• Il Trovatore - Discography and CD reviews

    Verdi's Il Trovatore is one of the most recorded operas of all times. There are at least 196 recordings of it, counting all media (vinyl, tape, CD, VHS, DVD, blu-ray). Here is a list, according to the Operadis database. To understand the list, the first number is chronological order, the second one year of the performance; between parenteses you have the kind of recording (live, studio, etc. - see abbreviations after the list), then conductor, orchestra, and * for audio, ** for video, and *** for audio and video: conductor, and orchestra:

    1 1912(STU) - Ruhlmann François - Orchestre*
    2 1929?(SE) - Weigert Hermann - Orchestermitgliedern der Staatsoper Berlin*
    3 1929?(SE) - Weissmann Frieder - Berliner Staatsoper*
    4 1930(STU) - Molajoli Lorenzo - Teatro alla Scala*
    5 1930(STU) - Sabajno Carlo - Teatro alla Scala*
    6 1936(LE;Act 4) - Papi Gennaro - Metropolitan Opera*
    7 1936(RA) - Zimmermann Bernhard - Orchester des Reichssenders Stuttgart*
    8 1939(LI) - Gui Vittorio - Covent Garden*
    9 1941(LI) - Calusio Ferruccio - Metropolitan Opera*
    10 1942(RE) - Rother Arthur - Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin*
    11 1943(LI) - Sodero Cesare - Metropolitan Opera*
    12 1944(LI) - Sodero Cesare - Metropolitan Opera*
    13 1945(LI) - Sodero Cesare - Metropolitan Opera*
    14 1947(LI) - Cooper Emil - Metropolitan Opera*
    15 1948(LE) - Panizza Ettore - Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires)*
    16 1948(LI) - Picco Guido - Orquesta de la Union Filarmónica de Mejico*
    17 1949(FI) - Santini Gabriele - Teatro dell'Opera di Roma**
    18 1950(LI) - Picco Guido - Palacio de las Bellas Artes*
    19 1950(RA) - Zillig Winfried - Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt*
    20 1950(STU) - Ricci Luigi - Teatro dell'Opera di Roma*
    21 1951(LI) - Erede Alberto - Metropolitan Opera*
    22 1951(LI) - Serafin Tullio - Teatro di San Carlo di NapolI*
    23 1951(RA) - Previtali Fernando - RAI Roma*
    24 1951-52(STU) - Cellini Renato - RCA Victor Orchestra*
    25 1952(LI) - Herbert Walter - New Orleans Opera*
    26 1952(STU) - Tieri Emidio - Orchestra del Festival di Firenze*
    27 1953(LI) - Cordone Mario - Nederlandische Opera*
    28 1953(LI) - Votto Antonino - Teatro alla Scala*
    29 1953(RA) - Fricsay Ferenc - Sinfonieorchester des Nordwestdeutschen Rundfunks Köln*
    30 1954(LI) - Basile Arturo - Omroeporkest*
    31 1954(LI) - Cleva Fausto - Metropolitan Opera*
    32 1954?(SE) - Goehr Walter - Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra*
    33 1956(LI) - Cleva Fausto - Metropolitan Opera*
    34 1956(STU) - Erede Alberto - Grand Théâtre de Genève*
    35 1956(STU) - Karajan Herbert von - Teatro alla Scala*
    36 1957(FI) - Previtali Fernando - RAI Milano***
    37 1957(LE) - Bellezza Vincenzo - Teatro Verdi di Trieste*
    38 1957(LE) - Guadagno Rocco - Palacio de las Bellas Artes*
    39 1957(LI) - Capuana Franco - Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli*
    40 1957(LI) - Rudolf Max - Metropolitan Opera*
    41 1957(LI) - Sandberg Herbert - Royal Swedish Opera*
    42 1957(SE) - Rudolf Max - Metropolitan Opera*
    43 1959(SE) - Zanotelli Hans - Berliner Symphoniker*
    44 1959(STU) - Basile Arturo - Teatro dell'Opera di Roma*
    45 1960(LI) - Cleva Fausto - Metropolitan Opera*
    46 1960(LI) - Sandberg Herbert - Royal Opera House (Stockholm)*
    47 1960(SE) - Kulka János - Württemmburgisches Staatstheater*
    48 1961(LI) - Basile Arturo - Teatro Regio di Parma*
    49 1961(LI) - Cleva Fausto - Metropolitan Opera*
    50 1961(LI) - Fabritiis Oliviero De - Teatro dell'Opera di Roma*
    51 1961?(SE) - Moores Michael - Sadler's Wells Opera*
    52 1962(LI) - Gavazzeni Gianandrea - Teatro alla Scala*
    53 1962(LI) - Karajan Herbert von - Wiener Philharmoniker*
    54 1962(SE) - Fournet Jean - Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux*
    55 1962(STU) - Serafin Tullio - Teatro alla Scala*
    56 1962?(SE) - Bauer-Theussl Franz - Wiener Volksoper*
    57 1963(LI) - Fabritiis Oliviero De - NHK Symphony Orchestra*
    58 1963(LI) - Previtali Fernando - Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires)*
    59 1963(SE) - Marszalek Franz - Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester*
    60 1964(LI) - Bartoletti Bruno - Chicago Lyric Opera*
    61 1964(LI) - Gavazzeni Gianandrea - Teatro alla Scala*
    62 1964(LI) - Giulini Carlo Maria - Covent Garden*
    63 1964(LI;18/1/64) - Schippers Thomas - Metropolitan Opera*
    64 1964(LI;8/5/64) - Schippers Thomas - Metropolitan Opera*
    65 1964(STU) - Schippers Thomas - Teatro dell'Opera di Roma*
    66 1965(LI) - Prêtre Georges - Metropolitan Opera*
    67 1965(LI) - Ziino Ottavio - Cincinnati Opera*
    68 1965(STU) - Massini Egizio - National Opera of Bucharest*
    69 1965?(STU) - Santi Nello - Wiener Staatsoper*
    70 1966(LI) - Cillario Carlo Felice - Gran Teatro del Liceo*
    71 1966(LI) - Guadagno Anton - Orchestra*
    72 1966(LI) - Quadri Argeo - Wiener Staatsoper*
    73 1967(LI) - Bartoletti Bruno - Teatro dell'Opera di Roma*
    74 1967(LI) - Molinari-Pradelli Francesco - Metropolitan Opera*
    75 1967(LI) - Moresco Carlo - Philadelphia Grand Opera Company*
    76 1968(LI) - Andersson Knud - New Orleans Opera*
    77 1968(LI) - Atherton David - Covent Garden*
    78 1968(LI) - Schippers Thomas - Teatro Comunale di Firenze*
    79 1969(LI) - Fabritiis Oliviero De - Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires)*
    80 1969(LI) - Levine James - Cleveland Orchestra*
    81 1969(LI) - Moresco Carlo - Philadelphia Grand Opera Company*
    82 1969(LI;29/3/1969) - Mehta Zubin - Metropolitan Opera*
    83 1969(LI;6/3/69) - Mehta Zubin - Metropolitan Opera*
    84 1969(STU) - Mehta Zubin - New Philharmonia Orchestra*
    85 1969(STU) - Savini Ino - Prague Chamber Orchestra*
    86 1970(LI) - Guadagno Anton - Philadelphia Lyric Opera*
    87 1971(LI) - Erede Alberto - Teatro Regio di Parma*
    88 1971(LI) - Stein Horst - Wiener Staatsoper*
    89 1971(LI) - Votto Antonino - Teatro Massimo di Palermo*
    90 1971(LI;13/3/71) - Mehta Zubin - Metropolitan Opera*
    91 1971(LI;Domingo) - Cillario Carlo Felice - San Francisco Opera*
    92 1971(LI;King) - Cillario Carlo Felice - San Francisco Opera*
    93 1972(LI) - Giovaninetti Reynald - Orchestre National de l'O.R.T.F.***
    94 1972(LI) - Mackerras Charles - Sadler's Wells Opera*
    95 1973(LI) - Mehta Zubin - Israel Philharmonic Orchestra*
    96 1973(LI) - Santi Nello - Bayerische Staatsoper*
    97 1973(LI;11/4) - Cillario Carlo Felice - Metropolitan Opera*
    98 1973(LI;17/3) - Cillario Carlo Felice - Metropolitan Opera*
    99 1974(LI) - Cillario Carlo Felice - Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires)*
    100 1974(LI) - Guadagno Anton - Wiener Staatsoper*
    101 1975(LI) - Bonynge Richard - San Francisco Opera*
    102 1975(LI) - Guadagno Anton - Covent Garden*
    103 1975(LI) - López Cobos Jesús - L'Opéra National de Paris*
    104 1975(STU) - Bartoletti Bruno - Berliner Staatskapelle*
    105 1976(LI) - Keene Christopher - Netherlands Opera*
    106 1976(STU) - Bonynge Richard - National Philharmonic Orchestra*
    107 1977(LE) - Nieuwland Gysbert - Promenadeorkest*
    108 1977(LI) - Arena Maurizio - Macerata Opera Festival*
    109 1977(LI) - Karajan Herbert von - Berliner Philharmoniker*
    110 1977(LI) - Karajan Herbert von - Wiener Philharmoniker*
    111 1977(LI) - Muti Riccardo - Teatro Comunale di Firenze***
    112 1977(LI) - Veltri Michelangelo - Metropolitan Opera*
    113 1977(STU) - Karajan Herbert von - Berliner Philharmoniker*
    114 1978(LI) - Erede Alberto - Düsseldorfer Symphoniker*
    115 1978(LI) - Karajan Herbert von - Wiener Staatsoper***
    116 1978(LI) - Maag Peter - Teatro La Fenice di Venezia*
    117 1978(LI) - Mehta Zubin - Teatro alla Scala*
    118 1978(LI) - Patanè Giuseppe - Metropolitan Opera*
    119 1979(LI) - Santi Nello - Opernhaus Zürich*
    120 1980(LE) - Kersjes Anton - Omroeporkest*
    121 1980(LI) - Gomez-Martinis (Gómez Martínez) Miguel-Ángel - Houston Grand Opera*
    122 1980(LI) - Maag Peter - Teatro Regio di Torino*
    123 1980(STU) - Davis Colin - Covent Garden*
    124 1981(LI) - Bonynge Richard - Covent Garden*
    125 1981(LI) - García-Navarro Luis Antonio - Teatro São Carlos (Lisboa)*
    126 1982(LI) - Conlon James - Metropolitan Opera*
    127 1983(LI) - Bonynge Richard - Elizabethan Sydney Orchestra**
    128 1983(LI) - Judd James - English National Opera*
    129 1983(LI) - Mackerras Charles - Wiener Staatsoper*
    130 1983(LI;11/1/83) - Santi Nello - Metropolitan Opera*
    131 1983(LI;8/1/83) - Santi Nello - Metropolitan Opera*
    132 1983(STU) - Giulini Carlo Maria - Santa Cecilia*
    133 1984(LI) - Kellog Cal Stewart - Canadian Opera Company*
    134 1984(LI) - Schønwandt Michael - Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie**
    135 1985(LI) - Giovaninetti Reynald - Verona Arena**
    136 1985(LI) - Patanè Giuseppe - Covent Garden*
    137 1985(LI) - Pidò Evelino - Australian Opera*
    138 1986(LI) - Meltzer Andrew - San Francisco Opera*
    139 1987(LI) - Bonynge Richard - Metropolitan Opera*
    140 1987(LI) - Ventura Alberto - Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra**
    141 1988 - Levine James - Metropolitan Opera**
    142 1989(LI) - Levine James - Metropolitan Opera*
    143 1990(LI) - Mehta Zubin - Maggio Musicale Fiorentino*
    144 1990(STU) - Mehta Zubin - Maggio Musicale Fiorentino*
    145 1991(LI) - Rizzi Carlo - Teatro Comunale dell'Opera di Genova*
    146 1991(STU) - Levine James - Metropolitan Opera*
    147 1992(LI) - Sinopoli Giuseppe - Bayerisches Staatsorchester*
    148 1993(LI) - Licata Andrea - Teatro dell'Opera di Roma**
    149 1993 - Hinnells Duncan - European Chamber Opera Orchestra*
    150 1994(LI) - Halász Michael - Wiener Staatsoper*
    151 1994(LI) - Notev Giorgio - Sofia Symphony Orchestra*
    152 1994(STU) - Humburg Will - Hungarian State Opera*
    153 1996(LI) - Chailly Riccardo - Opernhaus Zürich*
    154 1997(LI) - Halász Michael - Wiener Staatsoper*
    155 1998(LC) - Guidarini Marco - Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia*
    156 1998(LI) - Steinberg Pinchas - Orchestre de la Suisse Romande*
    157 1998(LI) - Young Simone - Metropolitan Opera*
    158 1999(LI) - Anguélov (Angelov) Ivan - Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava*
    159 1999(LI) - Märkl Jun - Wiener Staatsoper*
    160 1999(STU) - Parry David - London Philharmonic Orchestra*
    161 19??(SE) - Cillario Carlo Felice - Royal Swedish Opera*
    162 19??(SE) - Gmür Hanspeter - Nürnberger Symphoniker*
    163 19??(SE) - Górzyskiego Z. - Wielki Theatre Warsaw*
    164 19?? - Gardelli Lamberto - Hungarian State Opera*
    165 2000(LC) - Muti Riccardo - Teatro alla Scala*
    166 2000(LC] - Michnik Ewa - Wroclaw Opera*
    167 2000(LI) - Callegari Daniele - Orchestra Sinfonica dell Emilia Romagna «Arturo Toscanini»*
    168 2000(LI) - Fagen Arthur - Wiener Staatsoper*
    169 2000(LI) - García-Navarro Luis Antonio - Teatro Real, Madrid*
    170 2000(LI) - Patrón de Rueda Enrique - Palacio de las Bellas Artes**
    171 2001(LI) - Carignani Paolo - Teatro dell'Opera di Roma*
    172 2001(LI) - Mehta Zubin - Maggio Musicale Fiorentino*
    173 2001(LI) - Muti Riccardo - Teatro alla Scala*
    174 2001(LI) - Rizzi Carlo - Metropolitan Opera*
    175 2001(LI) - Steinberg Pinchas - Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo*
    176 2001(STU) - Mercurio Steven - Teatro Massimo «Bellini» di Catania*
    177 2001(STU) - Pappano Antonio - London Symphony Orchestra*
    178 2002(LI) - Chaslin Frédéric - Metropolitan Opera*
    179 2002(LI) - Luisotti Nicola - Arena di Verona*
    180 2002(LI) - Rizzi Carlo - Covent Garden**
    181 2002(LI) - Spanjard Ed - Nederlands Balletorkest***
    182 2003(LI) - Benini Maurizio - L'Opéra National de Paris*
    183 2003(LI) - Elder Mark - Maggio Musicale Fiorentino*
    184 2004(LI) - Morandi Pier Giorgio - Arena di Verona*
    185 2005(LI) - Rizzi Carlo - Teatro Comunale di Bologna**
    186 2005(LI) - Silipigni Alfredo - New Jersey State Opera*
    187 2005(LI) - Summers Patrick - Houston Grand Opera*
    188 2006(LC) - Rösner Thomas - Wiener Symphoniker**
    189 2006(LI) - Fournillier Patrick - Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana*
    190 2006(LI) - Palumbo Renato - Teatro Regio di Parma**
    191 2007(LI) - Conlon James - Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra*
    192 2007(LI) - Crutchfield Will - Orchestra of St. Luke's*
    193 2007(LI) - Müller Edoardo - San Diego Opera*
    194 2007(LI) - Noseda Gianandrea - Orchestre National de France*
    195 2009(LI) - Luisotti Nicola - San Francisco Opera*
    196 2009(LI) - Rizzi Carlo - Covent Garden*

    Abbreviations
    (STU), "Studio" Recording
    (SE), "Studio" Recording of Excerpts
    (STC), Composite "Studio" Recording made up from more than one source
    (SCE), Composite "Studio" Recording of Excerpts from more than one source
    (LI), "Live" Recording
    (LE), "Live" Recording of Excerpts
    (LC), "Live" Composite Recording from more than one performance
    (LCE), Excerpts from more than one "Live" Performance
    (RA), A Radio Performance
    (RE), Excerpts from a Radio Performance
    (RC), Composite Radio Performance from more than one broadcast
    (RCE), Excerpts from more than one broadcast performance
    (FI), Film or/and sound track of a film
    (FE), Excerpts of an opera from a film or/and the sound track of a film

    -----------

    It is interesting to notice that many sets were recorded between 1950 and 1980, with several different tenors. Ever since, there aren't that many tenors who did well in this role, and we'll see just a few recordings coming by. Some critics attribute this to what is called "the tenor crisis."

    Let's describe in more detail some of the choice recordings.

    --------------

    Naxos 8110162-63 (2 CDs)
    Conductor Lorenzo Molajoli - 1930(STU)
    Orchestra - Teatro alla Scala
    Chorus - Teatro alla Scala
    Manrico - Francesco Merli
    Azucena - Giuseppina Zinetti
    Leonora - Bianca Scacciati
    Conte di Luna - Enrico Molinari
    Ferrando - Corrado Zambelli
    Ines - Ida Mannarini
    Ruiz - Emilio Venturini
    Un vecchio zingaro - Enzo Arnaldi

    This one is a curiosity, a recording from 1930 showing the true atmosphere of an Italian opera house at the time. The singing is over dramatic, even over the top, and may not appeal to today's audiences, but Francesco Merli was a very good tenor, and it is all very colorful and exciting.

    ————–





    NAXOS CDS 8.110240-41 (2 CDS)
    Conductor Renato Cellini – 1952 (STU Mono)
    Orchestra – RCA Victor Orchestra
    Chorus – Robert Shaw Corale
    Manrico – Jussi Björling
    Azucena – Fedora Barbieri
    Leonora – Zinka Milanov
    Conte di Luna – Leonard Warren
    Ferrando – Nicola Moscona


    This is a nice intent on having the four best singers of the world performing Trovatore. At least, all four roles are served by Top 3 artists at the time, in their respective fachs, and they blend together very well. Not even the impersonal conducting delivered by Mr. Cellini can dissolve this union made in Heaven. Milanov have spent the last fifteen years singing Leonora, and it shows. Her beautiful timbre, so pure, it’s used here with more dramatic intention than in any other of he roles. Björling is not in such as splendid vocal form as in his previous recording, but he is still capable of a hair rising performance of “Ah, si, ben mio”. Warren is a solid, noble, Count and the young Barbieri was in the right point of her career to sing Azucena, before her artificial widening of her voice, and get captivated by the richness of her natural vocal qualities.



    --------------



    EMI CDS 7 49347-2 (2 CDs)
    Conductor Herbert von Karajan - 1956(STU)
    Orchestra - Teatro alla Scala
    Chorus - Teatro alla Scala

    Manrico - Giuseppe di Stefano
    Azucena - Fedora Barbieri
    Leonora - Maria Callas
    Conte di Luna - Rolando Panerai
    Ferrando - Nicola Zaccaria
    Ines - Luisa Villa
    Ruiz - Renato Ercolani
    Un vecchio zingaro - Giulio Mauri
    Un messo - Renato Ercolani

    Of course the interest of this CD resides in Callas who is exquisite in this recording. The great di Stefano however is miscast here; his delicate voice, here showing already significant deterioration, is not a good match for the role of Manrico. von Karajan's conducting is also not as good as his later efforts (reviewed below).

    -------------

    DG 447 659-2 (2 CDs)
    Conductor Herbert von Karajan - 1962(LI)
    Orchestra - Wiener Philharmoniker
    Chorus - Wiener Staatsoper
    Manrico - Franco Corelli
    Azucena - Giulietta Simionato
    Leonora - Leontyne Price
    Conte di Luna - Ettore Bastianini
    Ferrando - Nicola Zaccaria
    Ines - Laurence Dutoit
    Ruiz - Siegfried Rudolf Frese
    Un vecchio zingaro - Rudolf Zimmer
    Un messo - Kurt Equiluz

    The only flaw in this recording is the sound. Everything else is great, with the great Corelli and Price in top form, and very good support from Simionato and Bastianini. Karajan is frenetic and exciting here.

    --------------

    DG 445 451-2 (2 CDs)
    Conductor Tullio Serafin - 1962(STU)
    Orchestra - Teatro alla Scala
    Chorus - Teatro alla Scala Manrico - Carlo Bergonzi
    Azucena - Fiorenza Cossotto
    Leonora - Antonietta Stella
    Conte di Luna - Ettore Bastianini
    Ferrando - Ivo Vinco
    Ines - Armanda Bonato
    Ruiz - Franco Ricciardi
    Un vecchio zingaro - Giuseppe Morresi
    Un messo - Angelo Mercuriali

    This studio recording from Deutsche Grammophon is notable for Bergonzi as Manrico. Purists will abhor the severe cuts, but Florenza Cossotto is another reason to get this one, delivering one of the best available Azucenas. Stella sings well but without much emotion, while Bastianini is a weak Conte di Luna. The conductor does a great job and is subtle and fluid.

    --------------

    EMI HMVD5 73413-2 (2 CDs)
    Conductor Thomas Schippers - 1964(STU)
    Orchestra - Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
    Chorus - Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
    Manrico - Franco Corelli
    Azucena - Giulietta Simionato
    Leonora - Gabriella Tucci
    Conte di Luna - Robert Merrill
    Ferrando - Ferruccio Mazzoli
    Ines - Luciana Moneta
    Ruiz - Angelo Mercuriali

    Here the showman is again Franco Corelli, one of the best Manricos of his generation. His peers are not up to same standards, but this recording is still worth having given his extraordinary performance. Tucci tends to disappear next to Corelli, Simionato is rough on the edges unlike her earlier effort, and the conducting is only good, without major fireworks. Another good singer in this recording is Robert Merrill.

    Here is what another one of our reviewers (Aramis) had to say about this one:

    Greatest recorded Trovatore in my book - only Corelli is perfect: I'd say that Cappuccilli was more lyrical and sensitive di Luna than Merrill (though hardly as powerful and brutal when needed), that Callas, Ricciarelli and a few other sopranos had more sublime vocalizes than Tucci in the sighing aria, but it's still a rare combination of various kinds of greatnesses. The recording quality is awesome; the orchestral score is realised as one could desire; there are three absolutely great singers and one singer out of this world breathing notes each of which is pure gold (I don't belive there was ever a stronger pre-wedding scene than here; both the aria and the cabaletta are stunning). I think of it so much higher than of the other Corelli Trovatore with Price!

    -----------------

    RCA 74321 61951-2 (2 CDs)
    Il trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi performed in Italian
    Conductor Zubin Mehta - 1969(STU)
    Orchestra - New Philharmonia Orchestra
    Chorus - Ambrosian Singers
    Manrico - Plácido Domingo
    Azucena - Fiorenza Cossotto
    Leonora - Leontyne Price
    Conte di Luna - Sherrill Milnes
    Ferrando - Bonaldo Giaiotti
    Ines - Elizabeth Bainbridge
    Ruiz - Ryland Davies
    Un vecchio zingaro - Stanley Riley
    Un messo - Neilson Taylor

    Although an earlier bootleg exists, this is Domingo's first Manrico in a proper studio recording - and not only this, but also his first official complete recording of an opera, which enhances the historical importance of this CD. Another advantage is the absence of cuts - we get the complete score here. Domingo's fresh and powerful voice here is a pleasure to listen to, and the two ladies Price and Cossotto are equally excellent. Mehta is OK.

    ----------------

    EMI CMS7 69311-2 (2 CDs)
    Conductor Herbert von Karajan - 1977(LI)
    Orchestra - Berliner Philharmoniker
    Chorus - Wiener Staatsoper
    Manrico - Franco Bonisolli
    Azucena - Fiorenza Cossotto
    Leonora - Leontyne Price
    Conte di Luna - Piero Cappuccilli
    Ferrando - José van Dam
    Ines - Maria Venuti
    Ruiz - Heinz Zednik
    Un vecchio zingaro - Martin Egel
    Un messo - Ewald Aichberger

    This one was recorded live in Salzburg. The maestro is again very energetic here, and the orchestra plays with incredible strength, almost to the point of violence. It is not easy for the singers to deliver their lines above such an enthusiastic orchestra. Cappucilli's Conte di Luna is a weak link and Bonisolli's Manrico is only correct, but mostly everybody else does well, especially a thrilling Leontyne Price.

    -------------------
    EMI CMS 7 69311-2 (2 CDs)
    Conductor Herbert von Karajan - 1977(STU)
    Orchestra - Berliner Philharmoniker
    Chorus - Deutsche Oper (Berlin)
    Manrico - Franco Bonisolli
    Azucena - Elena Obraztsova
    Leonora - Leontyne Price
    Conte di Luna - Piero Cappuccilli
    Ferrando - Ruggero Raimondi
    Ines - Maria Venuti
    Ruiz - Horst Nitsche
    Un messo - Horst Nitsche

    Very similar cast from the last one, same orchestra, same conductor, but this one is a studio recording, and we get Elena Obraztsova as Azucena and Ruggero Raimondi as Ferrando as the two main differences. Raimondi's even bass voice is a good fit for Ferrando, and Obraztsova has a flexible yet powerful voice. A good recording although Bonisolli again lacks sensitivity and Capuccilii's large sound lacks finesse. Price again is her usual competent self.

    ------------

    Sony S2K 89553 (2 CDs)
    Conductor Riccardo Muti - 2000(LC)
    Orchestra - Teatro alla Scala
    Chorus - Teatro alla Scala Manrico - Salvatore Licitra
    Azucena - Violeta Urmana
    Leonora - Barbara Frittoli
    Conte di Luna - Leo Nucci
    Ferrando - Giorgio Giuseppini
    Ines - Tiziana Tramonti
    Ruiz - Ernesto Gavazzi
    Un vecchio zingaro - Ernesto Panariello
    Un messo - Francesco Biasi

    Fans of Salvatore Licitra will lament his premature death while listening to this. His voice is beautiful, although not as powerful as one would want for Manrico, and there are reports that Muti didn't allow him a lot of interpretation freedom, prefering more subdued singing. Leo Nucci is unconvincing, but Barbara Frittoli's Leonora is excellent.

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