Before I write a review, I would like to say few words about the Composer. Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) was enormously successful operatic composer during his life time ( admired by many contemporary composers, among them by the great Polish composer Frederic Chopin(1810-49) who expressed his admiration, by calling the opera a masterpiese) , few composers have been so frequently vituperated by later generations. For many decades Meyerbeer's four great. Operas have generally been considered the operatic equivalent of behomoths and if the law of the survival of the fittest applies than they seem to be consigned to permanent oblivion. Richard Wagner, the most eloquently caustic of all antisemitic denigrators summed up Meerbeer 's operatic style neatly. " A monstrous motley, historic- romantic sacrotrivolosus, mysteriously brazen,sentimental- humbugging dramatic hootch- potch" yet strangely enough,most other composer's who value stagecraft and dramatic effects judged
Meyerbeer quite differently, Verdi, Bizet, Berlioz, Mussorgsky /- quested as having admired certain aspects of his craft.Of all 19th century composers, Meyerbeer was perhaps the most meticulous craftsman. Reviewing the present performance we are fortunate ( despite severe cuts of the opera ) to enjoy two splendid vocal moments
Stand out: the first when Boris Christoff created musical atmosphere for the first time in the opera as he
Apostrophized the ruined nunnery, the second when Renata Scotto sung meltingly to her hopelessly disoriented lover. Boris Christoff in this sort of form is an almost unique operatic performer with talent and ability to relish the word, to penetrate and articulate music " wrote Earl Harewood in Opera.
I can understand, why many Amazon .com customers purchase the operas on an inexpensive Opera D'oro Label
saving an extra dollar. Yet, by doing so they deprived themselves of purchasing the same recording of an opera available in more luxurious Edition and in much better sound. Such is the case of Meyerbeer Roberto il Diavolo
Issued on the Label Opera D'oro.This inferior Edition was reviewed by four different customers, while at the same time the. More luxurious and much better sounding Myto Records has never been reviewed thus far. I
Understand that the price of the recording is a big factor, but if one want's to enjoy and express publically his opinion, please review the best Edition,and doing this you will not judged Composers and performers unfairly.
Despite the cuts and a foreign language this is an outstanding performance. It is better than the Gala Edition with Samuel Ramey and the Edition on Dynamics conducted by Renato Palumbo. In conclusion ,I can say only that we are very fortunate to have this recording available to us .It will be possible to find another soprano,who will do the justice to Meyerbeer dementing music, but to find another Boris Christoff is only possible once in a Century.
CD 3 includes several arias sung by Boris Christoff. Highly recommended.