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Turandot

Puccini Giacomo Audio CD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 34.69 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details


Disc: 1
1. People Of Proud Peking
2. When All Was Lost
3. Sharpen The Axe!
4. Is The Moon Never Rising?
5. How Young To Die!
6. Son, Are You Mad?
7. What Do You Want? Who Are You?
8. Why So Much Noise?
9. Nights Without A Gleam Of Starlight
10. I Beg You, Hear Me
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. The Princess Turandot Commands
2. None Shall Sleep Now!
3. These Girls Should Please You!
4. How Pale You Look, O Stranger!
5. Yes, I Love Him So Deeply!
6. You Who With Ice Are Shrouded
7. Liu!... Liu!... Wake Up!
8. Deathly Princess, So Heartless!
9. What Have You Done?
10. I Never Wept Before
See all 11 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Yes, it's sung in English, and the translation is as pungent as the original, but the compelling reason for buying this set is for the Turandot. It is, hands down, Jane Eaglen's finest recording. The soprano is in superb voice, absolutely secure, with high notes easy and blazing and tenderness available when needed. A great performance. O'Neill's Calaf is caught too late in his career to be totally heroic, but his dedication and involvement are never in doubt. Mary Plazas's Liu has the requisite (amazingly beautiful) soft high notes, and she's deeply moving. Clive Baylay does what he can with Timur, the dullest bass role in opera. Nicolai Gedda offers a cameo as the ancient Emperor, singing in perfectly understandable English. David Parry's leadership is thrilling. And Chandos's engineers have given us a crystal-clear recording, even in the biggest, heaviest moments. Very exciting. --Robert Levine

Product Description

Chœur Geoffrey Mitchel - Chœur du New London Children - Philharmonia Orchestra - David Parry, direction

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars this turandot rules supreme Dec 6 2002
Format:Audio CD
This performance is recorded in magnificent sound and captures an interpretation full of energy and verve by all performers involved.
jane eaglen, above all, our greatest living turandot.
the chandos company captures the full beauty and size of her voice ( as it did with her tosca and aida ) unlike any of her sony recordings ( why ? why ? why ? ). this will tide us over until decca FINALLY releases the live metropolitan performance with pavarotti, hong and levine it has been sitting on lo these many years.
dennis o'neil, excellent in everything except the big act 3 aria
and their the competition is just too fierce. plazas is a good
liu and like o'neil maybe lacking that last bit of polish that
makes a good singer a great one.
and speaking of great singers, nicolai gedda as the emporer,
what a treat !
timur, ping, pang and pong all very good.
the scene change for act 2 has to be heard ( and felt ) to be believed ( i think my living room floor shuddered )

parry, the conductor, knows how to drive this piece forward and when to take his time and the chandos team captures the chorus and orchestra in extraordinary clarity and sparkle.
i have rarely heard an accoustic so spacious and full.
all hail jane eaglen ! may she reign for a thousand years !
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2.0 out of 5 stars A mediocre performance Dec 11 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I don't find this recording to be at all satisfactory. The orchestral playing is good enough and Puccini's colorful score gets a vivid, if not truly exceptional reading. Unfortunately, the singing leaves much to be desired. Jane Eaglen's Turandot is underpowered and she sounds like the character's same old haughty self even when she's supposed to be won over by Calaf's love. This is a very one-dimensional and uninteresting characterisation. Dennis O'Neill is caught here past his prime. Some of the high notes (and high lying passages) are rather effortful and the tenor is not in very fresh voice. Mary Plazas gives a tender performance of Liu with some beautifully spin-out high notes. Hers is the best performance of the set. The other roles are adequately taken but it's good of have Gedda as the Emperor.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Eaglen disappoints July 28 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Jane Eaglen has often been touted as the coming great dramatic soprano. However, her recorded work doesn't give people any such impression. Her Turandot on this set is underpowered, unsteady and unfeeling. It's just a cardboard protrayal without any real vocal or interpretative distinction. The other members of the cast perform adequately.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this turandot rules supreme Dec 6 2002
By Patrick J. Mack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This performance is recorded in magnificent sound and captures an interpretation full of energy and verve by all performers involved.
jane eaglen, above all, our greatest living turandot.
the chandos company captures the full beauty and size of her voice ( as it did with her tosca and aida ) unlike any of her sony recordings ( why ? why ? why ? ). this will tide us over until decca FINALLY releases the live metropolitan performance with pavarotti, hong and levine it has been sitting on lo these many years.
dennis o'neil, excellent in everything except the big act 3 aria
and their the competition is just too fierce. plazas is a good
liu and like o'neil maybe lacking that last bit of polish that
makes a good singer a great one.
and speaking of great singers, nicolai gedda as the emporer,
what a treat !
timur, ping, pang and pong all very good.
the scene change for act 2 has to be heard ( and felt ) to be believed ( i think my living room floor shuddered )

parry, the conductor, knows how to drive this piece forward and when to take his time and the chandos team captures the chorus and orchestra in extraordinary clarity and sparkle.
i have rarely heard an accoustic so spacious and full.
all hail jane eaglen ! may she reign for a thousand years !
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A mediocre performance Dec 11 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I don't find this recording to be at all satisfactory. The orchestral playing is good enough and Puccini's colorful score gets a vivid, if not truly exceptional reading. Unfortunately, the singing leaves much to be desired. Jane Eaglen's Turandot is underpowered and she sounds like the character's same old haughty self even when she's supposed to be won over by Calaf's love. This is a very one-dimensional and uninteresting characterisation. Dennis O'Neill is caught here past his prime. Some of the high notes (and high lying passages) are rather effortful and the tenor is not in very fresh voice. Mary Plazas gives a tender performance of Liu with some beautifully spin-out high notes. Hers is the best performance of the set. The other roles are adequately taken but it's good of have Gedda as the Emperor.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars terrible to excellent singing, excellent playing, Epiphanic sound Sept. 22 2010
By Ray Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
If the vocal performances were of equal stature to the conducting, orchestral playing and sound engineering, this would be my favourite opera recording, period. I am having a hard time evaluating this because of the extreme range of quality. For me the biggest letdown was Dennis O'Neill as Calaf, who simply did not have a strong enough voice for this role. Mario del Monaco, whom I consider to have been mediocre, was far better. As for Jane Eaglen, I am not a huge fan of her singing, I thought her performance was adequate. Her diction, even in English, was sometimes not very good. She had excellent power and accuracy, but I found the tone of the voice too shrill. While Turandot is described as the Ice Princess, this applies to her spitefulness and hatred of men and is reflected in her acting; yet at the same time, she has to look and sound beautiful, being supremely desirable at the same time. Eaglen's vocalization was more suitable in my view to Elektra than Turandot. It should also be mentioned that those who like her singing will not be dissapointed with this performance. The rest of the cast, particularly Nicolai Gedda as the Emperor, was excellent. Anytime neither Turandot nor Calaf were singing, this was sheer joy to listen to.

The English translation takes some getting used to, but if there is one benefit, the first scene of Act II was more entertaining. Overall, I still prefer the Italian original, it is to my ear more lyrical.

I found the conducting, tempi and orchestral playing to be the equal of any other recording of this opera, and it was great to hear the score at such a lively tempo without any loss of detail. The Karajan DGG set is marvellous too, but it drags a bit compared to this one.

Last and most importantly, the sound engineering is as close to perfection as any recording I have heard in about 32 years of listening to classical music on record, equalling or surpassing a good number of Super Audio CDs and Audio DVDs. I have never heard this much detail in this score on another recording or twice in the opera house. While listening at one point I thought there was someone at the front door, but not so - it was in the music. For those who revel in rich orchestral sound, and are prepared to tolerate very inconsistent vocalization, this set could be "desert island" material. It simply has to be heard to be believed. The balance between voices and orchestra is also superb. The performance has several spectacular moments, not the least of which is the scene change in Act II. The sumptuousness and grandliloquence literally brought me to tears.

For me this recording is a favourite alongside the great Zubin Mehta set with the London Philharmonic for Decca. I wish this set had the sound engineering of the Chandos release, then it would be a world-beater.

I recommend this set as a demonstration recording for testing audio equipment. It was played on my computer, with Harman Kardon speakers. Typical of highest quality audio recordings, the bass response was outstanding. The music easily filled our house, both floors.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent introduction April 7 2009
By wvc - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Definitely not the greatest recording of Turandot ever, and many of the lines sound either awkward or silly when sung in English (I'm suff'rin' Father, suff'rin'!). However, some of the translation is very clever (we don't want any foreign imports!).

You will need the libretto, though, as Eaglen is practically impossible to understand when she's in the higher notes. If you want to download the MP3s (which is a lot cheaper), you can still get the libretto from the Chandos website for free! Just search their website.

If you enjoy this version I would recommend getting the Placido Domingo (as Calaf) and James Levine conducting DVD version. It's of a fantastic Zeffirelli production that is just a whole lot of fun to watch (although it is more difficult to see if you have a small tv).
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Eaglen disappoints July 28 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Jane Eaglen has often been touted as the coming great dramatic soprano. However, her recorded work doesn't give people any such impression. Her Turandot on this set is underpowered, unsteady and unfeeling. It's just a cardboard protrayal without any real vocal or interpretative distinction. The other members of the cast perform adequately.
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