HD-Vinyl 24/96 (EMI) Giacomo Puccini – Manon Lescaut (Caballé/Domingo)

Many thanks to our friend from Lake Michigan.
Puccini’s Manon Lescaut is an Italian lyric tragedy drama. The opera is centered on Manon Lescaut (Montserrat Caballé), a beautiful young girl about to be sent to a convent. When Chevalier Des Grieux (Placido Domingo) sees her the flame of passion between them is ignited. Manon’s life is a winding one: seduced by riches that ultimately trigger her downfall but ultimately finding redemption in Des Grieux’s love for her. Conductor Bruno Bartoletti leads the New Philharmonia Orchestra as they traverse Puccini’s gorgeous melodies that permeate the opera, from Manon’s poignant arias to the lush orchestral score.

# Composer: Giacomo Puccini
# Performer: Montserrat Caballé, Noel Mangin, Placido Domingo, Robert Tear, Vicente Sardinero
# Orchestra: New Philharmonia Orchestra
# Conductor:
Bruno Bartoletti
# Vinyl (1972)
# Number of Discs: 2
# Format: Flac
# Label: EMI
# DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 2.19 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: Fi

This year Montserrat Caballé celebrated her 82nd birthday, and there’s no better way to celebrate this auspicious date than to revisit some of her earlier recordings.
The present version of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut was recorded ca. 1971 during Caballé’s and Domingo’s absolute primes. They formed undoubtedly a great duo and this recording is a great example of their partnership. Caballé’s lush and lambent tones help create a great Manon at times seductive, wistful, girlish, blasé and passionate. The great duet “Tu, tu amore tu” seethes with passion. Here she is greatly aided by Domingo’s youthfully virile Des Grieux, in his early baritonal tenor, sailing easily through one of the most difficult Puccini tenor parts. Baritone Sardinero sings a most vivid Lescaut, a singer unfortunately too sparsely recorded. The supporting cast is studded with great British singers of the era like Robert Tear, Delia Walis, Gwynne Howell. Bruno Bartoletti whips the New Philharmonia with passion and panache. A minor point, though, I did hope EMI would provide a fresh remastering for this reissue. Although recorded in the great Abbey Road Studio, since its first release, the acoustics have been tampered with an artificial reverb that gives a fuzzy , unfocused atmosphere that robs this score and the performances much of their brilliancy and detail. It shouldn’t hinder one though, of enjoying a great performance and the great Caballé in her prime.


Analyzed folder: /96k Puccini – Manon Lescaut – Caballe, Domingo
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR13        -1.53 dB     -19.92 dB     sideA.aif
DR14        -0.65 dB     -20.27 dB     sideB.aif
DR13        -0.25 dB     -18.56 dB     sideC.aif
DR12        -0.33 dB     -18.06 dB     sideD.aif
Number of files:    4
Official DR value:    DR13

Ripping Info


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.
I tend more and more, in the last time, to de-click with an automatic setting between 0.7 and 1.2 so you can say, my rips are like half rough rips.

  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Very light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • 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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