HD-Vinyls 24/96 (DGG) Georges Bizet – Carmen (Baltsa/Carreras)

Absolutely mint, never played before, for more than 30 years…enjoy it and sorry for Ricciarelli…although she’s quiet good here, in the role of Michaela.
Reposted, now with FF links

# Composer: Georges Bizet
# Singer: Agnes Baltsa, José Carreras, José van Dam, Katia Ricciarelli
# Orchestra: Berlin Philarmonic Orchestra
# Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
# Vinyls (1983)
# Number of Discs: 3
# Format: Flac (Tracks)
# Label: Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft
# DR-Analysis: DR 13
# ASIN: B000001G4J
# Size:
3.38 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory

This marvelous recording can be a perfect introduction to the world of opera. Maestro von Karajan achieves his trademark perfection with the Berliners and with the cast of ideal singers for Bizet’s masterpiece. Baltsa is simultaneously playful, witty, self-indulgent, and dangerous Carmen. She has a very long vocal phrase; and what a fiery rendition of “Les tringles des sistres tintailent”! Jose Carreras shows Don Jose’s character development extremely well, from ardent and passionate, ready-to-leave-everything young soldier to a man obsessed; gradually you begin to believe Don Jose could kill. His Flower Song is very gentle and tender, as opposed to the war-cries often displayed by others. The final scene is so vividly acted, I had “tingles down my spine”. Katia Ricciarelli is fully “at home” with a role of angel-like Micaela, her 1st Act duet with Carreras is one of the most beautiful things one could ever hear. Van Dam brings out everything we like to see in Escamillo: single-mindedness, arrogance, and swagger. Karajan uses an interesting orchestral arrangement of the Toreador Song before “Tout d’un coup, on fait silence…” making you imagine the pause just before the bull charges. He also slows it down a bit, increasing the tension throughout and the last chords of it are like wineglasses clashing triumphantly together. Supporting roles are taken by some impressive vocal powers, including Jane Barbie and Gino Quilico. Btw, there is a Carmen video featuring Baltsa and Carreras, also from DG, fantastically sang and recorded.

 Analyzed folder: /Volumes/HDMUSIC/96kBizCa_Bal/96k Bizet Carmen – Baltsa Carreras
 DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
 DR13        -0.66 dB     -20.10 dB     Side1.wav
 DR14        -0.80 dB     -20.82 dB     Side2.wav
 DR13        -0.67 dB     -18.95 dB     Side3.wav
 DR13        -0.38 dB     -19.85 dB     Side4.wav
 DR13        -0.32 dB     -19.05 dB     Side5.wav
 DR11        -0.14 dB     -15.79 dB     Side6.wav
 Number of files:    6
 Official DR value:    DR13


  • Adapted By [Dialogue Adaptation] – Raymond Gerome
  • Art Direction – Peter Schuppe
  • Chorus – Chœur De L’Opéra De Paris*, Schöneberger Sängerknaben
  • Chorus Master – Jean Laforge
  • Chorus Master [Assistance Musicale] – Walter Hagen-Groll
  • Composed By – Georges Bizet
  • Conductor – Herbert von Karajan
  • Coordinator – Claudia Hamann, Raymond Ducarre
  • Design – Werner Koberstein
  • Edited By – Reinhild Schmidt
  • Engineer – Günter Hermanns
  • Libretto By – Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy
  • Liner Notes [English] – Martin Cooper (5)
  • Liner Notes [German] – Wolfgang Dömling
  • Liner Notes [Traduction] – Jacques Fournier
  • Liner Notes [Traduzione] – Gabriele Cervone
  • Liner Notes [Translation] – Adele Poindexter
  • Orchestra – Berliner Philharmoniker
  • Photography [Melbye] – Virginia
  • Photography By [Artist Photos] – Siegfried Lauterwasser
  • Photography By [Booklet Front Cover] – Gabriela Brandenstein
  • Photography By [Box Set Front Cover] – Christina Burton
  • Photography By [Van Dam] – Susesch Bayat
  • Producer – Günther Breest, Renate Kupfer
  • Recording Supervisor – Michel Glotz
  • Supervised By [Dialogue Supervision] – Jean-Noël Sissia
  • Translated By [Libretto To English] – Lionel Salter
  • Translated By [Libretto To German] – Walter Felsenstein
  • Vocals [Andrès] – Michel Marinpouille
  • Vocals [Carmen] – Agnes Baltsa
  • Vocals [Don José] – José Carreras
  • Vocals [Escamillo] – José van Dam
  • Vocals [Frasquita] – Christine Barbaux
  • Vocals [Le Dancaïre] – Gino Quilico
  • Vocals [Le Remendado] – Heinz Zednik
  • Vocals [Mercédès] – Jane Berbié
  • Vocals [Micaëla] – Katia Ricciarelli
  • Vocals [Moralès] – Mikael Melbye
  • Vocals [Un Bohémien] – Alain Pilard
  • Vocals [Une Marchande] – Anne-Marie Tostain
  • Vocals [Zuniga] – Alexander Malta
  • Voice Actor [Andrès] – David Clair
  • Voice Actor [Carmen] – Maria Laborit
  • Voice Actor [Don José] – Jean Barney
  • Voice Actor [Escamillo / Moralès] – Tony Jacquot
  • Voice Actor [Frasquita] – Isabel Karajan
  • Voice Actor [Le Dancaïre / Un Soldat] – Alain Hitier
  • Voice Actor [Lillas Pastia / Le Guide] – Robert Manuel
  • Voice Actor [Mercédès] – Claudine Coster
  • Voice Actor [Micaëla] – Danièle Ajoret
  • Voice Actor [Zuniga] – Jean-Noël Sissia

Ripping Infos

  • RCM: Okki Nokki
  • TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
  • System: Special Edition Denon DL 103
  • Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box II
  • Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
  • Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
  • Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
  • Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
  • Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Light de-Clicking with ClickRepair, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising

If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.

  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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Click on the “Donate”-button. Thank you very much !

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14 thoughts on “HD-Vinyls 24/96 (DGG) Georges Bizet – Carmen (Baltsa/Carreras)

  1. thank you! but why these cruel words about Ricciarelli? Her voice in the early 80s was still very beautiful, didn’t Karajan know better than us, to have chosen her for this recording?….

    • Ricciarelli is not a singer, she is a screamer and she always had very powerful…ehm…sponsors, because of her great “performances” outside of a theater. Try to find out, who is former husband was…

      Of course, this is my opinion…other people can further believe, she is a opera singer. Like Renata Scotto, that’s also fo me no opera singer…but many persons loves her.
      I heard with my ears, someone saying, Maria Callas and Anna Netrebko were impostors, that became great only with help of powerful men 😉

      • Ahahahah, Rach, you’re so right about Katia. Netrebko is one of the greatest bluffs imposed by the media. Venturing Anna Bolena? She must be joking!
        Anyway, Carmen is not a favourite of mine. However… I’d be curious to hear the one with Leontyne Price you intend to upload it.
        Grazie mille!

  2. Well, I’m Greek and I adore Callas but indeed she married her grandfather… ehm, sorry, mr. Meneghini, and he was a millionaire and he helped her a lot. Plus there are many rumors here about her wartime “friendships” with SS officers during the German occupation of Greece. Let’s just say that after Liberation Day she simply HAD to leave Greece to start her international carrier – to avoid execution by the communists. But her character has nothing to do with her voice.
    I don’t have many things by either Scotto nor Ricciarelli but I do have live recordings by them from La Scala (Renata from Lucia in 1967 and Katia from Suor Angelica in 1973 I think) and I don’t think they would have been hired to sing at the top Opera House in the world (then!) without being ” real singers”. They were successful while Fleming for example got booed by the strict Milanese public.
    Have you seen the DVD with the live performance of Un Ballo in Maschera from Covent Garden ~ 1974 with Ricciarelli? I consider it top. Also Scotto’s live MET DVDs like her hair-raising Suor Angelica from the early 80s?… And I do believe it was Callas herself who was so impressed by the young Renata that she “offered” her the role of Glauce in her studio recording of Medea in the late 50s. Maybe I’m wrong 🙂
    Netrebko has no powerful men behing her but she own a lot to her beauty – I parallel her to Anna Moffo in that. She sure has a great voice, I just can’t understand why she has fallen into that trap of the notoriously difficult italian belcanto repertory! I want to listen (and see her!) as Tatiana, as Lisa, as Elsa, as Liu, as Aida even, not as Anna Bolena 🙂

    • @Dimitris: I hadn’t read your post when I wrote about Netrebko trying Bolena. YOu are right: she should – and could perhaps succeed – in a different type of repertoire.
      As for ‘la Maria’ we could go on talking forever, so complex a character and musician she was. With a voice of such an innate expressiveness she could deliver virtually any line and be convincing and move you to tears. I am less inclined towards her verismo (broadly speaking) roles. I think she was – and remains – unsurpassed in portraits of exceptional women, like Medea, Norma, Anna Bolena, Imogene, Violetta, Amelia (but the list goes on).

  3. it arrives!! can you believe it, this will be my first time hearing the golden throated Carreras in a full opera in his prime…..I can’t wait. It’s been far too long since I listened to a Carmen, so this weekend my house will shake as I bellow out torreador in my best baritone.
    As ever, dear Rach, it’s impossible to express my thanks for all the effort you put in to this site. What else can I say? There’s no other place on the net that even comes close.
    Oh, and as for Riciarelli, I’ve never heard her sing, so I’ll withhold judgement until I give this a listen.

    • you’re welcome, DC….
      Once i had a nice “Tosca” with Carreras and Ricciarelli, i think, this was the best performance i heard from her….but i could not stand her voice and singing too long, so i sold that box.

      I have a really good “Turandot”…. http://boxset.ru/great-vinyls-dgg-puccini-turandot-ricciarellidomingo/

      With “good” i mean first the great Domingo, the mighty Raimondi and the beautiful angel Barbara Hendricks….i keep this set only for Barbara, because Ricciarelli is the worst Turandot i ever heard in my life.

  4. Talking of inexplainable success, a great contender would be Eva Marton (I simply cannot stand the way she sings – pardon – I mean ‘shouts’). Another one who should have been banned from singing Wagner is, for me, Hildegard Behrens (despite the numerous engagements at the Met and the recording the recording that followed). And the evidence of her ineptitude as Brünnhilde is on record, for everyone to ascertain.

  5. Is this merely a re-up or a re-rip on your new equipment?

    Just curious; I downloded this in 2011 when you first put it up.

    Again thanks, Rach.


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