This studio recording was made in 1989 coinciding with a memorable production from the Metropolitan Opera, later captured on DVD. It's a delightful performance, and a wonderful highlight of Pavarotti's later career. Kathleen Battle's sparkling soprano is a brilliant accompaniment to Pavarotti's still-ringing tone.
"Pavarotti's voice was still beautiful and pliable, his phrasing exquisite. And he loved the role of Nemorino and always seemed happy with both its comedy and pathos–he steals every scene he's in, and no one minds…Kathleen Battle sings Adina with perfect, pearl-like tone, absolute fluency and commitment, and a trill to die for…Enzo Dara is an ideal Dulcamara, just the right combination of huckster and sentimentalist, with ease in every register and with fast music."
– Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
Gaetano Donizetti opera's La Favorita originally had a French libretto and the title La Favorite. One of Donizetti’s finest music dramas, it was written at his peak as an orchestrator. The Italian, and better-known version, evolved two years after the French premiere and has become the more-performed version, exemplified by this famous 1974 recording starring Luciano Pavarotti, Fiorenza Cossotto, Gabriel Bacquier and Nicolai Ghiaurov. Pavarotti's voice has been called "youthful and fresh" on this album. Pavarotti's frequent collaborator Richard Bonynge conducts the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna.
2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the relationship between Luciano Pavarotti and Decca a fitting occasion to marvel once again at the sheer quality of the voice of the 20th Century s greatest tenor.
This 27 CD survey reviews the totality of Pavarotti s remarkably intense first decade with Decca. Everything the artist recorded for the company from signing his contract until 1973 is here, allowing critics and collectors and opera lovers once more to appreciate his exceptional achievement in that first decade for the Decca label.
There is only one studio recording available of Donizetti's La Favorita (Italian version, not the original French language La Favorite) This is a bravura role for Luciano Pavarotti who's voice is certainly at its best here singing the role of Fernando, repertoire that could have been written just for him. The high C's and C#'s are exquisite here. He truly seems to know what he is singing about for this recording and his performance comes accross as very believable because of it. Fiorenza Cossotto is especially moving in her role as the "the favorite," Leonora. I found it unfortunate that she was not in better voice for the first act of this recording. Very disturbing was the love duet with Pavarotti.
The Decca performance of the Donizetti comic masterpiece L'Elisir d'amore is simply the best ever put on record. With the incomparable trio of Sutherland/Pavarotti/Bonynge at the peak of their careers, this performance of L'Elisir is one that you will turn to again and again – sheer delight from the first moments of the overture to the grand finale. One has to admit that some of Pavarotti's later performances can be difficult to listen to because of the strain in the voice, but not a hint of strain mars his performance here…
This classic account of La Fille du régiment has already seen print in the usual slip box fashion. This mid-price issue gives the same info and pictures (sans the covers, which are unique to each set), but drops the German and Italian translations in favor of French and English only…
Hardly any other singer of our time has had such an uninterrupted and brilliant career as the Australian soprano, Joan Sutherland. Already described as ‘La Stupenda’, the ‘Koloraturwunder’' or ‘The Incomparable’, she can look back on a career stretching over more than forty years which was soundly based and intelligently developed. Sutherland has been on the stage since 1947. Her European career began in London in 1952 and in 1959 the producers at DECCA became aware of the new vocal miracle and entered into an exclusive contract with Joan Sutherland. Since that time her regular recordings have captured all the important stages of her career…
This wonderful performance, taken from the stage of the Met in 1992 (and probably with a fix-up session or two), is a grand remembrance of two great singers who have since collapsed in different ways. Pavarotti already was uncomfortably fat when this was taped, but neither his breath nor his physical movements had been badly affected–that happened a mere two or three years later. At 57, the voice was still beautiful and pliable, his phrasing exquisite. And he loved the role of Nemorino and always seemed happy with both its comedy and pathos–he steals every scene he's in, and no one minds. (The Met recorded another L'elisir with him in 1981, and he is marginally better in every way–and at least 75 pounds lighter and therefore more agile on stage; but that performance is currently unavailable.)… –Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com