PUCCINI Turandot / Sutherland, Pavarotti 4142742

. . . [all three releases] capture the great tenor in his prime during the early 1970's. The sound quality is superb and the entire package (which contains the full libretto with essays about each opera and Pavarotti's career as well as photos taken at the sessions) is treasurable . . . ["Turandot" CD]: Conductor Zubin Mehta, conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra, obviously relishes the music and the exquisite cast . . . [Joan Sutherland] is majestic in the part . . . [the moving Liù] is the extraordinary Spanish soprano, Montserrat Caballé. Even the supporting roles are first-rate: bass Nicolai Ghiaurov as Timur and tenor Peter Pears as the Imperatore . . . ["Madama Butterfly"]: Soprano Mirella Freni was perhaps the greatest Puccini soprano of the late 20th century and ranks in this role with Victoria de los Angeles . . . and Renata Scotto (another wonderful singing actress). Pavarotti makes the hard-hearted American sound charming and delivers a beautiful love duet with Freni. There was probably no better Suzuki than Christa Ludwig . . . ["L'Elisir d'amore"]: Pavarotti's rendition of "Una Furtiva Lagrima" (the most famous aria in the opera) has to be counted among the finest renditions of the piece. Sutherland is amusing as Adina and of course her singing is brilliant . . . These three opera recordings are perfect gifts for opera fans, but buy one for yourself as well.

The "Turandot" is the set that gave the world Pavarotti's rendition of "Nessun dorma" and again he makes a fine impression . . . With a strong cast and conducting of ideal Puccinian sweep by Zubin Mehta, it's the kind of performance you simply wouldn't hear live. The LPO play magnificently and Decca's glorious sound -- especially when heard on the Blu-ray disc -- gives real scale to the panoramic musical picture. One of the great opera recordings.

. . . a dream cast headed by Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti . . . the sound quality is clean, vivid and strikingly detailed . . . [Ms. Sutherland's] voice is gleaming and penetrating, and Mr. Mehta draws surprising intensity from an artist who could be stolid. Mr. Pavarotti is in his prime as Calaf. With the sumptuous Montserrat Caballé as Liù, Nicolai Ghiaurov as Timur and, of all people, Peter Pears as the old emperor, this is quite the cast.

Eine der Opern-Gesamtaufnahmen, die mich am meisten geprägt haben, war zweifellos "Turandot" unter Leitung von Zubin Mehta. Wegen Joan Sutherland in der Titelrolle, aber auch wegen Luciano Pavarotti und Montserrat Caballé . . .