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Subject: Re: DON CARLO Recordings
From: Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 7 Aug 2017 19:06:14 -0400
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On Sat, Aug 5, 2017 at 7:12 PM, William Fiorelli <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> I have an number of DON CARLO CDs in my collection and recently read
> through a discography.  I am not familiar with the following two recordings
> and am interested in your opinions.  Thanks!BILL
> DON CARLO ( 5 ACT version)  Santini, Labo, Christoff, Stella, Cossotto,
> Bastianini, Vinco, 1961
> DON CARLO ( 4 ACT version) Santini, Filippeschi, Christoff, Stella,
> Nicolai, Gobbi, Neri, 1954


At first I was surprised that nobody replied onlist to this query because
there are quite a few DON CARLO aficionados here, but then this also shows
that there are probably no champions of these two sets. Both are early
studios and one would think they would be more than just souvenirs from the
time when this opera was not much recorded. I think that Santini's boring
conducting on both sets and a variable cast make them both almost, but not
entirely, forgettable for some listeners.

That said, I heard only the later of these two recordings because it was
the only studio recording of Bastianini's Posa, whose rich voice comes
through with the same brilliance as on his great live performances, and
that alone makes this set worthwhile to get. I would also add Christoff's
imposing King Philip (to my ears even better than on the legendary '58 live
from ROH) and one of the better Dona Carlos on record, Flaviano Labo. I am
not as familiar with Labo but he strikes me as a true spinto tenor and I am
frankly mystified why he didn't have a major career. I hope Stella did
better on the first set because here you can hear some lovely singing but
devoid of any interpretive insight (by contrast, she is a wonderful
Maddalena in the film version of ANDREA CHENIER with Del Monaco). The main
liability is Santini whose routine approach to the score often borders on
boredom but this is Verdi's masterpiece that is difficult to destroy. While
this is I believe the first studio to include the Fontainebleau scene (in
Italian) but then Santini makes many cuts elsewhere. So, if you love this
opera, I think you would enjoy the great Bastianini as Posa as well as
Labo's Don Carlo and Christoff's Phillip.

Just my two cents. Vesna

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