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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 1 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B0006G9HAC
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #342,899 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Act 2. Un bel di vedremo
2. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Act 3. Tu, tu, piccolo iddio
3. Edgar, opera: Act 3. Addio, mio dolce amor
4. Edgar, opera: Act 3. Nel villaggio d'Edgar
5. La Rondine (The Swallow), opera: Act 1. Chi il bel sogno di Doretta
6. La bohÃ, opera: Act 1. Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì
7. La bohème, opera: Act 2. Quando me n'vò
8. La bohème, opera: Act 3. Donde lieta uscì
9. La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West), opera: Act 1. L'amore Ã.. un'altra cosa...Laggiù nel Soledad
10. Manon Lescaut, opera: Act 2. In quelle trine morbide
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Tosca, opera: Act. 2 Vissi d'arte

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa13136cc) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa13a3f0c) out of 5 stars STUNNING INTERPRETATIONS!... with some drawbacks April 9 2005
By Ygor - Published on
As any Opera fan knows, when a recording is dismissed by the critics, on the whole that means there's many artistic qualities in it. In fact, many recordings that are now considered legendary versions were considered insufficient when they were first released. The same way the legendary Maria Callas suffered from lots of critics during all her career and even after her death, Angela Gheorghiu has nowadays suffered from the over-exigency of her listeners and the malice of her critics. As for this long-expected album, there are lots of artistic and emotional qualities in it and, unfortunately, some disturbing imperfections one should know.

Angela Gheorghiu sings wonderfully here. She's using all the power and versatility of her voice in order to sing some of the most complex heroines ever. Curiously, as we listen to the whole album, it's clear the real highlights of it aren't the worldly famous arias from Madama Butterfly or La Bohème, but the less famous and equally poignant ones. Gheorghiu sings the first aria from Edgar (''Addio, mio dolce amor'') with both gentleness and intensity and, as for her vocal performance, it's impossible to resist to her tearful rounded voice. The second aria from Edgar (''Nel villaggio d'Edgar'') is the most impressive of all arias in the album. First, because it's a big surprise that such an enchanting aria is so rarely recorded; second, because Gheorghiu shows the all the qualities that made her one of the leading sopranos of our times: her steady and dark-coloured middle, her floating pianissimi and her magnificent technique, which allows her to sing wonderful trills. Other extremely beautiful performances the arias from Manon Lescaut, Suor Angelica, Le Villi e Madama Butterfly.

After listening to every tracks lots of times, I could find only two minor drawbacks in Gheorghiu's singing. In the last two years, she has tended to sing the lower notes as if they were spoken, which can either convey more dramaticism or disturb the purity of the vocal line. Besides, I've noticed that her former sweet and crystalline high notes are turning into a more powerful and metallic sound... and also with more vibrato. Maybe that's just the case of a lyric soprano who's turning into a spinto, but I really think she should protect her precious high range.

Angela Gheorghiu, being the most complete singer actress of our days, has a complete idea of how to use the words and the melody to dramatic effect. Her dramaticism isn't screamy or exaggerated at all. Actually, it's subtle and naïve, but nevertheless powerful and impressive. Of course, in an album of excerpted arias she doesn't have the opportunity to give deep dramatic insights to each role. However, if her interpretations are always involved in a deep feminineness and innocence, she's able to express completely different personalities. After all, the icy Turandot, the tragic Cio-Cio-San, the naïve Mimì, all of them are, above all, passionate women. Her most complete characterizations are revealed in the despair of Manon Lescaut's aria (''Sola, perduta, abbandonata'') and in the Heavenly sadness of Angelica's ''Senza mamma''. Her lyric tragic temperament, as well as her dark lyric voice, suits the (apparently) fragile heroines (Mimì, Cio-Cio-San, Liù, Angelica, etc.) better than the fiery roles (Turandot and Minnie) or the sexy ones (Musetta). However, being a true artist, Gheorghiu's performances of both Turandot's and Minnie's arias are not only beautifully sung, but also dramatically effective, though one can easily notice she's not the ideal performer of those roles.

So, what can I say about the conducting? Well, here the conductor seemed as he was against, and not for, the singer. Conductor Anton Coppola preferred the slow tempos in almost every arias, and that sometimes can be disturbing. In the slow arias, like ''Addio, mio dolce amor'' or ''In quelle trine morbide'', everything's right. However, in the faster parts, which requires a lively conducting in order to deliver all the details of the melody, the conducting is so slow, and even monotone, that some wonderful melodies simply don't exist. Fortunately, most of times, Gheorghiu manages to use her voice and dramatic inflections, recovering the subtle details of Puccini's music.

In overall, I recommend this vocally amazing album not only for fans of Angela Gheorghiu, but also for everyone who loves the music of Puccini and wants to know Gheorghiu's artistry. No doubt it has some drawbacks, but there's so much wonderful singing and so many moving interpretations you will listen it only with your heart!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa13a6330) out of 5 stars Great potential, but give it some time.... March 11 2005
By Brian Board - Published on
I am a big fan of Angela Gheorghiu and support her work because I believe all of her projects are high quality due her unique instrument and musical/theatrical instincts. This CD is no exception, although some of the repertoire is still above her head.
I do believe overall, everything on the CD is well sung and her voice remains consistent and secure, illustrating a very good technique. However, many of these arias require a spinto edge to the sound which has not totally developed in Gheorghiu. The most obvious being "In Questa Reggia" which really requires a trumpeting dramatic voice to really thrill the audience. In a hall, Gheorghiu's voice would not be adequate. The special moments are in full lyric arias she is known for. La Rondine shines, Mimi is of course her signature, and the Suor Angelica is hauntingly poignent and beautiful. Liu's arias are also well suited. One negative; Gheorghiu tends to suffer from a minor pitch deficiency sometimes, due to the way she colors her tone. However, the effects she achieves by doing this outweigh the human error. Callas was notorious for singing sharp, and now she's revered as the greatest Opera star ever. It made for exciting music. Perfection is dull and lacks emotion and artistry. I hear great potential in future endeavors with Butterfly and I'm sure Manon Lescaut will be one of her signature roles later in her career. These last two operas however require that same spinto edge which Gheorghiu needs to continue developing. I hope to witness these productions when they come to pass, but not just yet.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa185796c) out of 5 stars PUCCINI AT HIS GLORIOUS BEST Nov. 22 2012
By Richard E. Kaye - Published on
Verified Purchase
I loved this collection of Puccini arias for many reasons. First of all, Ms. Gheorghiu has a voice made for Puccini. Her interpretations are exquisite, and the voice is simply lovely. The choice of adding a number of arias from lesser-known operas such as "Edgar," "La Fanciulla del West," and "Le Villi" was brilliant. In fact, they have become my particular favorites. Add to all of that is the fact that she is such a beautiful artist. If you had six stars, I would have given it all six.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa13a6510) out of 5 stars Disappointing Puccini recital Dec 5 2005
By Subterranean - Published on
Angela Gheorgiou can sing Puccini like nobody's bussiness, but something is missing from this collection. It's good, with few rough spots (and admittedly, pitch issues) but I don't want "good" from Angela, I want GREAT! She can do better. She can sing these arias with more passion, better technique and I just don't understand what has happened to her. There is sameness to all these arias, and not much color or variation.

Vissi D'arte is very good, and In questa Regia is great, very different from how it is usually done, but Tu, Tu, Piccolo Iddio is not good at all and I don't like Quando Me N'vo either, I have heard much better performances of this classic, especially by Anna Netrebko, who is hot on Angela's heels as the next great diva. Watch your back, dear Angela!

Also, the programming on this album is strange, why is Vissi D'arte on a seperate disc...?

For anyone who loves this voice, it would still be a nice recital, but I am disappointed, I expected better.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1334594) out of 5 stars The most beautiful, addictive, lyrical voice of today Aug. 18 2005
By mythos - Published on
Angela Gheorghiu is one of those rare, beautiful, addictive, lyrical voices that one wants to listen to again and again. I do not know what it is: the voice itself, the colour, the crafted execution, the beautiful timbre...maybe all combined together to make a listening pleasure that begs you to come back again and again. I love this CD and I also recommend it for its artistic presentation.