McDonald's indescribable talent!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars She Could Sing the Phone Book, And I Would Buy It
    Audra McDonald is a renaissance woman in the field of song. She can take any style or genre and make it her own, without compromising the integrity of the song, as so many singers will do. This album explores songs that even the most seasoned Broadway fan might not know, but will grow to love after hearing her interpretations. Anyone looking for a unique gift for someone or for themselves should treat themselves to "How Glory Goes". ... Read more

    17. Renée Fleming - I Want Magic! ~ American Opera Arias
    list price: $16.98
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    Asin: B00000AFR4
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 7406
    Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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    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

    18. Renée Fleming - Signatures ~ Great Opera Scenes / Sir Georg Solti
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    Asin: B0000042HU
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 8731
    Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

    As the possessor of one of the great lyric soprano voices of our time, soprano Renée Fleming is in demand in the world's great opera houses. (It doesn't hurt that she's also lovely and a fine actress.) This album is an outstanding collection of great arias, ravishingly sung. It shows something of Fleming's range, including as it does music by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Dvorák (the sumptuous "Song to the Moon" from Rusalka, the best part of the entire opera, and sung here in definitive fashion), Verdi, Britten (an effective "Embroidery Scene" from Peter Grimes), and Richard Strauss. This disc is a good starting point for someone seeking to learn more about operatic singing, and a valuable addition to the library of anyone already converted. Fleming is given strong support by mezzo-soprano Larissa Diadkova, baritone Jonathan Summers, and by the late Sir Georg Solti in one of his last recordings. --Sarah Bryan Miller ... Read more

    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Already a classic
    Recorded in 1996, this disc provides the listener with a unique opportunity: to hear Renee Fleming, one of the most acclaimed sopranos of our day, collaborate with the (now deceased) veteran maestro, Sir Georg Solti, on a wide-ranging program of great operatic scenes. Fleming and Solti perform superbly in all seven of the scenes heard here. Fleming really creates different characters in each of the selections, which is quite an achievement. As I said, each track is superb; the "Song to the Moon" from RUSALKA, something of a signature aria for Fleming, is sheer beauty. But my own favorite track is the "Letter Scene" from EUGENE ONEGIN. Here Fleming's voice is limpid and youthful, beautifully shaded down to the softest pianissimo; her Tatyana is a sensitive and thoughtful yet passionate girl. Her Desdemona is also very moving, with a similarly limpid, girlish timbre. "Great Opera Scenes" is a thoroughly rewarding listening experience. I'd be very surprised indeed if, years from now, it is not considered a classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow . . .
    Although I've loved classical music since I was a child, I've always found it difficult to enjoy opera--to the untrained ear, opera is just a bunch of people screeching in a foreign language! Coming home after a horrendous day at work one evening, I flipped on the local classical radio station to unwind--and the most absolutely gorgeous soprano voice I had ever heard poured out of the speakers. I literally stopped dead in my tracks to listen. I had no idea what she was singing, but the sound was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. When the aria ended, I ran to the phone, called the radio station, and asked who the soprano was. The answer was Renee Fleming.

    "Signatures" was the first CD of Renee's that I purchased, and even though I've acquired most of her catalog, this is the one I always come back to. The sheer beauty and emotion in her voice transcends any and all barriers. I still am a bit of a neophyte when it comes to opera--okay, a lot of a neophyte--but I know what I like. A great CD to win over opera haters--or at least get them to grudgingly admit that some of it isn't that bad--and a tremendous CD for those who can appreciate the voice of one of the greatest modern sopranos. Bravo, Renee!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Renee Fleming's greatest recital ever!
    What can I say that hasn't been said already? The great Solti (Who adored Fleming btw) and Renee Fleming made magic here. One of the greatest recitals in operatic history. Brava Renee!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pure gold and cream
    Renee's voice is drop dead gorgeous - pure gold and cream. I like the Countess' arias. In my view, Renee has a more beautiful voice than Kanawa (I have Solti's classic Figaro). Also, Solti takes the arias faster here than in his Figaro recording and I prefer his speeds here. Rusalka is Renee's audition piece - she uses it (together with the Countess'a arias) when she auditions and she is simply gorgeous here. The willow song is captivating - I was mesmerized from start to finish. I like the Daphne extract, I think Renee is 100% suited for Strauss. What can I say Renee has one of the most beautiful voices in the world. one of the most beautiful I've ever heard. I can only advise you to buy this CD. Unfortunately, we won't get her full Desmonoma, or full Countess on CD(there is a DVD of a production in 1994), or full Tytiana because I think the catalogue has too many of recordings. What a pity! She has to make do with producing albums of arias. But I am still grateful I can hear Renee. If you love soprano voices, buy this!! Pure gold and cream!!

    Also, I highly recommend Renee's stunning Fiordiligi in Solti's Cosi Fan Tutte and her incredibly beautiful Donna Anna in Solti's Don Giovanni. If you want a more complete 'Mozart' profile of Renee, her Decca CD of mozart arias (her first CD with Decca), is still available and you can here her sing an aria each of Susanna, Donna Elvira, Pamina, Konstanze and some other concert pieces and arias from Mozart's lesser known operas. It's a pity I won't get to hear her full Donna Elvira or full Konstanze or full Pamina or full Susanna. I would have loved to hear them all.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Renee is a beauty
    Renee brings perfect sentiment to 'Porgi Amor'. This song is of such a dreamy,limpid,and graceful quality, I could melt. Rusalka's aria to the moon is said to be tailored made for her voice,but somehow it's not my favorite. I think her voice sounds a little burly and clumsy in it. ... Read more

    19. Mozart: Coronation Mass - Exsultate, Jubilate - Vesperae Solennes / Bonney, Wyn Rogers, MacDougall, Gadd; Pinnock
    list price: $16.98
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    Asin: B0000057EQ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 8737
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Á¤¸» ÈǸ¢ÇÑ ·¹ÄÚµùÀÔ'Ï'Ù.
    »ç½Ç ÀÌ °Ô½ÃÆÇ¿¡ ¸®ºä¸¦ Çѱ۷Π¾µ ¼ö ÀÖ'ÂÁöµµ ±Ã±ÝÇؼ­ Çѹø Àû¾îº¾'Ï'Ù. (Çϱâ»ç Àúµµ ¸®ºÎ°¡ ½ºÆÐ'Ͻ¬·Î ¿Ã¶ó¿À ¸é ¹«Ã' °ïȤ½º·'±â' Çß½À'Ï'Ù¸¸..^^)¹Ù¹Ù¶ó º¸'ÏÀÇ ¸ñ¼Ò ¸® Á¤¸» ¾Æ¸§'䱺¿ä.

    ¿¹Àü ³»ÇÑ°ø¿¬¶§ °¡ º¸Áö ¸øÇÏ°Ô ¾Æ½±½À'Ï'Ù. ¹½ Çϳª ³ª¹«¶ö µ¥°¡ ¾ø' À½¹ÝÀÔ'Ï'Ù.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great disc
    Barbara Bonney is the star of this disc. Her "Exsultate Jubilate" is the most beautiful, unprententious version I've heard. What I've always admired about her is her pure tone, and this recording is no exception. Even though she sings gloriously, she doesn't show off at the expense of Mozart's music. The English Concert's playing is intelligent and stylish as we've come to expect from them. Also, if you're unfamiliar with the Solemn Vespers of the Confessor, this piece is a real treat for choral music lovers. It is done very well here too. ... Read more

    20. Amor--Opera's Great Love Songs
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    Asin: B000009OU8
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 5599
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you are unsure about opera, this is where to begin
    Many people are turned off of opera because of the nature of the beast - unknown tongue, the continual singing and particularly the sopranos whose voices are as piercing as they are diffdicult to understand. These selections are ravishing in their beauty. It has been estimated that 2/3 of all classical effort was put into opera. Thus it is not surprising that some of the best music ever penned can be found here, particularly those that deal with that most human of emotion - love.

    The orchestration is wonderful, the voices emotional and quite sincere, the authenticity is present. It is difficult to surpass Verdi or Puccini in plumbing the emotional depths. All in all a good experience.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Opera CD
    I'm so in love with this CD, I'm giving it to as many ppl as I can. It's a great introduction to opera for ppl who don't listen to it very often. It has all the great hits with all the great singers, who can make shivers go down your spine. My friends who don't know opera as much as I do love it too.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Romantic
    If you have just got to be interested in Opera, this is a good start. You can listen to the best pieces of the most famous (an romantic) Operas performed by the best singers. If you are a long-time Opera lover, this CD will remind you of all the performances that you went with your loved one and romantic moments after the concerts. ... Read more

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