Schippers: Verdi - Macbeth, 1964 (2 CD, FLAC)
Schippers: Verdi - Macbeth, 1964 (2 CD, FLAC)

Audio CD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Decca
Size: 650 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Macbeth, opera
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
Performed by Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra & Chorus
with Piero de Palma, Virgilio Carbonari, Silvio Maionica, Dora Carral, Giuseppe Taddei, Birgit Nilsson, Bruno Prevedi, Giuseppe Morresi, Giovanni Foiani
Conducted by Thomas Schippers

CD 1
01. Preludio
02. Che faceste? dite su!
03. Giorno non vidi mai sì fiero e bello!
04. Nel dì della vittoria io le incontrai…
05. Oh donna mia!
06. Sappia la sposa mia che, pronta appena
07. Di destarlo per tempo il re m’impose’
08. Perché mi sfuggi
09. Chi osò mandarvi a noi?
10. Studia il passo, o mio figlio
11. Salve, o Re!’
12. Che ti scosta, o re mio sposo
13. Sangue a me quell’ombra chiede

CD 2
01. Su via! sollecite giriam la pentola
02. Che fate voi, misteriose donne?
03. Ove son io?… Svaniro!
04. Patria oppressa!
05. O figli, o figli miei!
06. Dove siam? Che bosco è quello?
07. Vegliammo invan due notti
08. Una macchia è qui tuttora…
09. Perfidi! All’anglo contro me v’unite!
10. Ella è morta!
11. Via le fronde, e mano all’armi!

Exciting performance of an incomplete version of the opera

Verdi has written some of his best melodies for all types of voices in Macbeth (especially for the soprano). Even the minor roles, Macduff and Banquo get to sing two truly wonderful arias (Banquo’s aria has to be the best bass aria I’ve ever heard).
This recording features Taddei as the evil King. He is one of the finest Macbeths on record. Though not possessing the glorious voice of Cappuccilli (nor the annoying one of Milnes) Taddei uses his fine instrument with great intelligence and creates a most convincing Macbeth. Every phrase is carefully sung and injected with feelings. If anything, this is a Macbeth recording with a superb Macbeth.
I am very picky when it comes to the soprano who sings Lady Macbeth. For me she has to be a soprano and has to sound Italian, dark and evil. The role was cut out for Maria Callas, Sylvia Sass and Elena Souliotis. Callas only recorded its arias in studio while the other two recorded the role but both late in their careers. Nilsson’s performance, however, was a pleasant surprise! She may not be as dark and evil as I would wish but her powerful dramatic soprano offers many exciting moments. Her Italian opera experiences proved to be a good asset since she rarely sounds unitalian. Some florid passages give her a hard time and she could hold some high notes a bit longer but generally she does a very fine job. In any case I prefer her to the mezzos who rarely thrill being unable to sing a ringing high note.
Prevedi is heroic enough for the role of Macduff although the legendary performance of Carreras in this role remains unforgettable. Foiani is a fine, strong Banquo (better than the famous Raimondi for example).
Shippers is a great conductor but he has chosen to record a theatrical Macbeth here which means that there are several cuts in the score (mainly choir stuff). Those who wish a complete version of the opera must look elsewhere.
On the other hand, this is one of the few Macbeth recordings in which all performers are satisfying, to say the least. The earlier RCA with Rysanek and Warren is another good choice. For the famous Abbado (DG) and Muti (EMI) the weakest links are Verrett and Milnes while for Gardelli (Decca) the fundamentally miscast F-Diskau. Sinopoli (PH) has an OK cast but his conducting is totally unacceptable plus the recording is waaay too expensive.

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