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CD Review

Giuseppe Verdi

Il trovatore

  • Maria Callas
  • Rolando Panerai
  • Fedora Barbieri
  • Giuseppe di Stefano
  • Nicola Zaccaria
Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Milano/Herbert von Karajan
EMI Great Recordings of the Century 562898-2 129m ADD
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So much has been said about this classic recording by a whole host of eminent critics that there does not remain much for me to add. The tandem of Karajan and Callas is definitely one of the greatest artistic partnerships ever and their recordings have long been sought after collector's items for several decades.

Verdi's 'Trovatore' is one of his greatest middle period operas and this is fully understood by the great Karajan. Callas is absolutely outstanding as Leonora, probably the greatest interpretation ever. Panerai is a creditable Conte di luna although there have been finer interpreters of this role. Fedora Barbieri is a charming Azucena, with proper drama rather paramount. Giuseppe di Stefano's Manrico is also outstanding and the stellar cast is doubtfully one of the greatest ever assembled in the history of opera.

Karajan holds the score together with an iron grip throughout whilst the orchestral playing and choral work are of the highest standards with a fine albeit rather dry, recording. There is no substitute to Maria Callas in this opera and this set is definitely a great recording that will always be remembered and treasured by true lovers of opera.

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech