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Simon Boccanegra

Price: CDN$ 26.13 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An overlooked but equally recommendable version Feb. 22 2015
By Ralph Moore - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This 1973 RCA recording was for a while available at a super-bargain price on the "Brilliant" label but that seems to have disappeared. Fortunately, you can still find affordable copies under the RCA Lyrica label and it is in many ways as attractive as the more celebrated, award-winning recording by Abbado for DG four years later, also with Cappuccilli but with Freni instead of Ricciarelli and Carreras substituting for Domingo.

I like almost everything conducted by Gianandrea Gavazzeni, who was vastly experienced in the Verdi repertoire and sympathetic to his star singers; this is no exception. We catch four star singers in their very youthful prime and, Cappuccilli apart, obviously, which you prefer will largely be dependent on your taste in voices. Even regarding Cappuccilli, there is a case for arguing that he is somewhat fresher and the famous breath-span is much in evidence, even if he is on occasion a bit windy of tone; otherwise Ricciarelli is a tad droopy but very affecting, her pianissimi floating over the melodic lines and her limpid soprano blending most sensitively with Cappuccilli and Domingo in their duets. She is also able to produce a fair amount of heft in the great ensemble concluding Act I without any screeching - and she attempts a passable trill with a lovely downward portamento at the conclusion. Raimondi's bass is not as imposing as Ghiaurov's but of course he is completely in sympathy with the required Verdian style with a fine legato. I prefer Carreras's plaintive timbre to Domingo's more generalised, all-purpose but heroic singing but then, I always did, until Carreras over-stretched his lovely, lyric tenor.

The supporting cast sports some well-known names and the sound on my copy is excellent analogue. No need to hesitate.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Bel Canto Fan Sept. 9 2010
By bel canto fan - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is not a favourite opera of mine, but as I had only an old recording, I decided to buy something newer (and cheaper). This has fitted the bill beautifully. The sound is good and the voices are too. Mariana Nicolesco may be a slightly aquired taste for some, but I like her. I already had a recording of hers - Donizetti's Maria di Rohan. As a result, I have found more music to enjoy in this opera than I expected.
9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Must have Simon Boccanegra for Verdians Oct. 28 2007
By Scott Jelsey - Published on
This 1973 RCA studio recording of Simon Boccanegra is first class all the way. Ricciarelli, in one of her earliest recordings, is in sensational voice and brings the conflicted character of Amelia to life quite vividly. Her legato and intonation are really flawless and her sense of Verdian style impeccable. Domingo, likewise, is in fine voice - the high notes ring out securely and the characterization is suitably anguished. Cappuccilli, in his earlier recording of the role (before Abbado 1977) is equally fine here, with the voice just a few years fresher and the role, arguably one the most difficult of the Verdi baritone canon, emerges in a completely convincing manner. Gavazzeni has a truly Italianate way with this score and the RCA orchestra plays its heart out for him. The recorded sound is exemplary. Highly recommended.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Simon Boccanegra May 20 2014
By barry blitzstein - Published on
Verified Purchase
Great opera with a superb cast! Calleja and Hampson are wonderful as usual. I don't know what else to say.

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