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Carreras;Jose/Various Collecti [Import]

 NR (Not Rated)   DVD
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
What a sorry excuse for a DVD! Part of a concert benefiting the relief effort for the Armenian earthquake of 1989 and titled 'José Carreras presents -- A Bolshoi Opera Night', this DVD does not contain one note sung by José Carreras! Nor, as far as I can see, does he even appear in the role of 'host' which he is stated to be on the DVD box. Further, the performances here, recorded live at the Bolshoi Opera of Moscow, are mostly by unknowns or great stars well past their prime. The latter are represented by Irina Arkhipova, a fabulous contralto in her day, but here singing at the age of 64 and with a shadow of her former glory. Equally so is Carlo Bergonzi, at age 65, singing with his well-known classic style but in a voice no longer lustrous or even under complete control. The high notes are painful. Rolando Panerai, the same age as Bergonzi, bawls 'Largo al factotum.' Poor Hermann Prey, 60, can barely get through the Song to the Evening Star from Tannhäuser; the voice is almost gone. Add to that the fairly thin orchestral sound from the Bolshoi Orchestra conducted by Mark Ermler, and really awful performances by the likes of Callas wannabe Lucia Aliberti, and one simply has no reason to buy this disc.

On the plus side are arias by Ljuba Kazarnovskaya ('Ecco l'orrido campo' from Masked Ball and 'Vissi d'arte' from Tosca), by Yevgeniy Nesterenko (Mussorgsky's 'Song of the Flea' and Kontchak's aria from 'Prince Igor') as well as 'Eri tu' and 'Si può' sung by Alan Titus. Alfredo Kraus sings with style, but somewhat diminished tone, in 'La donna è mobile' and 'M'appari.'

PCM Stereo only. No subtitles for the aria texts. TT=188mins. No extras.

Don't waste your money.

Scott Morrison
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful performance from two opera legends April 9 2007
By Viva Caballe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am so glad this concert finally made it to dvd. Caballe is past her prime here, but still sings beautifully on all but a few notes. Carreras sounds very good and romantic for so late in his career. They sing several very moving duets, they have been great friends for many years, and it shows how much they care for each other. When they sing together they become even more passionate and sing even better. Carreras performs some intimate readings of lovely 18 century italian songs and spanish gems, with wonderful diction and commitment. Caballe performs several beautiful spanish arias with her trademark magical pianissimos. Caballe also performs a beautiful o mio babbino caro, and a sublime sposa son disprezzata that makes one's heart stop. A must have for any Caballe or Carreras fan.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure musical enjoyment. Sept. 26 2008
By Francisco José Poyato Ariza - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
See, and especially listen to, these two Spanish opera stars passed their prime, but still wonderful enough to show that most recent "stars" are nothing but an embarrasing marketing product. Worth listening for everybody, indispensable for opera lovers.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Artistry and Altruism, updated July 22 2009
By Claudia N. Davidsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Caballe and Carreras gave this concert as a benefit, which is nothing new to either of them. Blessed be the many beneficiaries of their altruism, as money will flow in! As much as I enjoy hearing and seeing them, I enjoyed almost as much the obvious appreciation of the Russian audience. In the USA, such demonstrations of appreciation are generally reserved for rock stars.

As other reviewers noted, the concert is given by two artists with a history. Part of the enjoyment is recalling when I first heard the pieces, the context, and the feeling that the two artists are reliving their memories as well. I loved it!

09-02-09 Update: Since I mentioned context in the earlier version of this review, I may as well follow through with it. Context is more significant than even I realized. At the time of my first viewing of this DVD, I had been listening to a lot of Caballe and Carreras, especially material recorded in the 1970s. Silly me for comparing them to themselves--their younger selves, at that. This morning, for some reason, I dropped this disc into the player. Having listened to a lot of other singers for the past few days, I found this concert to be a revelation. Notwithstanding Caballe being 56 years old and Carreras just clean from leukemia, these two were damned good in 1989, especially when compared to the hotdogs of today.

Give the singers time to warm up--this being almost half-way through the program. Go for the sentiment, and imagine the two Catalans channeling Casals in their touching rendition of El Cant Dels Ocells (#13 on the program), a song of great national significance to Catalunya. (Carreras once said, "Allow me to be a good Catalan, and I will be a better Spaniard.")

For me, a particular pleasure was watching and hearing the pianist I can only refer to as The Great Zannetti. This was special for me during Granados's La Maja y el Ruisenor (#21 on the program). In this, we have the famous partnership of yore: Caballe and Zannetti as a piano/soprano duo, rather than a pianist accompanying a soprano. This is characteristic of Granados. Caballe's appreciation of Zannetti's solos throughout this piece are visible. She applauds him at the end.

Carreras was wonderful during the second half of this program. Enjoy him!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 21 2014
By PP64249 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love anything with her in it. She is the very best ever!
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tacky tacky tacky -- and Carreras isn't even in it! Nov. 14 2006
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
What a sorry excuse for a DVD! Part of a concert benefiting the relief effort for the Armenian earthquake of 1989 and titled 'José Carreras presents -- A Bolshoi Opera Night', this DVD does not contain one note sung by José Carreras! Nor, as far as I can see, does he even appear in the role of 'host' which he is stated to be on the DVD box. Further, the performances here, recorded live at the Bolshoi Opera of Moscow, are mostly by unknowns or great stars well past their prime. The latter are represented by Irina Arkhipova, a fabulous contralto in her day, but here singing at the age of 64 and with a shadow of her former glory. Equally so is Carlo Bergonzi, at age 65, singing with his well-known classic style but in a voice no longer lustrous or even under complete control. The high notes are painful. Rolando Panerai, the same age as Bergonzi, bawls 'Largo al factotum.' Poor Hermann Prey, 60, can barely get through the Song to the Evening Star from Tannhäuser; the voice is almost gone. Add to that the fairly thin orchestral sound from the Bolshoi Orchestra conducted by Mark Ermler, and really awful performances by the likes of Callas wannabe Lucia Aliberti, and one simply has no reason to buy this disc.

On the plus side are arias by Ljuba Kazarnovskaya ('Ecco l'orrido campo' from Masked Ball and 'Vissi d'arte' from Tosca), by Yevgeniy Nesterenko (Mussorgsky's 'Song of the Flea' and Kontchak's aria from 'Prince Igor') as well as 'Eri tu' and 'Si può' sung by Alan Titus. Alfredo Kraus sings with style, but somewhat diminished tone, in 'La donna è mobile' and 'M'appari.'

PCM Stereo only. No subtitles for the aria texts. TT=188mins. No extras.

Don't waste your money.

Scott Morrison
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