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Bizet: Carmen - Abbado

Bizet: Carmen - Abbado

Universal  4838570

Stereo/Multichannel

Classical - Opera


Bizet: Carmen

Teresa Berganza (Carmen)
Plácido Domingo (Don Jose)
Sherrill Milnes (Escamillo)
Ileana Cotrubas (Micaela)
Yvonne Kenny (Frasquita)
Alicia Nafé (Mercédès)
Robert Lloyd (Zuniga)
Stuart Harling (Moralès)
The Ambrosian Singers
London Symphony Orchestra
Claudio Abbado, conductor


Abbado’s years with the London Symphony Orchestra resulted in three celebrated sets with the Spanish mezzo Teresa Berganza in central roles – and few could be more “central” than Bizet’s Carmen. Made in 1977, the recording followed staged performances directed by Piero Fagioni at the Edinburgh Festival. Berganza had studied the Carmen story, immersed herself in the opera’s background and delivered a characterization that emphasized the gipsy’s nobility, while Abbado’s conducting was both dramatic and vividly coloured.

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2 of 2 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

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  • 2.0 LPCM 24bit/192kHz
  • 5.1 DTS HD MA 24bit/192kHz
  • Dolby Atmos 24bit/48kHz
Comments (6)
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Comment by john hunter - May 11, 2020 (1 of 6)

Does one really want a"noble"Carmen?

Comment by Dissonance - May 12, 2020 (2 of 6)

Frankly speaking Universal has a really strange way to proceed with its reissues. We don't need this one, another Carmen in 5.1 & Dolby Atmos...

Scheduled to be released on 12th June 2020, Universal (Deutsche Grammophon) will re-release Carlos Kleiber's fast-paced 1973 studio recording of Weber's Der Freischutz on Blu-ray Audio, re-mastered at Emil Berliner Studios in 24-bit / 192 kHz: https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Weber-Der-Freischutz-Blu-ray/269007/.

This could have been a very positive addition to its Hardback Opera Series but due to the lack of Surround Sound (presumably might have been 4.0 or 5.1 + an alternative Dolby Atmos) I'm not excited on this one. According to Presto Music (https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8786447--weber-der-freischutz) the BD-A disc consist of only DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (24-bit / 192 kHz). What a huge disappointment, I have waited for this moment for a long time. Personally I'm not going to purchase this one for only to get a bit better audio quality...

However, having listened to the CD countless of times the recording seemed to be produced in a way it was captured using a 4-channel or even 8-channel master tape recording equipment back then; all of those distant sounds coming from the tavern during dialogue and especially the sound effects during the Wolf Glen scene. In addition the stereo mix seemed to be far too wide to be recorded only in that way.

Comment by alan lau - June 5, 2020 (3 of 6)

please pay more attention to the SACD version, if ypu wanna enjoy the real stereo sound quality. All the BD-A from DG with DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (24-bit / 192 kHz) do sound like a shit!

Comment by Athenaeus - June 9, 2020 (4 of 6)

Well, here's a colourful comment, which certainly conveys in no uncertain terms that this release is apparently quite bad!

Comment by DYB - June 19, 2020 (5 of 6)

john hunter, your comment about anyone needing a noble Carmen made me laugh because I've always asked that same question. It's the reason I find the old Beecham recording with Victoria de los Angeles unlistenable. She's the Marschallin in Spain. Awful. While Berganza is described as "noble," she is not quite as prissy (!) as de los Angeles and certainly Abbado isn't as regal as Beecham. Berganza just sings the role without extra histrionics. It's not my personal top recommendation for the opera, but it is a very good recording. (My favorite mezzo recording is Solti's with Troyanos and that hasn't been remastered since the 1980s. The recent Rattle set is very interesting, but Kozena is a unique voice and not comparable to the others. I just keep waiting and waiting and waiting for Decca or Esoteric to discover the Troyanos recording.)

Comment by john hunter - June 26, 2020 (6 of 6)

It seems we are on the same wavelength DYB.
I also have fond memories of the Solti.