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Manon Lescaut Comp Live


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 17 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Universal Music Group
  • ASIN: B00004KDE7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #214,882 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Manon Lescaut: Act 1: 'Ave, sera gentile' (Edmondo) (Studenti) (Fanciulle) (Borghesi)
2. Manon Lescaut: Act 1: 'L'amor? . . . l'amor?!' (Des Grieux) (Edmondo) (Studenti)
3. Manon Lescaut: Act 1: 'Tra voi, belle, brune e bionde' (Des Grieux) (Edmondo) (Studenti)
4. Manon Lescaut: Act 1: 'Ma bravo!' (Edmondo) (Studenti) (Fanciulle) (Borghesi)
5. Manon Lescaut: Act 1: 'Discendono, vediam!' (Borghesi) (Edmondo) (Studenti) (Lescaut) (Oste) (Des Grieux) (Geronte)
6. Manon Lescaut: Act 1: 'Cortese damigella' (Des Grieux) (Manon) (Lescaut)
7. Manon Lescaut: Act 1: 'Donna non vidi mai' (Des Grieux)
8. Manon Lescaut: Act 1: 'La tua ventura ci rassicura' (Edmondo) (Studenti) (Fanciulle) (Geronte) (Lescaut) (Borghesi) (Oste)
9. Manon Lescaut: Act 1: 'La tua Proserpina' (Edmondo) (Des Grieux)
10. Manon Lescaut: Act 1: 'Vedete? Io son fedele' (Manon) (Des Grieux)
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Manon Lescaut: Act 2: 'Oh, saro la piu bella!' -- 'Tu, tu, amore? Tu?!' (Manon) (Des Grieux)
2. Manon Lescaut: Act 2: 'Ah!' - 'Affe, madamigella' (Manon) (Geronte) (Des Grieux)
3. Manon Lescaut: Act 2: 'Ah! ah! . . . Liberi!' (Manon) (Des Grieux)
4. Manon Lescaut: Act 2: 'Lescaut?!' - 'Tu qui?!' (Des Grieux) (Manon) (Lescaut) (Sergente) (Geronte)
5. Manon Lescaut: Act 2: Intermezzo
6. Manon Lescaut: Act 3: 'Ansia eterna, crudel' (Des Grieux) (Lescaut) (Manon)
7. Manon Lescaut: Act 3: '. . . Kate rispose al Re' (Lampionaio) (Des Grieux) (Manon)
8. Manon Lescaut: Act 3: 'Manon, disperato e il mio prego!' (Des Grieux) (Manon)
9. Manon Lescaut: Act 3: 'All'armi! All'armi!' (Voci) (Lescaut) (Des Grieux) (Manon) (Borghesi) (Popolani) (Sergente) (Comandante)
10. Manon Lescaut: Act 3: 'Rosetta!' - 'Eh! Che aria!' (Sergente) (Borghesi) (Popolani) (Lescaut) (Manon) (Des Grieux)
See all 16 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Chronique amazon.fr

Premier grand succès de Puccini au théâtre, cette Manon Lescaut à l'italienne a toujours souffert, en France, de la concurrence de l'autre Manon, celle, languide et tendre, de Massenet. Pourtant, c'est sans doute chez Puccini qu'on rencontre le mieux la passion dévorante et dévastatrice de Manon. Elle habite aussi bien le chant de l'héroïne ou celui de des Grieux, son amant - dont l'importance est capitale dans cet opéra - que le feu orchestral qui les enveloppe. De ce point de vue, Riccardo Muti, sans retrouver le flamboiement de son compatriote Giuseppe Sinopoli quinze ans auparavant, sait être présent avec son orchestre de la Scala dont on sent, à chaque détail, à chaque flexion, qu'il est "à sa main". Pourtant, on attend parfois un souffle qui ne vient pas. En revanche, les interprètes, eux, ne se ménagent pas. Maria Guleghina donne une interprétation exacerbée de Manon (malheureusement trop souvent axée sur cette seule exacerbation au détriment des subtilités psychologiques du personnage dont elle ne se soucie guère). José Cura dont le des Grieux, intensément lyrique, généreux, ravageur, séduisant, s'inscrit dans la filiation de celui de Placido Domingo. Sans détrôner la version Sinopoli (avec Freni et Domingo), cette Manon Lescaut offre un témoignage ardent du chant d'artistes, aujourd'hui en plein exercice, dans une oeuvre dont on peut déplorer qu'on ne l'entende pas plus souvent. --Alain Duault

From Amazon.co.uk

Puccini struggled especially hard with the birth of Manon Lescaut, his first triumph and, for all its flaws, his first real masterpiece. There's no question that the compassion he felt for the confused and ultimately doomed heroine of Abbé Prévost's 18th-century novel generated the kind of intensity he brought to Mimi or Tosca.

This live performance from June 1998 at La Scala is clearly banking on the star power of José Cura, who indeed makes his memorable mark on des Grieux. It's exactly the kind of role to absorb Cura's drawbacks (his moments of insecurity and odd phrasings) and let his strengths shine, and Cura uses his wonderfully dark, ardent tenor to embody des Grieux in all his helpless passion. As the title heroine, Maria Guleghina can be exasperatingly supercharged one moment, beguiling the next. She's not all that convincing as the character's frantic mood shifts, but is emotionally gripping in her bleak final monologue. Riccardo Muti is less uptight than usual in the pit and throws welcome light on the score's notable symphonic depth, bringing a sense of coherency to Puccini's not-quite-perfected vision. Some moments of frazzled string ensemble aside, the band plays beautifully. --Thomas May

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

By A Customer on Feb. 3 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is a record that has a lot of very different ratings by pro opera rewievers. Some rank it very good/high and others nearly rank it as a very bad performance/record (you could see what I mean by reading Amazon eds rew. and Penguin guides above).
I rank this set very high. In my opinion Muti, La Scala choir and orchestra performed excellent. Muti and his La Scala choir and orchestra do this Manon Lescaut with passion and warmth in this LIVE version from La Scala, Milan and Muti is in my opinion a very good, solid (Italian) conductor (famous).
Jose Cura is one of the great singers in our time, in the tradition of Domingo, and he show us why he is a great singer after a couple of minutes.
Maria Guleghina sings almost nearly perfect and she really shines like a superstar in act four.
The others have some small minors sometimes but also some great moments and I focus on that (the minors dont ruin this opera as they sometimes do in other records).
This is a LIVE set but coughs and so on occurs only a couple of times. You could sometimes imagine footsteps and so on (stage noises) but that is something giving you a, in this case a charming live feeling.
Beutiful sound and a very nice, informative libretto booklet, make this set a must have for Puccini fans.
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By Armindo on Dec 24 2000
Format: Audio CD
I was about to rate this version of Manon Lescaut with 3stars but I do not want to be among those who always convict new opera singers just because they don't sound like singers from the 50s or 60s or even 70s. Jose Cura and Maria Guleghina are both really nice, fresh singers and their recording of Manon Lescaut, Puccini's first success, is a proof of that.
Guleghina skillfully sings "in quelle trine morbide" as well as the most of the other parts of the opera while Cura performs a moving Des Grieux. He really has a rich, dark and enchanting tenor voice. None of them ever rivals the legendary 1954 ((P)1960) recording of the roles with Renata Tebaldi and Mario del Monaco but will anyone? It's perhaps useless to seek successors of such grand interpreters and it's much better to enjoy what the new generation, the new era has to offer us. Both Cura and Guleghina have a bright future in front of them and surely deserve it too! This is an important recording of Puccini's masterpiece that is worth buying.
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Format: Audio CD
Manon Lescaut, Puccini's first big hit, has an admirable recording history, and this new release is a worthy addition to the ranks. Certainly, the piece is flawed - the Boheme-like bustle of Act 1 gives way to the meatier Act 2, where all the important action (and some not-so-important) takes place; thereafter there the tragedy races preciptously to its sun-scorched conclusion in the Louisiana desert. Massenet's version may capture better the brittleness of Manon's world and the enigmatic nature of its central character, but Puccini wins hands down in the passion stakes. The music is full of life and invention, tantalisingly foreshadowing most of the composer's later work, and the love music is as explosive and hot-blooded as much of what preceded and followed in Italian opera.
This recording is taken from live performances at La Scala in 1998. Muti's conducting is really excellent, capturing the broad sweep of the work and much of the detail. However, the set's main attraction is its leading couple. Jose Cura and Maria Guleghina look wonderful in the accompanying photographs - it's hard to imagine a better looking soprano and tenor able to sing these roles today. Guleghina is hardly a natural coquette, which means that Acts 1 and 2 suffer a little (her request for the hair curlers sounds decidedly Tosca-like) but what a vibrant and exciting voice this is! Some flat high Bs aside, she brings to Manon's arching phrases a real Puccinian "lift" and spares nothing in the last act monologue. The effect of her singing in the theatre must have been overwhelming. Cura, too, gives his considerable all.
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Format: Audio CD
This recording of Puccini's first mature opera features two voices of proportions perhaps not ideally suited to their roles. As Manon, soprano Maria Guleghina exhibits a gloriously powerful voice of dramatic proportions (where are her recordings of Tosca and Santuzza?), strong throughout the range and thrilling at the top. The top C in her Act II duet with her brother is brilliantly rendered, and surprisingly well-recorded. Guleghina obviously has a good grasp of Manon's character, although (like Callas) she portrays the heroine of Prevost's novella perhaps more than that of Puccini's opera. As others have noted, her "Sola, abbandonata" monologue in the final act is beautifully and movingly sung--a rare accomplishment. In technical and dramatic means, she obliterates all other Manons except Renata Tebaldi and Callas. As des Grieux, Jose Cura contributes a good amount of high-octane singing. His voice is an awkward combination of raw power and certain intonation. What he lacks, in this recording, is an affinity for Puccinian elegance. Des Griuex is, after all, a young Frenchman of respectable birth. Cura's des Griuex is very much in the manner of Mario del Monaco: that is to say that it is well sung and compellingly acted through the voice alone, but the listener is left wondering how a sophiticated, worldly girl like Manon could have been captivated by such a brutish, bullying lad. Lucio Gallo tries to make something of the thankless role of Lescaut--it is, naturally, a pleasure to hear a major voice in this role. Luigi Roni fits his "Commendatore" voice well into the role of Geronte. All in all, this is a recording worth hearing for Guleghina's and Cura's raw power--even if not ideal, their passion is admirable.
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