All thanks for this beauty go to my generous donator from Lake Michigan area
Behind the pyramids and the elephants, the long lines of prisoners of war and of slaves carrying booty, the choral shouts of “Glory to Egypt,” and the splendid brass sounding the Triumphal March, Aida is the story of a love triangle: Aida, an Ethiopian princess who has become a slave in Egypt; Amneris, an Egyptian princess; and Radamès, the Egyptian general they both love (Aida secretly). There are ironies and conflicts: How can she love a man who is the enemy of her country, but who says he has fought and conquered for the sake of her love? It is suitable only for the biggest opera houses and therefore demands voices capable of great power as well as emotional expressiveness. Montserrat Caballé, Plácido Domingo, and Fiorenza Cossotto provide such voices, and Ricardo Muti conducts with a sense of drama and dynastic glory. –Joe McLellan
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Performer: Montserrat Caballé, Placido Domingo, Fiorenza Cossotto, Piero Cappuccilli, Nicolai Ghiaurov
Orchestra: New Philharmonia Orchestra
Conductor: Riccardo Muti
Number of Discs: 3
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 2.82 MB
For a start, this is a big house, big sound recording. The quality is excellent but it could never be mistaken for a chamber opera. The orchestral playing is big, big, big which isn’t thye same as loud, loud, loud. The sound is always opulent and Muti’s tempi are wonderfully judged – there never seems to be a rush or a hiatus, and the dance music is as interesting as I’ve heard it. Choral singing is always exemplary. Truly a benchmark for Verdi conducting.
But Aida stands and falls by its soloists, in particular the ladies, and this one stands. Caballe has it all – a steely edge for the big moments and for riding the ensembles (something I’ve always missed about Price), a phenomenal dynamic range that noone before or since has matched (who wouyldn’t kill to produce a top C like hers in the Nile Aria?) and an overwhelming sense of sadness that comes across infallibly in her solo moments. Some might wish for a bigger voice for an Aida but surely noone could imagine a more vivid and fascinating one. Fiorenza Cossotto sounds unnervingle like Caballe especially in her big moments – the Act 2 Scene 1 duet is a good case in point and makes fascinating listening. But she holds her own especially in the trial scene and sounds fresher than many an Amneris whilst lacking nothing in fullness of tone. Domingo’s Radames is well known – less imaginative than a Vickers, less beautiful than a Corelli, but always noble and committed. Cappucilli is a stern and scary Amonasro, no match for his daughter in subtlety but not to be trifled with, whilst the reat of the cast is well in place.
Domingo sings one of his most famous roles. He and Caballe have similar creamy voices and this makes the Aida-Radames duets very successful. He repeated the role in studio many times later but his partnership with Caballe produced the best results. Cossotto, Cappuccilli and Ghiaurov are flawless and remain my favourite Amneris, Amonastro and Ramfis. Muti conducts with grandness and lyricism and creates a masterful AIDA.
Even though this is THE BEST ALL-AROUND AIDA, other sopranos have also given great performances. Arroyo, Milanov, Price and Tebaldi are all superb (each in their own way).
Analyzed folder: /96k Verdi – Aida – Caballe-Domingo
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR13 -1.23 dB -20.77 dB sideA.aif
DR14 -0.55 dB -21.49 dB sideB.aif
DR13 -0.52 dB -18.91 dB sideC.aif
DR14 -0.94 dB -20.88 dB sideD.aif
DR12 -0.60 dB -18.69 dB sideE.aif
DR14 -0.32 dB -20.34 dB sideF.aif
Number of files: 6
Official DR value: DR14
- Baritone Vocals – Piero Cappuccilli
- Bass Vocals – Luigi Roni, Nicolai Ghiaurov
- Chorus – Chorus Of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
- Conductor [Choir] – Douglas Robinson
- Directed By – Riccardo Muti
- Libretto By – Antonio Ghislanzoni
- Liner Notes – Harold Rosenthal
- Mastered By – Carl Rowatti
- Mezzo-soprano Vocals – Fiorenza Cossotto
- Mixed By – Stuart Eltham
- Orchestra – New Philharmonia Orchestra London
- Producer – John Mordler
- Soprano Vocals – Esther Casas, Montserrat Caballé
- Tenor Vocals – Nicola Martinucci, Placido Domingo
- Translated By [Libretto] – Dale McAdoo
- Trumpet – Trumpeters Of The Royal Military School Of Music, Kneller Hall
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
Cartridge: ZYX 50R Bloom
- Phono amp: Audio Research SP15 own tube phono section.
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Audio Research SP15
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Super 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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