Me and opera – again
I’ve already mentioned previously that I’m far less knowledgeable about opera than about instrumental classical music. I clearly come from an instrumental background, and must admit I judge even opera performances first and foremost by the orchestral performance.
I know true opera experts will be able to discuss singer X vs Y. To me, these things matter, but much less. So take my opera recommendations with a big grain of salt.
Furthermore, Verdi is not my daily fare. I listen to a Mozart opera about once per month, Verdi is only on the playlist every quarter or so.
Okay, so the disclaimers are out of the way.
Pappano’s Aida (Warner Classics 2015)
Well, luckily on this album you don’t just need to trust me. I have yet to see a negative review of this outstanding album. The debate is just out whether this is a four or five-star album.
New opera recordings these days are very rare. The productions are simply to expensive for a declining classical music market. So we can count ourselves very lucky if we get new albums at all.
And here we’re even more lucky, because this really hits all the right buttons. Beautiful singing from outstanding artists is matched by the great playing of Pappano with the Santa Cecilia.
Kaufmann is in a way the most hyped tenor of our days. Luckily for us, this hype really is justified, he has an amazing voice. I fully buy his Radomes. Anja Harteros as Aida is maybe a tiny bit lighter, but to be fair my reference so far is the legendary Karajan version with Tebaldi, so I’m being a bit picky here.
The recording quality is very spacious and resolving, and gives an excellent image of the Sala Santa Cecilia.
If only we’d get more of this kind of opera recordings, so we wouldn’t always have to go back to the 1950s and 60s for our operas. Sure, these legendary recordings will stay, but it is nice to be able to experience something with the sound quality of a 2015 high-res download.
My rating: Five stars