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4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 22 2005)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0006ZFQNA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,259 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. Prelude
2. Sur La Place Chacun Passe
3. Regardez Donc Cette Petite
4. Avec La Garde Montante
5. Repos!
6. Allons! Allons!
7. Dites-Moi, Brigadier?
8. La Cloche A Sonne
9. Mais Nous Ne Voyons Pas La Carmencita
10. Quand Je Vous Aimerai?/L'Amour Est Un Oiseau Rebelle
See all 26 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Je Vais Danser En Votre Honneur
2. La Fleur Que Tu M'Avais Jetee
3. Non! Tu Ne M'Aimes Pas!
4. Hola! Carmen! Hola!
5. Suis-Nous A Travers La Campagne
6. Entr'acte
7. Ecoute, Compagnon, Ecoute
8. Halte! Nous Allons Nous Arreter Ici...
9. Melons!/Melons!/Coupons!
10. Carreau, Pique... La Mort!
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Product Description

This is a super performance, slightly outside the common mould. In 1977, when this was recorded, Claudio Abbado was a great opera conductor, filled with sharp insights and a nice sense of the architecture of whole operas. He always seemed to know where he was going, and his ability to build to climaxes was second to none. Abbado has a rather elegant Carmen here in the smallish-voiced, introspective Teresa Berganza, a gorgeous singer who patently refuses to force her voice or her character into vulgarity. It's a fine reading. Placido Domingo is at his best in both intimate and maniacal moments, and Ileana Cotrubas's Micaela almost makes us care about this sappy little gal. Sherrill Milnes's Escamillo has plenty of swagger and voice. Berganza's subtlety combined with the wild passions of those around her make this a very good Carmen indeed. --Robert Levine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I stopped listening to "Carmen" years and years ago because I was, quite frankly, totally sick of it. Owning the famous recordings by Rise Stevens, Solange Michel, Leontyne Price, Maria Callas, Titiana Troyanos, etc, I gave most of them away, keeping only the wonderful de los Angeles EMI version (now available on EMI's Great Recordings of the Century). I was perfectly content to live with this single recording. I mean - after forty years of opera going and record buying, what could "Carmen" ever do for ME? Nothing, I thought, and I just left it alone.
I received this recording of "Carmen" for my birthday, and reluctantly, I opened it and put it on. I was immediately stunned by Abado's tempi and the sheer sound of the orchestra. The French dialogue was crisp and peppy, and the choral work was stunning. Placido Domingo's Don Jose was known to me, as I heard him do the role with Lyric Opera of Chicago years ago, but I didn't remember him sounding quite this wonderful. His Flower Song would melt a stone, and his singing throughout is sympathetic and very moving. Sherrill Milnes does not really have a very big role here -- he sings his Torreador Song well, and sings with sufficient ardor to arouse Carmen, which is basically what he's there for. Micaela is sensitively sung by Cotrubas, and she blends beautifully with Domingo in their first act duet ---- also, she sounds genuinely terrified in her third act aria.
Now to the sublime Teresa Berganza. Quite plainly, I have never heard the role of Carmen sung so beautifully. The sheer sound of Berganza's magnificent voice is truly something to experience. It cannot be described.
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Format: Audio CD
Carmen was the first opera I ever heard and to this day I think that there's no greater Carmen than Julia Migenes but Berganza, de los Angeles and Callas come VERY close indeed. I have a Carmen-video with Berganza where she is just MAGNIFICENT as the Spanish temptress. Changing from Rosina etc. to Carmen might be a little surprising but, oh my, who would have thought that the young singer who was Callas' eqxuisite partner in the legendary Dallas Medea would bloom to such heights? A very tasty habanera, a wicked segeduilla and a dark card-scene... She is superb in the dramatic finale where her partner, Placido Domingo, sounds equally stunning. Domingo sang on three complete Carmens and even though I prefer the Migenes-Domingo recording for its dramatic finish and the Troyanos-Domingo recording for vocal splendour this is a great recording indeed. Esp. the Flower-aria is exquisitely sung. I never cared much for Milnes and find his Escamillo not to be quite idiomatic (Ruggero Raimondi is just unbeatable) but he's quite alright. A MUST for every Carmen-lover!
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By A Customer on May 29 2003
Format: Audio CD
If you want CARMEN to sound like an intimate "opera comique" rather than a "grand opera," then this is the recording to buy. The cast of Berganza,Domingo,Cotrubas, and Milnes make a superb team, both in the music and in the dialogue. Berganza makes Carmen's music sound so tasteful and elegant, and there is no lack of character in her performance. Berganza's Carmen is coolly magnetic; one senses that it is because she is an independent woman that Don Jose is both fascinated and frustrated by her. Domingo's singing of the "Flower Song" is especially beautiful, and his mounting rage in the later acts is terrifying (I am chilled every time I hear his line just before he stabs Carmen, "Pour le derniere fois, demon, veux-tu me suivre?" -- "For the last time, you devil, will you come with me?"). Milnes is in wonderful voice as Escamillo. He really makes the "Toreador Song" into a narrative (rather than just a "song hit"), and he is charming and funny in the spoken dialogue (Listen to his line to Carmen in Act II, "J'attendrai alors et je me conenterai d'esperer" -- "Then I'll wait and content myself with hoping".) Cotrubas projects innocence but also spirit as Micaela. As in her recording of LA TRAVIATA, she sings beautifully with Domingo. Last but definitely not least, Abbado brings a truly Spanish feel to this French music. All in all, this is the perfect "opera comique" CARMEN.
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Format: Audio CD
The voice of Teresa Berganza is one of the wonders of the age, if forced to choose, I would say it's the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. But the great Spanish mezzo is far more than just beautiful sounds, she goes deep into the characters she sings, and brings magic to her Carmen. She was wise to wait until she was 40 to sing and record this role, the voice was at its very best in the mid 70's, and she sings even the more dramatic passages with ease and conviction. In my book there is no better Carmen than she, Victoria de los Angeles would come in second place, but of course, her portrayal wouldn't have been possible on stage. Placido Domingo was born to sing Don Jose, and Sherrill Milnes is a very good and sonorous Escamillo. But it is the magnificent conducting of Claudio Abbado which leaves me speechless. He understands better than anyone else this miraculous score, he draws gorgeous sounds from the LSO and builds the drama inexorably. This is one of the truly GREAT opera recordings of the century
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