DON CARLOS (ORIGINAL 1867 FRENCH VERSION) - Giuseppe Verdi - Bongiovanni Musica
DON CARLOS (ORIGINAL 1867 FRENCH VERSION) - Giuseppe Verdi - Bongiovanni Musica


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Versione originale del 1867 in Francese

Don Carlos - André Turp
Philippe II - Joseph Rouleau
Rodrigue - Robert Savoie
Le Grand Inquisiteur - Richard Van Allan
Un Moine - Robert Lloyd
Elizabeth de Valois - Edith Tremblay
La Princesse Eboli - Michèle Vilma
Thibault - Gillian Knight
Le Compte de Lerme - Emile Belcourt
Un Hérault Royal - Geoffrey Shovelton
Une Voix D'En Haut - Prudence Lloyd

BBC Concert Orchestra and Singers
John Matheson

Registrazione dal vivo / live broadcast recording, BBC 1973


"This 1972 concert performance of Verdi’s French-language, original Don Carlos is more than complete; it contains music that was cut before the first performance and none of the revisions made after. Abbado’s and Pappano’s French recorded versions include cuts; this does not. The Verdi scholar Julian Budden prepared the edition for this historic concert, and to make a long story short, you’ll hear: a more elaborate Posa/Philippe confrontation; the mediocre ballet; the chorus of woodsmen and their meeting with Elisabeth in the Fontainebleau scene; more interesting music in the initial Carlos/Posa meeting; stunning dialogue between Elisabeth and Eboli before “O don fatal”; an ensemble made up of Philippe, Carlos, and male chorus after Posa’s death; and some extra music in the final Carlos/Elisabeth duet. Other bits are simply different from what we’ve come to know. It’s all valuable to hear, even if some of the alterations and cuts made their scenes better, tighter, or whatever. At nine minutes short of four hours, there’s a lot to get to know here.

The cast is fine, although I suspect that none of these singers will take the place of your favorites in the various other recordings: Caballé, Freni, Carreras, Bergonzi, Verrett, Baltsa, Ghiaurov, Christoff, Talvela, and Hvorostovsky are all irreplaceable. But here there’s not a weak link in this mainly French-speaking cast–and there are some nice surprises. (...) John Matheson’s leadership avoids any Italianate rubatos or fatty ritards; his tempos are quick and he never lets the beat flag. The major point is that this set is utterly necessary in any collection. What is excessive or “wrong” about this version is just as crucial to know as what’s absolutely right, and the performance does not disappoint. The audience must have been small, drugged, or British–they applaud politely at times. The sound is good." (Robert Levine)