Caballé & Muti’s Reference Aida

Review by: David Hurwitz

Artistic Quality: 10

Sound Quality: 8

There are three “reference” editions of Aida in the stereo catalog: Tebaldi/Karajan, Price/Solti, and this one. Its strengths include a spectacular Aida in Montserrat Caballé, fully involved in the role (has “O patria mia” ever been more beautifully or affectingly sung?), and Fiorenza Cossotto’s authentically Italian, spitfire Amneris. This, on balance, also is the best of Placido Domingo’s two or three hundred recordings of Radames, though he lacks Vickers’ (or Corelli’s) heroic timbre and can’t manage a quiet ending to “Celeste Aida”. Still, he sings intelligently and expressively–and collaborates effectively with Caballé to produce an exciting and believable third-act Nile scene. Muti’s conducting always has come in for some controversy, being generally emphatic, strong on rhythm, and less yielding than other versions; but it’s always dramatic and sensitive to Verdi’s deliciously colorful orchestration. If you already own this performance, EMI’s remastering doesn’t really offer enough improvement to warrant repurchase; but if you don’t, this is still one of the great Aidas. [10/19/2001]

Buy Now from Arkiv Music

Recording Details:

Reference Recording: This One, Tebaldi/Karajan (Decca), Price/Solti (Decca)


  • EMI - 567617 2
  • CD

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