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Classical Music


Verdi: Otello

Verdi: Otello Lowest new price: $22.34
Lowest used price: $3.95
Brand: ELP
Model: 1990523

2 compact discs, digital-stereo, with libretto

This is Plácido Domingo's third recording of Otello and arguably his best. Besides benefiting from years of study and restudy, the older, rougher, darker Domingo voice is better suited to the role than his prettier, younger self. Also, the title character's rage always seemed a bit forced in previous recordings; not so here. His colleagues aren't always at peak level of inspiration but they're consistently excellent. Sergei Leiferkus's metallic, Russian sound is ideal for Iago: besides being sinister, he sounds like an outsider. Conductor Myung-Whun Chung is anything but a routinist, particularly with the Bastille forces that he worked with intensively for years. This is a fine modern recording of a great, great opera. --David Patrick Stearns


  • music, opera, orchestra

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Tuscany: A Romantic Journey

Tuscany: A Romantic Journey Lowest new price: $19.99
Lowest used price: $0.75

Take a romantic journey across the fabled landscape of Tuscany with these beautiful, orchestral recordings of Italian classics. Instrumentation includes an orchestra.

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Renee Fleming: By Request

Renee Fleming: By Request Lowest new price: $3.90
Lowest used price: $2.62
Brand: Decca
Model: 1992767


This is a compilation--plus three previously unreleased selections--of some of the glorious Renée Fleming's finest work, 15 selections covering 13 composers. The rose-in-full-bloom quality of the voice is staggeringly beautiful: Her rendition of Rusalka's "Song to the Moon" is justly famous and is, alone, worth the price of this CD. Other highlights are Marietta's Lied from Korngold's Die tote stadt, an odd arrangement of the aria from Villa-Lobos's Bachianas Brasilerias No. 5, Manon's Gavotte, and a knock-down-gorgeous reading of Gershwin's "Summertime." The three new recordings are of Violetta's big first-act scene from La traviata, which features one of the most perfect trills heard since Joan Sutherland, a thrilling Cäcilie (R. Strauss), and a version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" which is so over the-top that it might make you look away in embarrassment. On the basis of this CD, one would have to acknowledge that Fleming is more interested in--and more successful at--pure singing than she is at character delineation (Butterfly sounds oddly like Wally who sounds too much like Norma), but it's not hard to tell why she's a superstar. Her voice and technique are one in a million. --Robert Levine


  • Shrink-wrapped

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Best Of The Millennium: Top 40 Classical Hits (2 CD)

Best Of The Millennium: Top 40 Classical Hits (2 CD) Lowest new price: $9.29
Lowest used price: $1.18
Brand: Remo

For those who want the most remembered passages of classical music's best-loved works, here's a package for you. On this bargain priced double-CD, you'll find music from 40 different classical composers; for the most part, the recordings excerpted here are some of the very best. Of course, you only get one Bach sampling (Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, played by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra) and one Mozart (A Little Night Music conducted by Herbert von Karajan), but this is still a nice collection--perhaps the starting point for a budding collection of classical music. This set's downfall? Unfortunately, though the liner notes discuss the evolution of classical music chronologically, the tracks are programmed in alphabetical order by composer's last name. This makes for some startling transitions! Emil Gilels's reflective performance of the Adagio from Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata is followed by the crashing cymbals and bombast of Carmen's "March of the Toreadors," a recipe for a heart attack if there ever was one. Still, there's something here for everyone and the liner notes even explain what movies this music can be found in. A nice touch. --Jason Verlinde

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Masters of Classical Music 1-10

Masters of Classical Music 1-10 Lowest new price: $169.00
Lowest used price: $7.61

CD- Mozart, CD2- Bach, CD3- Beethoven, CD4- J. Strauss, CD5- Wagner, CD6- Tchaikovsky, CD7- Vivaldi, CD8- Chopin, CD9- Schubert, CD10- Verdi


  • Digital recording
  • Total playing time: 10 hours

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CBS Masterworks Dinner Classics: The Italian Album

CBS Masterworks Dinner Classics: The Italian Album Lowest new price: $23.44
Lowest used price: $1.63
Brand: Mio

NEW/SEALED. Factory sealed!!!!!

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The World's Greatest Opera Album

The World's Greatest Opera Album Lowest new price: $16.29
Lowest used price: $1.44
Brand: CD


This really is a remarkable collection, and anyone even remotely interested in opera is bound to be vastly entertained by it. Almost everything and everyone is here, albeit in small doses: Tebaldi, Pavarotti (a lot), Bjoerling, Bartoli, Sutherland, Solti, Karajan, Troyanos, Gheorghiu, Nucci; the composers are Puccini, Verdi, Bizet, and all the other usual suspects. There are plenty of fine compilation sets on the market, and this is one of the best. One can only hope that it whets listeners' appetites for whole operas. --Robert Levine

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The Very Best Of Maria Callas

The Very Best Of Maria Callas Lowest new price: $12.99
Lowest used price: $7.07

The crown jewels of the EMI catalog: the cr+¨me de la cr+¨me of Maria Callas's recordings, deeply affecting performances that made her an icon and made an opera lover out of millions! She sings arias from Bizet's Carmen ; Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Turandot and La Boheme ; Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro , plus Verdi, Saint-Saens and more!

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Verdi - La Traviata / Cotrubas · Domingo · Milnes · Bayerisches Staatsorchester · Carlos Kleiber

Verdi - La Traviata / Cotrubas · Domingo · Milnes · Bayerisches Staatsorchester · Carlos Kleiber Lowest new price: $23.94
Lowest used price: $4.95
Brand: Mio
Model: 1989750

The best Traviata on disc? If not, it's within hailing distance. No true Verdian would want to be without Callas's 1955 live recording, and it's hard not to love those starring Moffo, Caballe, Scotto, Sutherland, and de los Angeles among others. But this set offers the best all-round combination of excellent sound, fine singing, and dynamic conducting. Ileana Cotrubas is a wonderfully spontaneous Violetta, conveying the passion and vulnerability of the character. Only Callas among her starry rivals on disc can match Cotrubas's emotional and vocal mastery here. Domingo sings with ardor, and Milnes uses his beautiful voice to good effect as Germont. But it's Carlos Kleiber's show, and that enigmatic conductor leads the most energetic Traviata since Toscanini. Tempos are fast, but his sense of theatricality is unerring--this is one of those studio recordings that captures the sense of being at the opera house listening to one of those rare performances when everything clicks. --Dan Davis

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Stars And Stripes Forever And The Greatest Marches

Stars And Stripes Forever And The Greatest Marches Lowest new price: $4.99
Lowest used price: $1.24
Brand: RCA
Model: 2303865

Stars And Stripes Forever And The Greatest Marches [Audio CD] Fiedler, Arthur


  • Shrink-wrapped

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