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Luciano Pavarotti: The best recordings

We name the greatest examples of the legendary tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, on disc and DVD

Published: October 12, 2019 at 7:14 am

La fille du régiment
Joan Sutherland etc; Royal Opera House/Richard Bonynge
Decca 414 5202


Pavarotti plays the ebullient young peasant to perfection.

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Read our reviews of the latest Donizetti recordings here

I Puritani
Joan Sutherland; Royal Opera House/Richard Bonynge
Decca 417 5882

Pavarotti subdues his extrovert energy to style and elegance, alongside a strong cast.

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Read our reviews of the latest Bellini recordings here

Rigoletto (DVD)
Edita Gruberova, Ingvar Wixell etc; Vienna Staatsoper/Riccardo Chailly
DG 073 4166

Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s heavily stylized, ornate but often impressive cinematic account is dominated by Pavarotti with surprising sexual charge.

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Read our reviews of the latest Verdi recordings here

La bohème
Mirella Freni etc; Deutsche Oper Berlin/Herbert von Karajan
Decca 421 0492

Freni and Pavarotti make meltingly believable young lovers.

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Read our reviews of the latest Puccini recordings here

Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé etc; John Alldis Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra/Zubin Mehta
Decca 414 2742

Pavarotti’s passionately perceptive, unforced Calaf matches Sutherland’s unlikely Ice Princess.

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Idomeneo (DVD)
Frederica von Stade, Ileana Cotrubas etc; Metropolitan Opera/Levine

James Levine’s reading is traditional but not crushingly heavyweight, there is a high-powered cast, and Pavarotti is charismatic as the embattled king.

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Read our reviews of the latest Mozart recordings here



Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.

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