Decca B079PT2YQP 72 CDs, 2 DVDs


This fabulous huge deluxe issue commemorates the centenary of the birth of Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson (May 17, 1918 - December 25, 2005).She was a force of nature with an incredibly powerful, beautiful voice, and flawless pitch. Nilsson was the reigning dramatic soprano of the operatic world for almost three decades, excelling in Wagner and Straus. She also impressive in Puccini— the definitive Turandot . This limited edition set contains all of her recordings for Decca, Philips and Deutsche Gramophone, as well as a few from EMI (La fanciulla del West / Aida / Turandot / Der Freischütz / Oberon), and RCA (Turandot conducted by Leinsdorf). We have two complete Ring Cycles, with conductors Karl Böhm and Sir George Solti). There are 27 complete opera recordings, all digitally remastered. We also have the song recitals and aria disks. . The two DVDs contain a thrilling Met performance of Elektra from a telecast February 16, 1980., and the famous documentary The Making of the Ring. The Elektra performance is Nilsson at her beat, with a strong supporting cast. At the end it seems odd that the solo bows for Rysanek and Nilsson are not included, but you find them on the 20 minute "bonus" which shows a wildly enthusiastic Met audience giving repeated ovations to all performers. These performers include conductor James Levine, back in happier days.

A 200-page book contains many rare photograph and complete recording information. I find the packaging of this release is overdone. Overall dimensions of the album are 6 x 8 x 12. It is not easy to remove the separate disks from the two columns provided. The entire set weighs almost 9 pounds! Still, this is a major releases, a limited edition, so snap it up while you can!

R.E.B. (June 2018)