Giacomo Puccini: Manon Lescaut

December 15th, 2021 by admin Leave a reply »

Manon Lescaut, Puccinis first success, has everything which makes an operatic success. The characters are musically well presented, the music is nice, with a flow and nice arias / melodies. It’s some kind of consequent and straight forward in the approach, emphasizing the emotional part of the characters (in difference to Massenets variant).

In some sense, it should be called Des Grieux, as the tenor is very central in this musical proposal, i.e., the tenor is very important in my view here. My favorite recording is Björling live at the Met with Mitropoulos conducting. Electrizing in all senses (even if at the end, if you know the 3 recordings with Björling, you may notice, that the emotional effects were more calculated as you may think at first). For hifi reasons, I would go on the mono studio recording, which is still very good. Bergonzi is surprinsingly a very good Des Grieux either.

RecordingCommentsMusical qualityTechnical quality
Conductor: Jonel Perlea
Manon Lescaut: Licia Albanese
Des Grieux: Jussi Björling
++ Jussi Björling as Des Grieux
+ Jonel Perlea
= Licia Albanese as Manon
******* (Mono)

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