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What Opera Are You Listening to Now?

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Tsaraslondon:

--- Quote from: JBS on August 14, 2022, 04:36:15 PM ---


[Attached image is an illustration for Byron's original, showing what in Verdi's version is the middle scene of Act III, in which Gulnara finds Corrado in prison, and eventually helps him escape after killing Seid.]

--- End quote ---

How is this recording? I thought his Macbeth was awful, with quite one of the worst performances of a Verdi role I've ever heard (Nadja Michael as Lady Macbeth).

Tsaraslondon:




Luisa Miller represents a turning point in Verdi's output, an opera which dispensed with grandiose gestures in favour of a style more suited to a tale of simple, ordirnary human beings.

It has done quite well on disc, though two recordings tend to emerge the favourites. These would be the Cleva with Moffo, as above, and the Maag with Caballé, Pavarotti and Milnes. However I don't have the Maag, which I agree is very fine, and indeed Maag is the most interesting conductor of the three. Maazel tends towards the vulgar with some nasty overemphases, whilst Cleva is at least unobtrusive. I'm not sure why I never acquired the Maazel, but I was brought up on Cleva and Moffo and used to have it on LP and it has a lot going for it. I've always thought Luisa was one of Moffo's best recorded Verdi roles and I still do. In general I prefer her to Caballé, who, though she sings beautifully, can sometimes sound a bit too grand. Bergonzi is likewise hard to beat. MacMeil is a fine Miller and we get a great double act from Tozzi and Flagello, who nevertheless sound as if they could have strayed in from any other Verdi opera. Verrett is, by a long way, the finest Federica on disc. It's a somewhat thankless role, which either doesn't make any impression at all, like Reynolds in the Maag recording, or sticks out like a sore thumb, like Obraztsova on the Maazel.

The 1979 Maazel is a much more recent acquisition for me. The recording is based on the revival of the massively successful 1978 production at Covent Garden. Ricciarelli repeated her Luisa, but Domingo replaced Pavarotti and Bruson replaced Nucci. On stage the roles of Federica amd Wurm were sung by Elizabeth Connell and Richard Van Allan, but for some reason these roles are taken by Elena Obraztsova and Wladimiro Ganzarolli on the recording. Obraztsova oversings and Ganazarolli makes a very unpleasant sound, though I suppose that's apt enough for the character.

The main reason for hearing this set, though, is for the Luisa of Ricciarelli and the Miller of Bruson. Ricciarelli is, I suppose, more vocally fallible than either Moffo or Caballé, but this was a very good role for her and she is at her best, throughly inside the role and therefore a most touching and affecting Luisa. All in all, I think she's my favourite. Bruson is likewise wonderfully sympathetic in the role of Miller and the duets between father and daughter become the highlights of the opera. All three tenors, Bergonzi, Domingo and Pavarotti, are excellent, but I think my favourite in this particular role would be Bergonzi on the Moffo recording.

The opera itself I like more every time I hear it. One of the best of Verdi's pre Rigoletto works.
 

pjme:
Last week, on the radio: exclusive avant-première Matthew Locke : Psyche.
Ensemble Correspondances  - Sébastien Daucé.
The Harmonia Mundi recording should be out by september 23rd
Entertaining and lovely.

https://www.harmoniamundi.com/main.swf#!/albums/2782

JBS:

--- Quote from: Tsaraslondon on August 15, 2022, 12:42:42 AM ---How is this recording? I thought his Macbeth was awful, with quite one of the worst performances of a Verdi role I've ever heard (Nadja Michael as Lady Macbeth).

--- End quote ---

It's Verdi at his oom-pah-pah-iest. The singing is fine, but this strikes me as an opera you need at most one recording of.  The sonics are fine (it's an unstaged concert performance), but I see no reason to get any other recording, and no compelling reason for you to add it to the recordings you already have.

Tsaraslondon:

--- Quote from: JBS on August 15, 2022, 05:28:51 AM ---It's Verdi at his oom-pah-pah-iest. The singing is fine, but this strikes me as an opera you need at most one recording of.  The sonics are fine (it's an unstaged concert performance), but I see no reason to get any other recording, and no compelling reason for you to add it to the recordings you already have.

--- End quote ---

I have the Gardelli recording on Philips. It’s early Verdi, yes, and it’s an uneven score, but it has some great moments. Gardelli has a stellar cast (Caballe, Norman, Carreras) and it certainly helps. Nor does it sound so Oom-pah-pah under Gardelli.

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