Giacomo Puccini – Madama Butterfly
Leontyne Price / Erich Leinsdorf / RCA Italian Opera Orchestra
SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 3,62 GB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 863 MB | Full Artwork
Label/Cat#: RCA Red Seal “Living Stereo” # 82876 82622-2 | Country/Year: US 2006 | 3% Recovery Info
Genre: Classical | Style: Romantic, Opera, Italian
This recording of Madama Butterfly is one of my all time favorites. It was one of the 1st records that I bought myself in the early 1970’s. Since then I have acquired original 1963 LP pressings, UK-made LP’s, the the original R2R tape, & the old CD issue, all in hopes of finding the best sounding edition. Up till now, the Reel-Reel tape was the best, apparently avoiding the some of the dull Dynagroove equalization that RCA imposed on this & most of its subsequent 1960’s releases.
Now here is where the DSD/SACD mastering has proved its worth! This disc reveals a master recording of breadth & subtlety, the equal of any of the “Living Stereo” era recordings. The 3D soundstage is spacious, the orchestra warm & detailed, & the voices exquisitely clear & vivid. All of this is in a sound environment that is never forced or harsh. I think one can safely say that we have never truly heard this beautiful performance in all of its glory until now.
In previous releases that I have heard in this Living Stereo SACD series, I found the sound either to be a little flat compared to the original LP’s, or somewhat aggressive & “in-your-face” in a way that the magnificent “Living Stereo” LP’s never were. This issue is just the opposite. Compared to these magnificent CD’s, the old LP & R2R versions still sound good, but a little flat, 2-dimensional, & lacking in detail compared to the SACD. Maybe the RCA/BMG SACD series has found its real value in revealing the true beauty of “Dynagroove”-era recordings that RCA previously offered only in over-equalized versions. I hope to see many more on SACD, including the best recordings that Leinsdorf made with the Boston Symphony. An SACD of the Leinsdorf/Boston “Lohengrin” is something to truly dream for.
Don’t hesitate to buy this disc. The sumptious & heart-felt performances of Price & Tucker along with the flexible idiomatic orchestral performance have long made this a classic. Now we can hear it on CD in all its magnificence. For those who don’t have SACD capability, the CD layer is also derived from the new DSD master & is very fine, well worth the reasonable price.
The packaging is bare-bones, with links to an online libretto for downloading. The booklet does reprint the original 1962 notes; but there are no photos or new notes regarding the artists, recording, or the remastering. There is just a generic technical essay that is included in all of the SACD releases. Still, at this price, who’s complaining? Highest recommendation!
Giacomo Puccini – Madama Butterfly
Leontyne Price / Erich Leinsdorf
Label: RCA Red Seal
Series: Living Stereo
Catalog#: 82876 82622-2
Format: Hybrid-SACD, Album, Stereo, Multichannel
Style: Romantic, Opera, Italian
01. Act I: Orchestral Opening
02. Act I: E Soffitto E Pareti
03. Act I: Dovunque Al Mondo Lo Yankee
04. Act I: Amore O Grillo
05. Act I: Ancora Un Passo Or Via (Butterfly’s Entrance)
06. Act I: Gran Ventura
07. Act I: L’Imperial Commissario
08. Act I: Vieni, Amor Mio!
09. Act I: Leri Son Salita Tutta Sola
10. Act I: Tutti Zitti!
11. Act I: Madama Butterfly!
12. Act I: Cio-Cio-San!
13. Act I: Bimba, Bimba, Non Piangere (Love Duet)
14. Act I: Bimba Dagli Occhi (Love Duet)
15. Act I: Vogliatemi Bene (Love Duet)
16. Act II: E Izaghi Ed Izanami
17. Act II: Un Bel Di
01. Act II: C’e. Entrate
02. Act II: Yamadori, Ancor Le Pene
03. Act II: Ora A Noi
04. Act II: Due Cose Potrei Far
05. Act II: Ah! M’ha Scordata?
06. Act II: Lo Scendo Al Piano
07. Act II: Il Cannone Del Porto!
08. Act II: Tutti I Fior? (Flower Duet)
09. Act II: Or Vienmi Ad Adornar
10. Act II: Humming Chorus
11. Act III: Oh Eh! Oh Eh!
12. Act III: Gia Il Sole!
13. Act III: Lo So Che Alle Sue Pene
14. Act III: Addio, Fiorito Asil
15. Act III: Suzuki, Suzuki!
16. Act III: Come Una Mosca
17. Act III: ‘Con Onor Muore… (Death Of Butterfly)
Length: 129 Minutes 29 Secs.