HD-Vinyls 96/24 (London/Decca) Giacomo Puccini – Madama Butterfly (Freni/Pavarotti)

Reposted, now with FF links

# Composer: Giacomo Puccini
# Performer: Mirella Freni, Luciano Pavarotti, Christa Ludwig, Robert Kerns
# Orchestra: Vienna Philarmonic Orchestra
# Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
# Vinyl (1974)
# Format: Flac
# Label: London (Decca)
# DR-Analysis: DR 16
# Size: 2.55 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory

Since Madama Butterfly has more stage time than other sopranos, it is imperative that the singing actress captures extensive dramatic variety in addition to singing with exquisite tone and an affinity to Puccini. Mirella Freni, one of the greatest recorded Butterfly’s of all time, succeeds at these demands with vocal sensitivity and eloquence. She is assisted by Karajan’s superb, symphonic conducting, crisply and poignantly realizing all of Puccini’s vast moods; Ludwig’s urgent, loving and tenderly sung Suzuki; and Pavarotti’s endearing and almost likeable Pinkerton. In addition, the Pavarotti-Freni duets are nectars of the gods. Get out the tissues and indulge. –Barbara Eisner Bayer

This is one of the great recordings of all time, and it is hard to find any real points to criticize here. Karajan’s approach is surely expansive but doesn’t in any way lack momentum, and the performance never feels dragging (just, at times, lingering over glorious detail exactly the way one should in this opera). This is also one of Pavarotti’s early – and best – roles as a subtly portrayed Pinkerton who in this version becomes a multi-faceted, at times even sympathetic, character. Mirella Freni is even finer, starting out with light-filled innocence and developing an intensity, a vulnerability and sadness I think few others could match – and for a technical aspect, the pianissimo singing is as far as I know unrivalled on record . There are so many colors and nuanced shades in the interplay between these two characters – which is not the least emphasized by the magical sounds conjured up by the orchestra – that no matter how well you know the opera, this will make you hear it as if it was a first encounter. Christa Ludwig must of course also be mentioned in this company, giving as she does a richly warm portrayal of Suzuki, and sound quality is excellent. I know that some, especially in Britain, ardently champions Barbirolli’s version – and his is indeed a fine performance, and his cast of singers is strong (in some roles even superior to Karajan’s) – but for me there is no real competition here. Magical.

 Analyzed folder: /Volumes/HDMUSIC/96kGP_MaBu_FrPaKa/96k Puccini – Madama Butterfly – Freni – Pavarotti – Karajan
 DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
 DR16        -0.85 dB     -23.48 dB     sideA.wav
 DR17        -0.25 dB     -23.42 dB     sideB.wav
 DR16        -0.77 dB     -23.82 dB     sideC.wav
 DR16        -1.51 dB     -23.97 dB     sideD.wav
 DR15        -0.40 dB     -22.03 dB     sideE.wav
 DR14        -0.70 dB     -21.35 dB     sideF.wav
 Number of files:    6
 Official DR value:    DR16


  • Choir – Vienna State Opera Chorus*
  • Chorus Master – Norbert Balatsch
  • Composed By – Puccini*
  • Conductor – Karajan*
  • Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Gordon Parry, Jack Law, James Lock (2)
  • Illustration [Cover] – Utamaro
  • Liner Notes – William Weaver*
  • Orchestra – Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra*
  • Producer – Christopher Raeburn
  • Producer [Assistant] – Michael Woolcock
  • Vocals [F. B. Pinkerton] – Luciano Pavarotti
  • Vocals [Goro] – Michel Senechal*
  • Vocals [Il Commissario Imperiale] – Hans Helm
  • Vocals [Il Principe Yamadori] – Giorgio Stendoro
  • Vocals [Kate Pinkerton] – Elke Schary
  • Vocals [L’ufficale Del Registro] – Siegfried Rudolf Frese
  • Vocals [La Cugina] – Martha Heigl
  • Vocals [La Madre] – Evamaria Hurdes
  • Vocals [La Zia] – Erna Maria Muhlberger*
  • Vocals [Lo Zio Bonzo] – Marius Rintzler
  • Vocals [Madama Butterfly] – Mirella Freni
  • Vocals [Sharpless] – Robert Kerns
  • Vocals [Suzuki] – Christa Ludwig
  • Vocals [Yakuside] – Wolfgang Scheider

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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15 thoughts on “HD-Vinyls 96/24 (London/Decca) Giacomo Puccini – Madama Butterfly (Freni/Pavarotti)

  1. Great record! Just wondering what all the dot files are for? Was that just included by accident? The archive includes a ._sideA.flac – ._sideF.flac as well as a dot counterpart for every other file in graphics.

    • 1st time I read of those dot-files…I’m on a mac and I don’t see any dot-files in the folder. Surely an issue occourred during your DL. How large are the files? If only few KB, so this could be something that has to do with a data base, I guess.

  2. Hi Rachmaninov,

    I get those dot-file things once in a while too. I just delete them as they seem to serve no purpose. Thanks for this great opera performance. I’m getting hooked on this high end music so much that I’ve decided to go out and buy myself a high end turntable and start hunting at garage sales and flea markets for LP’s. Like you’ve always said, the sound quality of CD’s is quite inferior to good LP’s so it’s a good hobby to get into. I’ve already got a very expensive high end Denon receiver and good speakers for TV viewing so with a good turntable I imagine I’ll be ready to go.

    • Hi Jazzman 😉
      this sounds great! Be sure to get a good RCM, ’cause you are planning to buy the hell out of garages and flea markets…..the best TT + High-End-Equipment is nothing, if the record is dirty.
      Good luck.

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