Author Topic: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD  (Read 88123 times)

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #380 on: May 30, 2019, 12:10:08 AM »


Issued to mark the one hundredth anniversary of Schwarzkopf’s birth in 2015, this fantastic 31 disc set brings together all the recital discs Schwarzkopf made in the LP age with her husband Walter Legge between the years 1952 and 1974, adding the live 1953 Wolf recital from Salzburg, with Furtwängler and the farewell to Gerlald Moore at the Royal Festival Hall in 1967, in which she shares the platform with Victoria De Los Angeles and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. It is a considerable achievement, covering operatic excerpts and a huge range of Lieder and song, both with orchestra and piano. It is not quite the full story, for there was to be one further recital to come, made for Decca in 1977 and 1979, and simply called To My Friends.

A fuller review of this box set on my blog https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2019/05/30/elisabeth-schwarzkopf-the-complete-recitals-1952-1974/
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 12:41:36 AM by Tsaraslondon »
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #381 on: June 02, 2019, 05:45:10 AM »


This Handel recital, which showcases the talents of Natalie Dessay, concentrates solely on the music Handel wrote for Cleopatra in his Giulio Cesare, and even includes music he wrote but later cut from the full opera.  Variety is provided, by the orchestra (the excellent Le Concert d'Astrée under Emmanuelle Haïm) contributing a couple of orchestral interludes, and by Sonia Prina as Caesar, whose contributions, however are restricted to a few lines of recitative and the final duet.

It is quite interesting to hear side by side, as we do here, Handel's first and final thoughts on certain scenes, so the heroic Per dar vita all'idol mio gave way to the grieving Se pietà di me non senti, whilst the lilting siciliano of   Troppo crudele siete was dropped in favour of the  intensely moving, and justly famous Piangerò.

Dessay is on top form, stunningly agile in the florid music such as Da tempeste il legno infrante, playfully seductive in V'adoro pupille, movingly heartfelt in Piangerò.

Le Concert d'Astrée under Emmanuelle Haïm, offer superb support. This is no replacement for a performance of the complete opera, of course, but nonetheless a wonderful distillation of Dessay's Cleopatra, a role she performed with great success at the Palais Garnier in Paris, shortly after making this record.
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Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #382 on: June 02, 2019, 05:49:20 AM »
A wonderful record indeed !

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #383 on: June 04, 2019, 12:26:08 AM »


This is not a recital as such, but a collection of off the air recordings made by Schwarzkopf between the years 1941 and 1952. We get the opening of a Berlin Das Rheingold, conducted by Artur Rother (Schwarzkopf as Woglinde), Nie werd ich deine Hulde verkennen from a Vienna performance of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, conducted by Rudolf Moralt (with Emmy Loose, Anton Dermota, Peter Klein and Herbert Alsen), a duet from Weber's Abu Hassan from 1942, with Michael Bohnen, and part of the Act II finale of Le Nozze di Figaro from La Scala in 1948, with Imrgard Seefried and W Hoefermeyer (who he?) under Karajan. We also get a couple of excerpts from the 1950 Salzburg Festival, both conducted by Furtwängler; Mi tradi from Don Giovanni (on which unusually she takes an unwritten upward ending, presumably sanctioned by Furtwängler though absent from all other versions by her) and Marzelline's opening duet and aria from the famous performance of Fidelio at which Flagstad sang Leonore. In all Schwarzkopf displays her familiar virtues of pure, firm tone, excellent legato and elegant phrasing, the voice shot through with laughter in the lighter pieces. Marzelline's aria is sung with a fuller tone than we often hear in this music, but captures perfectly her wistful charm. Ilia's Zeffiretti lusinghieri is taken from a 1951 Turin Radio Mario Rossi broadcast, but it is not quite so accomplished as the one on her studio recital of the following year.

The rest is is given over to a Hamburg broadcast from 1952, beginning with a lovely performance of He shall feed his flock, from Handel's Messiah (sung in German). The Act I monologue from Der Rosenkavalier is perhaps less detailed than the one on the complete set under Karajan and no doubt some might prefer it for that reason, though I wouldn't necessarily be one of them. It's a lovely performance nonetheless. Schwarzkopf's Countess is also justly well known, and Porgi amor is sung with creamy tone and matchless legato, but the excerpts from Madama Butterfly (sung in German) don't really work for her, and indeed Schwarzkopf herself, when she heard them in later years, thought them "rather screechy on top". She did however approve the aria from Korngold's Die tote Stadt (the soprano version of the duet Glück das mir verblieb) and rightly so, as this is without doubt the prize of the whole disc. I have never heard it sung better, not by Te Kanawa, not by Fleming, not even by Lehmann, who recorded the duet with Richard Tauber. The pianissimi on the top notes, the diminuendi, the way she fades the tone are absolutely miraculous, no other word for it. Everyone needs to hear this, but getting the recital on disc is quite difficult these days. Fortunately you can hear it on youtube

https://youtu.be/ZoGQd1dsAlw

The whole disc is a fitting repost to all those who think Schwarzkopf was a studio creation, catching her live and on the wing, but treasured mostly for that sensational and unfortunately unrepeated performance of the Korngold.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #384 on: June 04, 2019, 01:29:27 AM »


This is not a recital as such, but a collection of off the air recordings made by Schwarzkopf between the years 1941 and 1952. We get the opening of a Berlin Das Rheingold, conducted by Artur Rother (Schwarzkopf as Woglinde), Nie werd ich deine Hulde verkennen from a Vienna performance of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, conducted by Rudolf Moralt (with Emmy Loose, Anton Dermota, Peter Klein and Herbert Alsen), a duet from Weber's Abu Hassan from 1942, with Michael Bohnen, and part of the Act II finale of Le Nozze di Figaro from La Scala in 1948, with Imrgard Seefried and W Hoefermeyer (who he?) under Karajan. We also get a couple of excerpts from the 1950 Salzburg Festival, both conducted by Furtwängler; Mi tradi from Don Giovanni (on which unusually she takes an unwritten upward ending, presumably sanctioned by Furtwängler though absent from all other versions by her) and Marzelline's opening duet and aria from the famous performance of Fidelio at which Flagstad sang Leonore. In all Schwarzkopf displays her familiar virtues of pure, firm tone, excellent legato and elegant phrasing, the voice shot through with laughter in the lighter pieces. Marzelline's aria is sung with a fuller tone than we often hear in this music, but captures perfectly her wistful charm. Ilia's Zeffiretti lusinghieri is taken from a 1951 Turin Radio Mario Rossi broadcast, but it is not quite so accomplished as the one on her studio recital of the following year.

The rest is is given over to a Hamburg broadcast from 1952, beginning with a lovely performance of He shall feed his flock, from Handel's Messiah (sung in German). The Act I monologue from Der Rosenkavalier is perhaps less detailed than the one on the complete set under Karajan and no doubt some might prefer it for that reason, though I wouldn't necessarily be one of them. It's a lovely performance nonetheless. Schwarzkopf's Countess is also justly well known, and Porgi amor is sung with creamy tone and matchless legato, but the excerpts from Madama Butterfly (sung in German) don't really work for her, and indeed Schwarzkopf herself, when she heard them in later years, thought them "rather screechy on top". She did however approve the aria from Korngold's Die tote Stadt (the soprano version of the duet Glück das mir verblieb) and rightly so, as this is without doubt the prize of the whole disc. I have never heard it sung better, not by Te Kanawa, not by Fleming, not even by Lehmann, who recorded the duet with Richard Tauber. The pianissimi on the top notes, the diminuendi, the way she fades the tone are absolutely miraculous, no other word for it. Everyone needs to hear this, but getting the recital on disc is quite difficult these days. Fortunately you can hear it on youtube

https://youtu.be/ZoGQd1dsAlw

The whole disc is a fitting repost to all those who think Schwarzkopf was a studio creation, catching her live and on the wing, but treasured mostly for that sensational and unfortunately unrepeated performance of the Korngold.
I'd not heard that. Absolutely wonderful. You can hear it from the first note too - it's gonna be good. Thanks for posting that!
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #385 on: June 04, 2019, 04:16:58 AM »
I'd not heard that. Absolutely wonderful. You can hear it from the first note too - it's gonna be good. Thanks for posting that!

I came across it for the first time quite a few years ago now. It was once on a Melodram double LP release, but I thik this is its only CD release and you'd be hard pressed to find it anywhere today.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 04:18:29 AM by Tsaraslondon »
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #386 on: June 04, 2019, 04:29:53 AM »
I came across it for the first time quite a few years ago now. It was once on a Melodram double LP release, but I thik this is its only CD release and you'd be hard pressed to find it anywhere today.

Just checked and it's also on this 2 disc set which came out in 2015.



Europadisc are selling it for £14.36 https://www.europadisc.co.uk/classical/125940/Elisabeth_Schwarzkopf:_100th_Anniversary.htm#sthash.JB1xcPHR.dpuf
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #387 on: June 05, 2019, 01:33:59 AM »


This EMI disc collects together recordings from Tito Schipa's first recording sessions in 1913, recordings made in the 1920s and 1930s and one (Werther's O, nature) recorded in 1942, when Schipa was 54.

The name of Schipa is most associated with style, elegance and grace (not for him the over-emotional sobbing excesses of Gigli), though the first aria included on the disc (Che faro from Orfeo ed Euridice) is hardly a model in that respect. The unstylish playing of the orchestra is certainly no help, but Schipa too has some lapses in style, with occasional aspiarates marring his legato.

The 1913 recordings tell a different story and reveal a surprising amount of power and squillo, not qualities one normally associates with the singing of Tito Schipa. They also offer so much more in the elegance of the phrasing, the firm line and his wonderful legato, as well as a proper appreciation of character and the dramatic situation. The prizes here are the Duke's Ella mi fu rapita...Parmi veder le lagrime, from Rigoletto, Tu che a dio spiegasti l'ali from Lucia di Lammermoor and the Siciliana from Cavalleria Rusticana.

There are treasures too amongst some of the later recordings, even the 1942 Werther aria, which is wonderfully poetic, but the 1934 aria from Manon is also superb.

However I think I derived the most pleasure from the duets. WIth Toti Dal Monti we get a lovely Prendi l'anel to dono from La Sonnambula, and, even better, a gorgeous Tornami a dir from Don Pasquale, which is just about ideal in every way, the two singers blending thier voices and playing with the musical line in perfect synchronicity. Then, probably best of all is the famous Cherry Duet from Mascagani's L'Amico Fritz, with the charming Mafalda Favero. Throughout he caresses and moulds the line and there is a moment of pure magic when he sings the words sei pur bella on a delciate thread of sound which perfectly expresses Fritz's shy awakening to love. It is moments such as these which make us turn to these old recordings.

\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #388 on: June 08, 2019, 01:12:30 AM »


Looking through my collection I note that the majority of fairly recent recital acquisitions seem to be mostly of music of Handel and the baroque. I'm not sure whether this has more to do with a change in my taste, the general change in taste or the dearth of decent singers of Verdi, Wagner and nineteenth century muisc in general. Whatever the reason, I think it's safe to say there are far more excellent Handel singers around these days than there used to and the performers on this disc are certainly fine examples.

Handel's operatic duets are rare delights, usually either expressing sadness at lovers' parting or delight in reunion, and there is a good cross-section of both types in this recital. That said, I am not a Handel specialist and I personally find less variety here than I would in a programme of duets from the bel canto period or Verdi. The programme is drawn from well-known works, such as Rinaldo, Serse and Rodelinda, as well as lesser known works like Silla and Teseo, with no less than five excerpts (including the Act III Sinfonia) from Poro, and certainly no fault can be found with the performances.

We hear two very fine voices in prime condition, DiDonato's darker, straighter mezzo contrasting and blending nicely with Ciofi's bright, clear soprano. Both are expressive artists with a fine legato and superb technical proficiency in the florid music. They also repond well to the dramatic elements in the music, and are superbly supported by Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco. The disc can be recommended unreseverdly to all lovers of Handel and the baroque, even if on this occasion, and I realise this has no relevance to the present disc, I found myself wishing I was listening to, say, Caballé and Verrett in their disc of Romantic opera duets.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #389 on: June 08, 2019, 07:45:01 AM »


Joseph Schmidt was a huge star in the 20s and 30s. Possessor of a naturally placed lyric tenor, his liquid tones and engaging musicality made him the darling of radio shows. That, and the fact that, at under 5 feet tall an operatic career was a physical impossibility. My first encounter with his art was through a 5disc EMI compilation in which he was allotted Ach so fromm from Flotow’s Martha (aka M’appari when sung by italian tenors). Even though the totality of his recorded art dates from the time of the 78rpm, there are litterally dozens of cds devoted to his singing, including a 10 cd compilation. That’s a lot of 78 sides for a recording career that lasted less than 5 years ! Being jewish his last appearance was in 1933 in Berlin. Subsequently he was a touring artist in the States and Europe. When the War broke in 1939 he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and became a fugitive, then interned in a refugee camp near Zurich, where he contracted pulmonary disease. He died of a heart attack 2 days after being released, aged 38.

I have to confess that although I find his voice beautiful, a handful of tracks go a long way for me. Same with McCormack, Bing Crosby, Luis Mariano, Rudolf Schock, even Fritz Wunderlich. There is an innately high level of calories to that type of voice and repertoire that fills my cup rather fast. Schmidt’s plangent, slightly plaintive tones does wonders in items like Ach so fromm, Una furtiva lagrima and german/austrian operetta songs. The source recordings are practically all from radio tapes, thus of good quality.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #390 on: June 09, 2019, 12:20:06 AM »

Born at the beginning of the last century, the Brazilian soprano Bidu Sayão, a pupil of the tenor Jean de Reszke, first made her career in Europe as a coloratura, singing such roles as Lucia, Elvira, Amina and Zerbinetta. She made her US debut in 1935, and was soon after engaged by Toscanini for a performance of Debussy's La damoiselle élue, making her Met debut in 1937 in the role of Manon. Thereafter she became a great favourite and sang regularly there until 1952, when she retired from the stage, retiring completely from public performance in 1957. In 1959 she made her final recording, of Villa-Lobos's Forest of the Amazon, with the composer conducting, and it is the Aria from Bachianas-brasilieras, no. 5, also conducted by the composer which opens this disc. Of the many recordings that exist of this popular piece, this one is certainly one of the best, and might even be considered definitive.

From there we turn to French opera and we note her perfect diction and facility in the language. Juliette's Waltz Song is all youthful charm and lightness, the voice clear and bright with none of the acidity often associated with coloratura sopranos of the time (though one imagines it was quite small and certainly not capable of singing the big Act IV aria, which indeed is cut in the live recording of the opera with Bjørling as Roméo). Charm and grace also characterise her Marguerite and Manon, though she is able to find a deeper vein of feeling for an Adieu notre petite table, which is close to the ideal.

We next hear a group of French songs, both with orchestra and piano. Hahn's Si mes vers avaient des ailes suffers somewhat from an awful (and not particularly well-played) orchestral arrangement, but Duparc's Chanson triste is quite lovely, even if the orchestra isn't much better. Her peformance of L'année en vain chasse l'année from Debussy's L'enfant prodigue rivals that of Victoria De Los Angeles, and we also hear a charming performance, with piano accompaniment, of Ravel's Toi, le coeur de la rose, excised from his L'enfant et les sortilèges, which works remarkably well out of context.

A selection of Folk Songs of Brazil, arranged by Ernani Braga, bring this lovely disc to a fitting close. The disc is beautifully presented with plenty of photos and articles in English, German and French, though, regrettably, no texts or translations, and is a fitting memorial to a charming and lovely soprano.
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #391 on: June 09, 2019, 11:38:33 PM »



Joyce DiDonato gives us here a collection of largely little known bel canto arias, some by composers such as Pacini, Mercadante, Valentini and Carafa who are hardly household names. It doesn't get off to the best of starts as the heroine of Pacini's Stella di Napoli sings a jolly little ditty, in which the heroine berates her lover for not being there to hear her dying breath. It is the sort of aria that gives bel canto  opera a bad name and is exactly the thing that Gilbert and Sullivan took such delight in parodying.

Happily we are on much stronger ground with the next item, a lovely elegiac piece from Bellini's Adelson e Salvini, and thereafter things greatly improve, though it is safe to say the best items are those by the more well-known triumvirate of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini, even if the final item, a fourteen minute excerpt from Pacini's Saffo does much to exonerate him.

DiDonato's singing is supremly accomplished with a mastery of coloratura, scales, trills and legato which is second to none. Added to her technical accomplishments, she has a wonderful grasp of the dramatic situations presented and there is no doubt that she is pre-eminent in the field today. If I were nit-picking, I would say that her singing doesn't quite have the sheer personality of some of her predecessors in this music, and the preghiera from Maria Stuarda doesn't quite erase memories of Montserrat Caballé or Janet Baker in the same piece. But, that would be unfair and we should be grateful for what we have, which is a great deal; a singer at the height of her powers with a beautiful voice, technically proficient, put at the service of the music.

She is excellently supported by the Orchestre ey Choer de l'Opéra de Lyon under Riccardo Minasi and the disc comes with notes, texts and translations, though a little more information about the dramatic situations would have been welcome. Warmly recommended.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 11:57:40 PM by Tsaraslondon »
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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #392 on: June 12, 2019, 10:58:45 PM »
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Davidsen-Philharmonia-Orchestra-Esa-Pekka-Salonen/dp/B07Q363D8M/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Lise+davidsen&qid=1560411387&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Lise Davidsen, Wagner and Strauss:Philharmonia conducted by Esa Pekka Salonen

This is a much anticipated disc from a young(ish) singer who has been gaining plaudits for everything she does. I was eager to get my mitts on it. For me it is a let down. Do my ears really just hear things differently from others? I get the feeling that hype has been sweeping all critical thinking away recently. I really don’t get the adulation surrounding Netrebko. I hear a singer who is pushing the voice hard, who has stripped her voice of its former glamour and hardened the tone. It is less flexible which causes intonation problems. I very tersely put my view into a discussion on Twitter and was told by one distinguished critic that he expected better of me!

Now here again, I just don’t get what seemingly everyone else is raving about. Davidsen has a strong powerful voice with good high notes. However, I detect no interpretative imagination whatsoever. I keep reading that she is only 33, so her interpretative qualities will improve, really? If you sing the Strauss Four Last Songs without detectable expression at 33, when will you start to mine the depths of them? She has been praised for this straight forward approach. I find it penny plain flat in expression.

I read lots of praise for her intimate reading of Morgan. To my ears it is far from intimate. Go back to Schwarzkopf, Baker, Margaret Price, Janowitz and others and find the gentle stasis. There is nothing inward here, less loud and tubular in sound is as good as it gets. I assume she understands the words, perhaps I am wrong.

She has a habit of starting a note marginally flat, developing the note with vibrato and then pushing so that some upper notes become a bit wild. It happens in the narcoleptic version of Ariadne’s Es gibt ein Reich. And....then there is her lack of legato. Phrases and sound are broken up unmusically. I want a sustained line.

The Ariadne is her calling card. But Salonen there and elsewhere is sluggish and the Strauss aria has no impetus, it and the narration passage from Lohengrin are boring.

This is not an awful disc, without any hype I might have enjoyed it in a limited way. But I don’t hear the great white hope of Wagner sopranos that so many others hear. I feel conned, I would like a return of my money.

Mike
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 11:04:48 PM by knight66 »
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #393 on: June 13, 2019, 12:53:45 AM »

This is not an awful disc, without any hype I might have enjoyed it in a limited way. But I don’t hear the great white hope of Wagner sopranos that so many others hear. I feel conned, I would like a return of my money.

Mike

Are we all just nostalgic or have standards really dropped? I honestly think the latter is the case.
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #394 on: June 13, 2019, 01:01:35 AM »


This is a superb compendium of recordings taken from live concerts given by Callas between 1949 and 1959. It is being offered as a FREE download (yes, you read that right, free) from Divina Records, so surely there can be no reason not to snap it up while you still can. The sound, while hardly state of the art, is not bad for the period, all of the performances having been taken from radio broadcasts. Taken from BJR LPs, transfers are up to Divina’s usual high standards and the download comes with an excellent pdf of the booklet which accompanied the original release.

The first track is actually her first 78 recording, made for Cetra in 1949, a beautiful performance of Casta diva and Ah bello a me ritorna, though without the opening and linking recitatives in which Callas always excelled. The aria is ideally floated, the scales and coloratura in the cabaletta stunning in their accuracy. We next turn to a radio concert recorded for Turin radio in 1952, with Oliviero de Fabritiis conducting. Callas was obviously out to demonstrate her versatility, and was also trying out for size a couple of roles she would sing later that year, Lady Macbeth and Lucia. To Lady Macbeth’s Letter Scene and the first part of Lucia’s Mad Scene, she adds Abigaille’s Ben io t’invenni from Nabucco and the Bell Song from Lakmé. She is in stupendous voice in all, the high E in the Bell Song ringing out here much more freely than it does in the 1954 recording. Not only is the singing technically stunning, but the contrasts she affords as she switches from the powerfully ambtious Lady Macbeth, to the sweet and maidenly Lucia, from the demonically triumphal Abigaille to the improvisatory story-telling of Lakmé are simply out of this world. You really don’t hear singing like this nowadays.

Next we move to a 1954 Milan concert, starting with her justly famous and technically brilliant recording of Constanze’s Martern aller Arten from Die Entführung aus dem Serail (sung here in Italian as Tutte le torture), her one Mozart stage role. Not only does she execute the difficulties with ease, she sounds properly defiant. It is a thrilling performance. Louise’s Depuis le jour (sung in French) suits her less well, and the performance is marred by occasional unsteadiness. Nonetheless it is hard to resist the quiet intensity of her intent. Armida’s D’amore al dolce impero from Rossini’s opera is, like the Mozart, stunningly accomplished, even if some of the more daring variations from the Florence complete performances have been trimmed down. The bravura of the singing is still unparalleled. The last item from this concert is Ombra leggiera from Meyerbeer’s Dinorah, a rather empty piece, which is hardy worth her trouble, though it improves on the studio recording with the addition of the opening recitative and the contribution of a chorus. Her singing is wonderfully accomplished, the echo effects brilliantly done, but it is not a piece I enjoy.

Another Milan concert, this time from 1956, brings us her best ever performance of Bel raggio lusinghier from Semiramide, though she adds little in the way of embellishment and the effect is less thrilling than her singing of the Armida aria. We get her first version of Ophélie’s Mad Scene from Hamlet (sung here in Italian rather than the original French of the studio recording), which is superb, it’s disparate elements brilliantly bound together. We also have a beautiful performance of Giulia’s Tu che invoco from La Vestale, which seques into a rousing performance of the cabaletta, and she revisits the role of Elvira in I Puritani with a lovely performance, with chorus and soloists, of Vieni al tempio.

From Athens in 1957, there is a dramatically exciting performance of Leonora’s Pace, Pace from La Forza del Destino, in which she manages the pitfalls of the piano top B on invan la pace better than you would expect for post diet Callas. Her performance of Isolde’s Liebestod (again in Italian) is very similar to the Cetra recording, warm and feminine, passionately yearning.

From the 1958 Paris Gala we have her minxish Una voce poco fa from Il Barbiere di Siviglia, with its explosive ma, as Rosina warns us she is not to be messed with. She sings in the mezzo key with added higher embellishments. This is followed by a couple of lesser known performances from a UK TV special, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent. Mimi’s Si mi chiamano Mimi is similar to the performance on the complete recording, charming and disarming, whilst Margarita’s L’altra notte from Mefistofele is a touch more vivid, a little less subtle than the studio recording.

Just one item from the 1958 rehearsal for the Dallas Opera inaugural concert, the Mad Scene from I Puritani. Though, by 1958, Callas’s voice had been showing signs of deterioration, Bellini’s music still suits her admirably, and she sounds in easy, secure voice here up to a ringing top Eb at its close. The scale work is as supple as ever, and she executes its intricacies with ease even when singing at half voice.

To finish off we have the Mad Scene from the 1959 Carnegie Hall concert performance of Il Pirata. It had been a variable evening, with Callas’s colleagues hardly in her class, but here, left alone on the stage, Callas responds to the challenges of the final scene superbly, the cavatina, in which she spins out the cantilena to incredible lengths, becomes a moving lament to her son, and the dramatic cabaletta is then thrillingly flung out into the auditorium. The audience unsurprisingly go berserk.

How lucky we are to have these wonderful live performances preserved in sound, and how grateful we are to Divina Records for offering them to us free of charge. Nobody need hesitate.

 https://www.divinarecords.com/bjr143/bjr143.html
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Wendell_E

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    mostly opera and chamber music
Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #395 on: June 13, 2019, 01:29:52 AM »
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Davidsen-Philharmonia-Orchestra-Esa-Pekka-Salonen/dp/B07Q363D8M/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Lise+davidsen&qid=1560411387&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Lise Davidsen, Wagner and Strauss:Philharmonia conducted by Esa Pekka Salonen

....it and the narration passage from Lohengrin are boring.


I listened to it via Amazon Music and was underwhelmed, despite all the praise it's received. Glad it's not just me. But there's nothing from Lohengrin on the disc. Tannhäuser, perhaps? Those early Wagner heroins do sound a bit alike.
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #396 on: June 13, 2019, 01:53:36 AM »
I listened to it via Amazon Music and was underwhelmed, despite all the praise it's received. Glad it's not just me. But there's nothing from Lohengrin on the disc. Tannhäuser, perhaps? Those early Wagner heroins do sound a bit alike.

Thanks, yes, of course, Tannhauser. I should be more careful.

M
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #397 on: June 13, 2019, 12:39:37 PM »


Lise Davidsen, Wagner and Strauss:Philharmonia conducted by Esa Pekka Salonen

This is a much anticipated disc from a young(ish) singer who has been gaining plaudits for everything she does.

I've now had time to sample some of the tracks.

So this is what passes for good Wagner and Strauss singing these days? When it comes to the Vier letzte LIeder we might quibble about the various merits of Schwarzkopf, Janowitz and Popp, of Norman, Te Kanawa and Fleming, but one thing they all had in common was a basically beautiful timbre. I hear very little of beauty in the over-vibrant sound of the voice itself. The intonation is quite often suspect, and I deplore this habit of starting a note flat and vibrato-less than adding more and more vibrato to it as she swells the tone. Nothing very interesting interpretively either.

Morgen was really not good at all. Thankfully, I only listened on Spotify. I doubt I'll be listening again.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline KevinP

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #398 on: June 13, 2019, 04:40:41 PM »
A few years back, I discovered the joy of vocal recital mega boxes: large boxes devoted to a single vocalist. (or the 54-disc Decca Sound box with 55 vocalists, most of whom I'd've never heard if not for this.)

Admittedly, I don't listen to everything in every box. That trend in the 60s of having opera stars sing folk songs from their home countries produced some discs I'm going to skip (although Pavarotti's and Leontyne Price's are listenable), plus there's some crossover/popera stuff that gets included and skipped.

Funny though. Younger me was very insensitive to the the singer. I was only interested in what the composer did; as for the performance, just plug in a vocalist. Looking back, I can't believe I ever felt that way. Now I love picking an aria or lieder and queuing up all the different versions I have.

Recent orders I'm awaiting:
The Brigitte Fassbaender Edition
Victoria De Los Angeles: The Voice of an Angel
Elly Ameling: The Dutch Nightingale
Christa Ludwig: The Complete recitals on Warner Classics
The Art Of Grace Bumbry
Regine Crespin: Portrait

« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 04:43:13 PM by KevinP »

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #399 on: June 13, 2019, 08:16:23 PM »
I've now had time to sample some of the tracks.

So this is what passes for good Wagner and Strauss singing these days? When it comes to the Vier letzte LIeder we might quibble about the various merits of Schwarzkopf, Janowitz and Popp, of Norman, Te Kanawa and Fleming, but one thing they all had in common was a basically beautiful timbre. I hear very little of beauty in the over-vibrant sound of the voice itself. The intonation is quite often suspect, and I deplore this habit of starting a note flat and vibrato-less than adding more and more vibrato to it as she swells the tone. Nothing very interesting interpretively either.

Morgen was really not good at all. Thankfully, I only listened on Spotify. I doubt I'll be listening again.

So that is three out of three of us unimpressed. As so often Ts, we hear the singer the same way. I tried to download that mouthwatering Callas disc you suggested, I got no email with access. I will try again.

M
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.