“It’s been a bit of a strange evening” says Adrian Belew near the end of the show. What can he mean? Well, there are moments when things get shaky (Ade has a rather squelchy brown moment during Dinosaur) and there’s a slightly distracted quality to Crimson’s overall performance here, particularly through EleKtric. Yet a minute later The Power To Believe II sees them embarking on a sublime voyage that goes to bliss and back in a little over seven minutes; Fripp launches a solo that takes him clean out of city and off into inner space.
James Levine presides brilliantly over the vast musical forces required for Verdi's epic portrait of the Spain of Phillip II, a world in which an individual's choices change the course of nations. Originally telecast in 1980, this famous production frames a superb union of symphonic grandeur and extraordinary vocal artistry within a beautiful setting that captured all the magnificence - and all the terror - of a tumultuous epoch.
Luchino Visconti's famous Covent Garden production (originally from 1958, here revived in 1985) is now available on DVD–the sets are stark, the costumes sumptuous. Luis Lima is the most dramatic and moving Don Carlo on DVD; Ileana Cotrubas is a small scale but touching Elisabetta–tears well up in both their eyes in their final duet. The rest of the cast is fine, especially Zancanaro (Rodrigo) and Lloyd (Philip II). Picture quality is uneven, sound excellent. Haitink is a delicate but effective conductor of the full (3 1/2 hour) score. In general, the most powerful performance available of this most grand of Verdi operas.By C. Harbison (Montague, MA United States)