Thanks to a friend, I can offer you the possibility to compare (sonically) my UK EMI 1st edition with this US Angel 1st edition
This is maybe the best possible tragic-love story by Shakespeare you will ever listen to. Young Mirella Freni and Franco Corelli (oh, what a dream-team) weep all doubts away. When you have listened to the grandious sounding opening sequence of this opera, you’ll be sure: this is the best “Romeo and Juliet” on earth.
# Composer: Charles Gounod
# Performer: Mirella Freni, Franco Corelli, Xavier Depraz, Elaine Lubin a. m. o.
# Orchestra: Paris National Opera Theater Orchestra
# Conductor: Alain Lombard
# Vinyl (1968)
# Number of Discs: 3
# Format: Flac (Tracks)
# Label: Angel
# DR-Analysis: DR 13
# ASIN: B000002S5T
# Size: 3.04 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory
With just two exceptions, this is essentially a French recording: French opera, French recording venue, French supporting cast, French conductor, French orchestra and, alas, French chorus. It probably yields as much of the authentic French performing style as could still be found in the summer of 1968, when–as you might recall–interesting and exciting things were taking place on the streets of France outside the recording hall.
The two exceptions are Mirella Freni and Franco Corelli, and they are what this performance is all about. I am confident that I could make the case that they are wrong for the opera. They are Italian. Corelli’s French, in particular, is questionable, to say the least. (Even I, a Pacific Coast Canuck, can tell that!) Their singing styles are Italian to their very essence, wholly un-French. They are too powerful, too self-confident to be convincing as tremulous teen-agers. All of this is true. And all of this is irrelevant. Corelli and Freni are great as Romeo and Juliette! THAT is what is relevant.
GOUNOD was a contemporary of Wagner and Verdi, and at times more popular than these two venerable giants. He was almost the Andrew Lloyd Webber of his day and his many works were loved and revered. Today only two are performed with any regularity; FAUST and ROMEO ET JULIETTE and even these two great works seem to only be staged on the larger opera houses. Both are considered somewhat old fashioned, but when one digs out a set of the two great works and listens to the music, it’s beauty can still carry a listener away and while it may not be as sophisticated as Verdi’s treatment of Shakespeare in MACBETH or OTELLO or as intense as the epic operas of Wagner, the music is pure enjoyment and an opera lover’s delight.
This EMI recording of ROMEO ET JULIETTE is just about as good as opera can get. Franco Corelli and Mirella Freni are cast as the star crossed lovers. Ms. Freni’s voice has a youthful innocence to it which makes it perfect for the role of Julliette. She performs the role somewhat carefully. We see this in her Juliette’s famous aria “Ah! Je Veux Vivre” where Freni is more methodical than showy but she sings to perfection. Corelli’s Romeo is confident and powerful with the bravado called for in this role. Their duets, particularly the beloved “Va Je Ta’i Pardonne” from Act IV is in and of itself worth the price of the recording.
Freni and Corelli carry the set, but the supporting performers are also well cast. The chorus is spectacular and the Paris Opera Theater Orchestra under the direction of Alain Lombard captures the magic of Gounod’s music. This is a set that will bring much enjoyment to anyone who purchases it and belongs in the collection of anyone who loves to put on an opera set and be dazzled and entertained.
Analyzed folder: /96kChGou_RomJul(US)/96k Gounod – Romeo And Juliet (Original US)
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR15 -0.70 dB -20.93 dB side1.wav
DR13 -0.70 dB -19.03 dB side2.wav
DR14 -0.18 dB -19.78 dB side3.wav
DR13 -0.51 dB -17.84 dB side4.wav
DR13 -0.71 dB -18.70 dB side5.wav
DR12 -0.69 dB -17.77 dB side6.wav
Number of files: 6
Official DR value: DR13
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
Cartridge: Ortofon Virtus Cartridge: Audio Technica AT 33 E MC
- Phono amp: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Vintage (1979) Luxman L-55A
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
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 1.0 and 1.2 so you can say, my rips are like half rough rips.
- Software: iZotope RX 3 Advanced v3.01, 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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