VERDI Simon Boccanegra / Freni, Carreras, Abbado 4497522

. . . Claudio Abbado's 1977 La Scala performance of it is one of the classic Verdi recordings. All the singers here are caught in their absolute prime while Abbado paces the score to perfection.

It's hard to choose between Abbado's outstanding Verdi recordings . . . This version of Boccanegra, with an outstanding cast, is a genuine classic, though, not only as a souvenir of what was one of the landmark stagings (by Giorgio Strehler) in the history of Verdi production, but as a demonstration of the searching intensity Abbado brought to the composer, and his ability to characterise every detail without losing sight of the whole dramatic shape.