Bizet: Carmen

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Allen Schrott
The days of stressing over which opera recordings to buy are over; they aren't a big invesment anymore, and in some cases they're practically giving them away. Here, EMI is offering its complete 1970 recording of Bizet's "Carmen" for the price of a budget single. Not bad. And since it doesn't come with a libretto, or any real documentation to speak of besides a track list and a brief synopsis, its single-sized case won't hog space on your shelf. That's a big negative for anyone who wants a translation or an informative essay, but it's a bargain, and you get what you pay for. Fortunately, the value quotient is much higher for the performance itself. Conducted with warmth, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Allen Schrott
The days of stressing over which opera recordings to buy are over; they aren't a big invesment anymore, and in some cases they're practically giving them away. Here, EMI is offering its complete 1970 recording of Bizet's "Carmen" for the price of a budget single. Not bad. And since it doesn't come with a libretto, or any real documentation to speak of besides a track list and a brief synopsis, its single-sized case won't hog space on your shelf. That's a big negative for anyone who wants a translation or an informative essay, but it's a bargain, and you get what you pay for. Fortunately, the value quotient is much higher for the performance itself. Conducted with warmth, clarity, and flair by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, it's a very solid recording featuring good, and occasionally great, singing. Grace Bumbry is an earthy, if not always exciting, Carmen with a rich sound. Soaring through the famous "Je dis, que rien de m'épouvante" as if it were written for her, Mirella Freni is an absolute dream in the regrettably short role of Micaëla. Kostas Paskalis plays the bullfighter with bluster and bravado, but without the opulent vocal qualities that make for a truly special Escamillo. And Jon Vickers sounds out of place as Don José; everything that made him a great Peter Grimes makes him unsuited to French music. The use of native French-speaking actors for the dialogue lends it an enjoyable authenticity, but the obvious vocal differences between the speakers and singers assigned to each role makes it difficult to keep track of who's who. In the end, if what you're looking for is the perfect "Carmen," you might want to keep browsing. But if you're looking for a great deal on a good recording, look no further.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/1/2004
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • UPC: 724358550528
  • Catalog Number: 85505
  • Sales rank: 82,607

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–38 Carmen, opéra-comique in 4 acts - Georges Bizet & Grace Bumbry (151:44)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Grace Bumbry Primary Artist
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