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
Turandot, Puccini's last opera, contains some of the most glorious music that he composed. And this performance does complete justice to the music. It is as close to a perfect performance that is possible. Dame Joan Sutherland, who never performed the role on stage, is as cold as ice as the man-hating princess until Calaf wins her heart. At that moment she transforms into a warm hearted lover.
This set was recorded in 1970, first appeared in 1971, and now is re-issued on CD as Decca - London ,there is just SOMETHING about the freedom and vocal ease of the 35-year-old Pavarotti (pre-beard!). The high notes shine and soar and he just seems to be the young, impetuous King. Milnes shows us why he was the logical American baritone successor to Tibbett, Warren, Weede, Merrill and MacNeil in the great Verdi roles .Grand Dame Renata Tebaldi as Amelia and Regina Resnik as Ulrica–both at the end of their best years; don't forget, their careers started in the mid-1940s ,the ladies acquit themselves well enough vocally and also add involved characterizations of their roles.
From 1992 Pavarotti annually hosted the "Pavarotti and Friends" charity concerts in his home town of Modena in Italy, joining with singers from all parts of the music industry, including Bryan Adams, Céline Dion, Mariah Carey, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Sting, Bono, Queen, Deep Purple, Sheryl Crow, the Spice Girls, and Jon Bon Jovi, to raise money for several UN causes.
This performance, taped at La Scala on opening night, 1963, is a breathtaking example of true verismo performing. […] The sound is surprisingly good, but certainly not up to modern standards. I still love the Scotto/Domingo/Levine [[i]Cavalleria rusticana] set on RCA–but sorry, all other recorded performances of this work pale beside this one. Robert Levine, Classicstoday.com.
Erstwhile 10,000 Maniacs frontwoman Natalie Merchant continues her highly successful solo career with LIVE IN CONCERT, a show that was recorded at New York's Neil Simon Theater. The set opens, somewhat appropriately, with one of the songs that got Merchant's solo career off to a blazing start, "Wonder." As she usually does in live performance, Merchant plays with the lyrical phrasing of the song to add unexpected melisma and daring tonal gambits. Merchant lends the dark and ephemeral "San Andreas Fault" a lightly sultry quality not found on the studio version. Other familiar favorites include "Beloved Wife," "Carnival," and "Ophelia." Merchant revisits the Maniacs' catalog only once, for a rousing take on "Gun Shy." Two unexpected covers spice the middle of the set: a haunting and powerful reading of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," and a beautiful take on Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush".