Carlos Kleiber's 1977 La Traviata is a rare gestalt among studio opera recordings, and it is one of the conductor's finer achievements. Kleiber knits the score together with unwavering rhythmic and dramatic intensity, never allowing any single moment to eclipse the larger scene or musical structure. The singers are kept on a tight leash – given enough room to shape phrases and cadences, but not to indulge in sheer vocal display. The orchestra is similarly focused on realizing every detail of rhythm, melody, and articulation with vivid intensity. As a result, favorite arias, duets, and ensembles melt into the surrounding scenes in a way that invites curiosity about the drama at large while propelling it relentlessly forward. The general pace may strike some as a bit fast, but it's never boring, and frequently brilliant.
Given the depth, range and quality of the Deutsche Grammophon catalogue, it’s hardly been difficult to put together another anthology of great recordings and great artists. The structure is as before – here are 53 original albums (including three double-sets), featuring the great names of Deutsche Grammophon’s recording history, presented, once more, in alphabetical order of artist. Claudio Abbado leads off with a complete Carmen and Krystian Zimerman rounds off with his memorable account of the Chopin Ballades.
Decca is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the supreme master of Italian opera Giuseppe Verdi’s birth in matchless style by releasing in February 2013 a 75-CD box containing his entire canon of works.
The Vienna Carmen from 1978 is a sensational filmed document from the musical legacy of Carlos Kleiber: the meticulous conductor only ever conducted a highly selected repertoire, and among his very few audio and video recordings are only seven complete operas.
As recommendable an album as anyone could wish, Carlos Kleiber's performances with the Vienna Philharmonic of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, and the Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, are classics that should always be within reach, and this disc should be passed along to friends as the single best pairing of these two pieces. Other performances of these symphonies are absolutely essential to know, and recordings by many great conductors and orchestras certainly compete with this Deutsche Grammophon album for listeners' affections.
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture…
Betrayal and forgiveness are the themes of this complex opera: Amelia's betrayal of her husband, Renato (she is having an affair with Riccardo. governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony), and the betrayal and assassination of Riccardo by a group of conspirators. The libretto is better integrated than most of Verdi's operas written before Otello and Falstaff. It was originally about an historic incident, the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden, but Roman censors, nervous about royal assassinations, forced the absurd relocation of the opera to colonial Boston. The music is prime middle-period Verdi, less spectacular than Il Trovatore, Rigoletto or La Forza del Destino, but it is warmly, richly expressive. It requires and rewards exceptionally good voices, and it gets them in this production. Outstanding work by Muti helps make this one of the best Verdi recordings ever made.–Joe McLellan
LA Opera's latest production of Verdi s Macbeth (2016) features Plácido Domingo in the title role and Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk as Lady Macbeth. The opera is staged by Darko Tresnjak, who won a Tony Award for his direction of the Broadway musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder.