Author Topic: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD  (Read 88787 times)

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #300 on: March 02, 2019, 09:37:51 AM »
Yes, that's true. He had recorded all the arias, but not the recitatives, and rather than abandon the whole project, they brought in Werner Krenn to fill in the gaps.

Wunderlich is one of my favourite tenors, a voice of heady beauty allied allied to natural musicality. He was still young when he died, and I think he would have gone on to become a good Lieder singer. It's a shame he recorded all his Lieder with Hubert Giesen, who can be a bit of a dead weight. The Edinburgh recital shows a deepening response to the poetry from the studio recordings of only the previous year.

He recorded extensively for DG, EMI and also, I believe, Elektrola.

I have a 5 disc DG set, which includes Lieder, operetta, opera arias and extracts (all in German) and popular song.



a 6 CD EMI set, which covers slightly different repertoire



and a 2 CD Verona set of live material



As well as his peerles Tamino on Böhm's Die Zauberflöte, the aforementioned Karajan Die Schöpfung, his wonderful Steersman in the Konwitshcny Der fliegende Holländer and a live account of La Traviata with the young Teresa Stratas.



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Online knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #301 on: March 02, 2019, 09:43:53 AM »
I take it that Traviata is in German?

I have a fair bit of his singing including Schumman songs. I also have two Das Lied von der Erde recordings, operetta, opera and Bach/Haydn. It was an irreplaceable voice. 

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #302 on: March 02, 2019, 09:51:16 AM »
I take it that Traviata is in German?

I have a fair bit of his singing including Schumman songs. I also have two Das Lied von der Erde recordings, operetta, opera and Bach/Haydn. It was an irreplaceable voice. 

Mike

No, the Travaiata is in Italian. Hermann Prey is the Germont.

I used to have the Klemperer Das Lied von der Erde on LP, but never got it on CD for some reason. Kubelik with Baker is my favourite version. However I do have a Krips version with Wunderlich in the tenor songs and Fischer-Dieskau doing the lower songs.
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #303 on: March 03, 2019, 02:58:46 AM »


An interesting and enterprising recital recorded in 2003, when Alagna was at the top of his game. It's certainly a pleasure to hear authentically sung French.

As far as I'm aware, Alagna never attempted any of these roles on stage, but, if these excerpts are anything to go by, he'd have made an excellent Faust and Cellini.

Though he negotiates Iopas's high-lying tessitura well enough, I rather prefer a lighter lyric tenor in this music, and, conversely, I'm not sure he'd have had the heft for Enée on stage. Admittedly I've been brought up on the heroic sound of a Vickers here, but the role has recently been taken by Michael Spyres, a tenor with a lighter voice than Alagna. Having heard both Alagna and Spyres live, I'd have said Alagna would be more suited to the role's demands than Spyres. The few excerpts included here certainly go very well. The  excerpt from L'Enfance du Christ is quite charming and direct in its utterance and the Mab scherzo from Roméo et Juliette is suitably deft and witty.

Next come excerpts from La Damnation de Faust, with the addition of a rarity in the shape of a setting for tenor and guitar of Mephisophélès's serenade, taken from the earlier Huits Scènes de Faust. Alagna is joined by his then wife, Angela Gheorghiu, for the duet Ange adorée, which is sung most beautifully. What a shame he never attempted Berlioz's Faust on stage.

Like Iopas. Bénédict also probably needs a slightly less beefy voice, but Alagna manages his short aria well enough.

More convincing are the excerpts from Benvenuto Cellini, another role which I would have thought would have suited him well. He was apparently slated to sing it on the Nelson recording, but pulled out for some reason. He may not quite erase memories of Gedda in one of his greatest roles, but, on the evidence of the two arias recorded here (La gloire était ma seule idole and Sur les monts les plus sauvages, his voice had the ideal weight and penetration, not to mention his perfect diction and attentio to the text.

Charming in every way are the excerpts from Lélio, with the addition of texts spoken by Gérard Dépardieu, but Berlioz's bombastic and over the top arrangement of La Marseillaise, which ends the disc, rather outstays its welcome  and was all a bit much for me.

Bertrand de Billy's accompaniments are all a little too reticent for my liking, and the disc would no doubt have benefited from the presence of a Colin Davis or John Eliot Gardiner in the pit. Nevertheless, if you like Berlioz, and I do, this is a highly enjoyable disc and an excellent reminder of Alagna at his considerable best.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2019, 03:14:50 AM by Tsaraslondon »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #304 on: March 03, 2019, 07:52:56 AM »
This recital from Véronique Gens (w/ Roger Vignoles on piano) remains a solid favorite:

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Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #305 on: March 04, 2019, 03:38:04 AM »


An interesting and enterprising recital recorded in 2003, when Alagna was at the top of his game. It's certainly a pleasure to hear authentically sung French.

As far as I'm aware, Alagna never attempted any of these roles on stage, but, if these excerpts are anything to go by, he'd have made an excellent Faust and Cellini.


He did sing Énée in Berlin in 2014. There are excerpts on youtube. That wig!!

Énée's Act I entrance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8el1KRTO2_c
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #306 on: March 04, 2019, 06:50:45 AM »
He did sing Énée in Berlin in 2014. There are excerpts on youtube. That wig!!

Énée's Act I entrance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8el1KRTO2_c

So he did. It wasn't listed as one of his roles on Wikipedia (but then I should know not to trust that source).

Hard to tell from this snippet how successful he was (or wasn't). Many have fallen in the attempt, and even Domingo and Gedda might be numbered amongst its casualties.

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #307 on: March 14, 2019, 01:53:41 AM »


Before his untimely death at the age of 35, Fritz Wunderlich made a lot of recordings for both DG and EMI, mostly for the German market, hence the reason why all the excerpts from French, Italian and Russian opera are sung in German.

That said, regardless of language, Wunderlich's gorgeous, lyric, golden-voiced tenor gives us a glimpse of a near ideal Rodolfo, Duke of Mantua, Lensky, Cavaradossi and Elvino.

This 5 disc set gives us 2 discs of operatic fare from Handel and Mozart to Verdi and Puccini, 2 discs of Lieder (complete recordings of Die schöne Müllerin and Dichterliebe and various other Lieder by Schubert, Schumann and Beethoven) and a final disc of popular Italian and German songs, such as Lara's Granada and Sieczynski's Wien, Wien, dur du allein.

One of the most disarming elements of Wunderlich's singing is that sense of pure joy in the act of singing itself, and it's a quality that is hard to resist. True, there have been deeper, more probing versions of the Schubert and Schumann cycles (even by Wunderlich himself, when captured in concert a year later), but few sung with such consistent beauty of tone.

Stand out tracks for me are the Mozart items (arias from the Böhm Die Zauberflöte, and the Jochum Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Lensky's Kuda, kuda from Eugene Onegin. His opening lines in the Act IV duet for Rodolfo and Marcello from La Boheme (sung with Hermann Prey) are sung with a poetic beauty of such sorrowful radiance, that questions of language are totally forgotten, and this carries through to Cavaradossi's great E lucevan le stelle from Tosca. As Elvino (a lovely Prendi, l'anel ti dono from La Sonnambulawith a somewhat quavery Erika Köth) he sings with a shy diffidence that is thoroughly charming, and what Gilda would not be conquered by the seductve tones of this Duke?

My once critcism would that be he occasionally aspirates fast moving moving music, most in evidence in the Lortzing excerpts, but in all he displays a strong personality, and, once heard, there is no mistaking him.

The popular items might not be to everyone's taste, but it is here that his gift of communication is most in evidence, singing with sheer uninhibited pleasure. One of my favrourite tracks is his performance of Lara's Granada. You get the feeling that he arrived in the studio feeling pretty good that day, and the golden outpouring of tone, right up to a couple of glorious top Cs, is infectiously enjoyable. It's hard not to listen with a smile on your face.

In the grand scheme of things, Wunderlich would have gone on to have a great career, no doubt feted as one of the greatest tenors of his day, but it wasn't to be and he was killed in an accident just a few weeks short of his 36th birthday. How lucky we are that these recordings exist to remind us of what the world lost.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 07:29:25 AM by Tsaraslondon »
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #308 on: March 14, 2019, 02:03:01 AM »
Yes, that Granada is glorious. Among other guilty pleasures, Wunderlich also had a few impressive operetta hits (probably on eurodisc? and probably several recordings/broadcasts) from Lehar, Kalman and others, like "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" or "Allein, wieder allein" (Volga song from Zarevitch).
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #309 on: March 14, 2019, 02:50:01 AM »
Yes, that Granada is glorious. Among other guilty pleasures, Wunderlich also had a few impressive operetta hits (probably on eurodisc? and probably several recordings/broadcasts) from Lehar, Kalman and others, like "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" or "Allein, wieder allein" (Volga song from Zarevitch).

There are a lot of operetta excerpts on EMI (now Warner) too. I also have a 6 disc Warner box.

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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #310 on: March 14, 2019, 08:35:55 AM »
Wunderlich is a favourite of mine, though not usually for song. His Lenski aria is my favourite despite it being in German. It is such a pity that there is not a lot more of his work left to us.

Mike

He's a favorite of mine too.   ;D

PD

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #311 on: March 14, 2019, 08:44:55 AM »
Yes, that's true. He had recorded all the arias, but not the recitatives, and rather than abandon the whole project, they brought in Werner Krenn to fill in the gaps.

Wunderlich is one of my favourite tenors, a voice of heady beauty allied allied to natural musicality. He was still young when he died, and I think he would have gone on to become a good Lieder singer. It's a shame he recorded all his Lieder with Hubert Giesen, who can be a bit of a dead weight. The Edinburgh recital shows a deepening response to the poetry from the studio recordings of only the previous year.

He recorded extensively for DG, EMI and also, I believe, Elektrola.

and a 2 CD Verona set of live material



As well as his peerles Tamino on Böhm's Die Zauberflöte, the aforementioned Karajan Die Schöpfung, his wonderful Steersman in the Konwitshcny Der fliegende Holländer and a live account of La Traviata with the young Teresa Stratas.

Who released the Edinburgh recital?  And when is it from?  I'd love to get ahold of that one! 

I have that EMI/Warner set plus some other recordings.  A while ago, I also picked up this neat set:  Fritz Wunderlich Edition on DG (one of those LP-sized boxed-sets).  Also have:  The Original Masters - The Art of Fritz Wunderlich  and the reasonably-priced 10-CD boxed-set on Membran/Brilliant called Welterfolge und Raritäten.

What a voice!  Meltingly beautiful....such a shame to have lost him and so young.   :'(

Best wishes,

PD

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #312 on: March 14, 2019, 08:52:35 AM »
Who released the Edinburgh recital?  And when is it from?  I'd love to get ahold of that one! 



I have it (well some of it on Myto) but DG issued it too. The recital is from just a couple of weeks before he died, and is his last notes recorded for posterity.



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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #313 on: March 14, 2019, 11:09:51 AM »
I have it (well some of it on Myto) but DG issued it too. The recital is from just a couple of weeks before he died, and is his last notes recorded for posterity.


Thank you for the information Tsaraslondon.  How do you find the recording quality?  And how was his voice that day/evening?

Best,

PD

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #314 on: March 14, 2019, 12:11:33 PM »
Recording quality fine. I refer you to the review I did earlier in the thread - reply #299.
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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #315 on: March 15, 2019, 06:10:31 AM »
Recording quality fine. I refer you to the review I did earlier in the thread - reply #299.
Thank you!  :-)

PD

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #316 on: March 21, 2019, 08:26:39 AM »


This 5 disc set brings together most, though not all, of the recordings Dame Janet Baker made for Decca, Argo and Philips during the 1960s and 1970s. Though contracted to EMI (and Warner have a pretty exhaustive ten disc box set of her work for that label, called The Great Recordings), she made a few recordings for Decca/Argo (including her famous recording of Dido and Aeneas) in the early 60s, and then a tranche of recitals for Philips in the 1970s. The range of material here is not quite as wide as that on the aforementioned Warner, but takes us from 17th century arie through to Britten.

Disc 1 is a selection of what most vocal students would know as Arie Antiche (called here Arie Amorose), (in somewhat souped- up arrangements) by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner. Whilst the arrangements can sound somewhat anachronistic today, Baker's wonderfully varied singing is not and each little song emerges as a little gem. The disc is rounded off with a couple of arias from La Calisto recorded shortly after her great success in the role of Diana/Jove at Glyndebourne.

Some of Baker's greatest early successes were in Handel and Disc 2 is mostly taken up by a superb 1972 Handel recital she made with the English Chamber Orchestra under Raymond Leppard. How brilliantly she charts the changing emotions in the cantata Lucrezia and also in the arioso-like Where shall I fly from Hercules,but each track displays the specificity of her art, the way she can express the despair in an aria like Scherza infida and the joy in Dopo notte. The disc is rounded off by a 1966 recording of Bach's Vergnügte Ruh and her incomparable When I am laid in earth from her 1961 recording of Dido and Aeneas.

Disc 3 has excerpts from a 1973 Mozart/Haydn recital and a 1976 Beethoven/Schubert disc, both made with Raymond Leppard, with the addition of arias from her complete recordings of la Clemenza di Tito and Cosí fan tutte under Sir Colin Davis. The two Haydn cantatas (one with piano and one with orchestra) are very welcome, but we do miss her stunning performance of Sesto's two big arias from La Clemenza di Tito, and her gently intimate performance of Mozart's Abendempfindung. Fortunately these have been included in a superb selection taken from the same two recitals on the Pentatone label, which includes all the missing Mozart and Schubert items. This disc also includes her recording of Beethoven's Ah perfido!, a little smaller in scale than some, but beautifully judged none the less. It doesn't have Callas's ferocity, it is true, but it is much more comfortably vocalised.

Disc 4 is of music by Rameau (excerpts from her 1965 recording of Hippolyte et Aricie, which well display her impassioned Phèdre), Gluck (arias for Orfeo and Alceste taken from her 1975 Gluck recital) and Berlioz (1979 performances of Cléopâtre and Herminie and Béatrice's big scene from Davis's complete 1977 recording of Béatrice et Bénédict). The biggest loss here is of the majority of the Gluck recital, which included many rare items, though the complete reictal was at one time available on one of Philips's budget labels. Baker is without doubt one of the greatest Berlioz exponents of all time, and the two scènes lyriques are especially welcome, the range of expression in both fully exploited.

Disc 5 is of late nineteenth and twentieth century French song and Benjamin Britten; the whole of a disc of French song made with the Melos Ensmble in 1966, excerpts from the composers own recordings of The Rape of Lucretia and Owen Wingraveand Phaedra, which was composed specifically for her. The Melos disc includes Ravel's Chansons Madécasses and Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, Chausson's Chanson perpétuelle and Delage's Quatre poèmes hindous and is a fine example of Baker's felicity in French chanson. The Britten excerpts remind us of her sympathetic portrayal of Lucretia and her unpleasant Kate in Owen Wingrave. The Britten cantata is a great example of her controlled intensity.

Remarkable throughout is the care and concentration of her interpretations. Nothing is glossed over, nothing taken for granted, and she was one of those artists who could bring the frisson of live performance into the studio. Nor do I think she ever made a bad record. One of my all time favourite singers.

« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 09:34:52 AM by Tsaraslondon »
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Offline king ubu

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #317 on: March 22, 2019, 12:22:59 AM »


Revisiting the recent disc by Elsa Dreisig ... she was on the front cover of German magazine "Fono Forum" a few months ago (around the time late in 2018 her disc was released). Bought it upon Mike's insistence one page up (thanks!), as I initially planned to skip it (don't ask why), which would have been too bad really!

Her voice may not have quite the strength to pull off all of the roles which she excerpts on the album, but the CD certainly is gorgeous!

On top if that, I just realized it's her that's going to sing "Manon" in the new Massenet production premiering at Zurich opera soon (Piotr Beczala will sing des Grieux). I've got a ticket for a later show in mid May, so it will be a while, but still the news/realizing is a good reminder to play the CD again (third or fourth spin, I think).

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Offline Biffo

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #318 on: March 22, 2019, 01:49:45 AM »


This 5 disc set brings together most, though not all, of the recordings Dame Janet Baker made for Decca, Argo and Philips during the 1960s and 1970s. Though contracted to EMI (and Warner have a pretty exhaustive ten disc box set of her work for that label, called The Great Recordings), she made a few recordings for Decca/Argo (including her famous recording of Dido and Aeneas) in the early 60s, and then a tranche of recitals for Philips in the 1970s. The range of material here is not quite as wide as that on the aforementioned Warner, but takes us from 17th century arie through to Britten.

Disc 1 is a selection of what most vocal students would know as Arie Antiche (called here Arie Amorose), (in somewhat souped- up arrangements) by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner. Whilst the arrangements can sound somewhat anachronistic today, Baker's wonderfully varied singing is not and each little song emerges as a little gem. The disc is rounded off with a couple of arias from La Calisto recorded shortly after her great success in the role of Diana/Jove at Glyndebourne.

Some of Baker's greatest early successes were in Handel and Disc 2 is mostly taken up by a superb 1972 Handel recital she made with the English Chamber Orchestra under Raymond Leppard. How brilliantly she charts the changing emotions in the cantata Lucrezia and also in the arioso-like Where shall I fly from Hercules,but each track displays the specificity of her art, the way she can express the despair in an aria like Scherza infida and the joy in Dopo notte. The disc is rounded off by a 1966 recording of Bach's Vergnügte Ruh and her incomparable When I am laid in earth from her 1961 recording of Dido and Aeneas.

Disc 3 has excerpts from a 1973 Mozart/Haydn recital and a 1976 Beethoven/Schubert disc, both made with Raymond Leppard, with the addition of arias from her complete recordings of la Clemenza di Tito and Cosí fan tutte under Sir Colin Davis. The two Haydn cantatas (one with piano and one with orchestra) are very welcome, but we do miss her stunning performance of Sesto's two big arias from La Clemenza di Tito, and her gently intimate performance of Mozart's Abendempfindung. Fortunately these have been included in a superb selection taken from the same two recitals on the Pentatone label, which includes all the missing Mozart and Schubert items. This disc also includes her recording of Beethoven's Ah perfido!, a little smaller in scale than some, but beautifully judged none the less. It doesn't have Callas's ferocity, it is true, but it is much more comfortably vocalised.

Disc 4 is of music by Rameau (excerpts from her 1965 recording of Hippolyte et Aricie, which well display her impassioned Phèdre), Gluck (arias for Orfeo and Alceste taken from her 1975 Gluck recital) and Berlioz (1979 performances of Cléopâtre and Herminie and Béatrice's big scene from Davis's complete 1977 recording of Béatrice et Bénédict). The biggest loss here is of the majority of the Gluck recital, which included many rare items, though the complete reictal was at one time available on one of Philips's budget labels. Baker is without doubt one of the greatest Berlioz exponents of all time, and the two scènes lyriques are especially welcome, the range of expression in both fully exploited.

Disc 5 is of late nineteenth and twentieth century French song and Benjamin Britten; the whole of a disc of French song made with the Melos Ensmble in 1966, excerpts from the composers own recordings of The Rape of Lucretia and Owen Wingraveand Phaedra, which was composed specifically for her. The Melos disc includes Ravel's Chansons Madécasses and Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, Chausson's Chanson perpétuelle and Delage's Quatre poèmes hindous and is a fine example of Baker's felicity in French chanson. The Britten excerpts remind us of her sympathetic portrayal of Lucretia and her unpleasant Kate in Owen Wingrave. The Britten cantata is a great example of her controlled intensity.

Remarkable throughout is the care and concentration of her interpretations. Nothing is glossed over, nothing taken for granted, and she was one of those artists who could bring the frisson of live performance into the studio. Nor do I think she ever made a bad record. One of my all time favourite singers.

I already had practically all of the contents (except the Britten) of this box on LP, including the missing Schubert and Mozart but bought it anyway for convenience - many old favourites here. The Warner Icon box is currently available from Amazon UK at a bargain price of £11 but I already have all the contents scattered over various CDs.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #319 on: March 24, 2019, 10:24:37 AM »




Good to be reminded of Baltsa's pre-eminence as a lyric/dramatic mezzo at the beginning of the 1980s, when this recital was recorded.

The recital shows off to advantage her keen dramatic instinct, a tangily individual timbre, and a voice that was, at this time at least, absolutely seamless from top to bottom. Though she had already recorded Eboli and Amneris for Karajan, this recital concentrates for the most part on her work in the field of bel canto.

Baltsa was an exciting stage performer, as I can attest, having seen her live on many occasions and a great deal of that excitement comes through on disc, the climaxes of the arias from La Favorita and Il Giuamento being pafticularly thrilling. She has a strong vocal personality, which comes across stunningly on disc, and she realises the different demands of classical, Romantic and verismo music. If there is a limitation, it is that she rarely colours or weights the voice to suit the character she is playing, something more noticeable in a recital disc than it would be in a complete performance.

Stand out tracks for me were the aria from La Donna del Lago, where she gently caresses the opening cavatina, and the aforementioned arias from Il Giuramento and La Favorita. Indeed, on this showing it is a great pity that nobody thought to make a complete recording of the Donizetti opera with her, though preferably in the original French rather than Italian as it is here.

To sum up, this is a great memento of an important singer recorded when the voice was at its peak. I seem to remember that it was issued in the UK originally on EMI, but the recording was made by Orfeo, and it is that issue I have.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas