Rare HD-Vinyls 24/96 (EMI) Gioacchino Rossini – Il Barbiere Di Siviglia (Milnes/Sills/Gedda)

To my friend Spearo
Somewhen in the 70s I had a highlights record of this recording. I remember, it blew me away on hearing Milnes, a baritone, singing some high tunes like a tenor…the only baritone I ever heard singing Figaro this way…

# Composer: Gioacchino Rossini
# Singer: Sherrill Milnes, Beverly Sills, Nicolai Gedda, Fedora Barbieri, Ruggiero Raimondi
# Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor: James Levine
# Vinyl (1975)
# Number of Discs: 3
# Format: Flac
# Label: EMI
# DR-Analysis: DR 14
# ASIN: B0000CE7FU
# Size: 3.43 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory

I went then to a records store, looking for the complete recording, but they said me, it was OOP. It was maybe end of the 70s and already OOP? I couldn’t believe it…so I looked for long years after it, but without luck.
Only for desperation I bought some years ago the whole opera on CDs…and suddenly (and finally) I found the vinyls on ebay (don’t ask for the price) last year.

Recorded in 1975 and recently re-issued at a bargain price, this recording of “Barbiere” is hard to beat for sheer, sportive fun, with everyone involved sounding like they’re enjoying themselves. Here you have Sills, Milnes, Gedda, Renato Capecchi, and Ruggiero Raimondi, all at the height of their respective powers, and the young James Levine, all bounce and go with the first flush of success, conducting. How to pick highlights from highlights? Well, how about Milnes with a “Largo al Factotum” to rival Merrill and Ruffo’s recordings for sheer abandon? And then there’s Gedda, with the most feather-light “Ecco, Ridente” I have ever heard.

Yes, this recording from 1975 boasts an illustrious cast who could sing Rossini with good humor and technical vocal brilliance. Beverly Sills is the finest Rosina if you prefer to hear a soprano in the role and not a mezzo-soprano, Sherill Milnes as Figaro is in energetic form, Nicolai Gedda strays from his villain personae to a love struck Count, and Ruggero Raimondi delivers a well-executed performance as the music teacher.

Despite the fact it has an uncomplicated, breezy plot and is full of sparkling humor and a happy ending, the music Rossini wrote is not easy to sing. It requires a singer of real bravura and Mozartian acrobatics. Much of Rossini’s music reminds one of Mozart opera buffa had he continued to write that way. Get this recording if youre a fan of Beverly Sills, who sounds great next to Nicolai Gedda ( she sang with him in Massenet’s Manon, Thais and La Traviata). They have fine technique and it’s absolutely gorgeous when push comes to shove. The direction of James Levine as conductor is fresh and spirited.

A vibrant performance full of fun and great music-making.

Analyzed folder: //96k Rossini – Il Barbiere Di Siviglia – Milnes, Sills, Gedda, Raimondi
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR14        -0.59 dB     -19.93 dB     sideA.wav
DR14        -0.56 dB     -20.31 dB     sideB.wav
DR15        -0.75 dB     -21.35 dB     sideC.wav
DR14        -0.78 dB     -21.09 dB     sideD.wav
DR13        -1.00 dB     -19.90 dB     sideF.wav
DR14        -0.84 dB     -20.57 dB     sideE.wav
Number of files: 6
Official DR value: DR14

Ripping Infos

  • RCM: Okki Nokki (L’Art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
  • TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
  • Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
  • Phono Amp: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
  • ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
  • 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 iZotope, 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

If you like what i do, please consider that a little donation would be very appreciate. I reinvest all donations in maintenance of my rig, for purchasing cleaning solutions and, most important of all, purchasing of new vinyls.
Click on the “Donate”-button. Thank you very much !

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9 archives
PW: LaWally

20 thoughts on “Rare HD-Vinyls 24/96 (EMI) Gioacchino Rossini – Il Barbiere Di Siviglia (Milnes/Sills/Gedda)

  1. Whew! You just replaced the loss of my original recording of my copy of the LPs of this entire opera! It was on one of my hard drives that died.
    And your description of the recording is so apt. Sherrill Milnes was ‘a Leonard Warren’ type baritone, but even superior with his upper register. When I heard him hit the high b-flat in full-throated tenoric power at the end of of the Decca recording with Pavarotti of Rigoletto in his “ah, la danazione” I was stunned. He had done another meteoric climb at the end of the Father-daughter duet earlier in the opera. The guy was amazing.
    For me, a mere thank you seems a bit hollow. Only the famous words of Canio fit here!
    “Un grande spetacolo a ventre ore prepara il vostr’umile e buon servitore.”
    Now, “Mille grazie, signor Alf!”


  2. This is the only “totally complete” recording of The Barber of Seville that I know of which includes the additional aria for Rosina prior to the storm in Act II.

    When reissued on CD, EMI (who did not give a hoot about people who liked classical music) made cuts in this recording to fit it onto 2 CDs.

    It is a pleasure to be able to hear this excellent performance in its entirety again.

    Thanks so much, Rachmaninov.

  3. Danke schön, ich habe lust auf hören…………i promise do it better with my German .
    Regards Rach and many thanks too for Spearo.

  4. He..This rip was just dedicated to me …not a loan or a gift from me to Alf …It belongs Alf and only Alf…

    In this sence …Thanks my dear Alf …truely a great one and a excellent choice …as expected!

  5. Hi everyone, Just a note to say that I too was stunned by this recording having passed me by all these years. I couldn’t download one of the sides and thanks to Mozart Man’s comment I avoided obtaining the cd. Fortunately I found the LP set on ebay. So….thanks to you all for a great addition to the collection. Best wishes and happy listening . Loris

  6. Dear Rachmaninov,

    I’d like to thank you for giving me a chance to listen to “Il Barbiere Di Siviglia” once again and this time, from a different team.

    I once had a DGG Casette in 1995, which consisted only of the highlights. But it was enough for me to love Rossini’s music. Later, I purchased the record set to have the joy fully.

    This one you’ve uploaded was fantastic!

    Thank you very much!

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