Super HD-Vinyls 24/96 (EMI) Charles Gounod – Roméo et Juliette (Freni/Corelli)

Reposted, now with FF links
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: EMI

# DR-Analysis: DR 13
# Size: 2.65 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: /96k Gounod – Romeo Et Juliette – Mirella Freni, Franco Corelli
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR13        -1.39 dB     -20.18 dB     SideA.wav
DR14        -1.45 dB     -21.10 dB     SideB.wav
DR15        -1.15 dB     -21.06 dB     SideC.wav
DR13        -0.81 dB     -17.93 dB     SideD.wav
DR14        -1.20 dB     -20.61 dB     SideE.wav
DR13        -0.94 dB     -18.82 dB     SideF.wav
Number of files:    6
Official DR value:    DR13

Ripping Infos

  • RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
  • TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
  • Cartridge: Limited Edition Denon DL103 SA
  • Phono amp: 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 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

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PW: LaWally

19 thoughts on “Super HD-Vinyls 24/96 (EMI) Charles Gounod – Roméo et Juliette (Freni/Corelli)

  1. ahh, my beloved….how tragic I will never get to see her on stage….
    this looks amazing Rach. It’s always a special day when you post an opera vinyl, but with Freni, it’s super special.

    And thank you for refraining from putting “property of rachmaninov” over my beloved’s face!

    Now, if only I could find the damn libretto in a side by side translation.

    • Do you knew? Blood young Mirellissima (about 10 Y old) won a tournement by the RAI, singing “Un bel dì vedremo” from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, that she learned only by hearing.

      Oh my friend, i love Mrs Ghiaurov since i was 15 and i’m terrible worrying because of thinking, how long will she still stay with us in this world?

      Don’t we forget, that she was born in the same town Modena, the same year and 8 months before the great Luciano Pavarotti, that’s in heaven since 2007 🙁

      • I think she’ll be around a while longer. Women live longer, and she looks very healthy in recent photos.

        Did you ever get to see her live?

        • unfortunately i never saw her singing live… only “pseudo”-live 🙂
          I mean on TV live from S.Francisco and London

  2. Unless there has been a divorce or the death of her husband, the last I heard she was married to Nicolai Rossi-Lemeni. I’m not sure where Ghiaurov’s name comes into the picture.

    Just a matter of trivia, I’m sure.

    Your work has made EMI’s work sound absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for this album.


    • Hi Bob….don’t know where them come from, all those strange news…Nicola Rossi-Lemeni was married to the daughter of Tullio Serafin and later to a romanian soprano.

      Mirella was first married to Maestro Magiera, later to Nicolai Ghiaurov until Nicolai’s death 2004.
      As i know, she didn’t married for the 3rd time

  3. Hi Rachmaninov . . . My bad! It was after 2 AM my time; I should have been asleep instead of makinmg unsubstantiated statements. You are exactly right. I looked up Mirella Freni in Wikipedia and it says what you said.
    My recollection was from the bio on an album. They were as dumb as I.
    – – Sorry. My head is bowed.
    Thanks for good info and beautiful music.

  4. My friends, your lovely comments add something personal to the posts and do make listening the voice of wonderful Mirella even more pleasant..
    Special thanks to DC for libretto!

  5. Wow,this adorable album will make my mom happy. (She is 82 yrs.) I remember when I was young, my mom talked to me about Corelli . Thanks so much for this reposting!!! 🙂

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