Turandot is for me defnitively the summum of Puccini’s work. He achieved a really interesting mixture between modernism and melodic facility I appreciate. It’s only a pity that Puccini could’nt finish it.

My preferred recording is the Mehta recording. Even if I’m not sure the singers would have sung these roles on stage, the recording is perfectly balanced. Even if Corelli was certainly a more potent Calaf, Nilsson a colder than ice Turandot, …

RecordingCommentsMusical qualityTechnical quality
Conductor: Joseph Keilberth++ Maria Cebotari as Turandot
+ Hauss as Calaf
- Sung in german
- Not complete
****** (Mono, pre WWII)
Conductor: Franco Ghione++ Merli as Calaf***** (Mono, pre WWII)
Conductor: Mario Rossi++ Great conducting by Mario Rossi
= Karl Terkal is a little lightweighted for my taste
****** (Mono, Live)
Conductor: Sir Georg Solti
Recording Date: 1956
++ Hopf as Calaf
- Sung in german
****** (Mono)
Conductor: Tullio Serafin
Recording Date: 1957
++ Tullio Serafin as conductor
= Eugenio Fernandi as Calaf.
= Maria Callas as Turandot
******* (Mono)
Conductor: Erich Leinsdorf
Turandot: Birgit Nilsson
Liù: Renata Tebaldi
Calaf: Jussi Björling

Recording Date: 1959
Reference: RCA
++ Birgit Nilsson as Turandot
++ Mario Sereni as Ping
+ Jussi Björling as Calaf
- A little too much studio feeling
********
Conductor: Leopold Stokowski****** (Mono, Live)
Conductor: Alberto Erede++ Borkh as Turandot on par with Nilsson
++ Del Monaco as Calaf
+ Erede as conductor
- Recording quality is early stereo
******* (Stereo)
Conductor: Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Recording Date: 1964
++ Corelli as Calaf
++ Nilsson as Turandot
= Gavazzeni is OK
****** (Mono, Live)
Conductor: Zubin Mehta
Recording Date: 1972
++ Global balance between singers, *********
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Turandot: Katia Ricarelli
Liù: Barbara Hendricks
Calaf: Placido Domingo

Recording Date: 1982
Reference: DG
++ Placido Domingo as Calaf
++ Some orchestral details worked out by von Karajan
-- Katja Riciarelli as Turandot
*******