The seeds were planted in the early 1970s when Deutsche Grammophon realised what amazing results could be achieved by recording on multi-channel tapes, using either four or eight channels. Yet, due to a few restrictions, they never fully blossomed. Flaws in the playback equipment meant that music connoisseurs were prevented from enjoying these recordings in the way that artists, producers, engineers and other professionals intended, even though recording technology was already way ahead of its time.
Now — over a quarter of a century later — and thanks to the arrival of the multi-channel Super Audio CD, there is finally a system available which permits these precious recordings to be released in the quality they deserved back then. Digitally re-mastered on 2 SACDs, this release also features a complete libretto both in French and English.
With delight, PENTATONE re-releases Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen, which remains one of the world’s most frequently performed operas from his repertoire. In one of its reviews in September 1982, the New York Times declared, “a strong vote for Bernstein’s much-debated 1973 recording of Bizet’s ‘Carmen,’ with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the great Marilyn Horne in the title role.
Bernstein’s daringly slow tempos, though criticized by some, are revelatory. Ms. Horne’s ‘Habanera’ is all the more seductive for its reined-in pacing and sultry phrasing”. Many claim that it is by far the best recording of Carmen. Leonard Bernstein’s rendition is as sharp as Marilyn Horne and James McCracken’s performances are stunning.