Author Topic: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD  (Read 336856 times)

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Offline The new erato

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #520 on: May 03, 2020, 12:32:47 AM »
I saw Leontyne Price in a MET stream of the 1985 Aida yesterday. Simply superb. First heard her in Knoxville on an LP decades ago (which made me a Barber convert).

For me, this is a favorite disc and one of the greatest of lieder discs:


Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #521 on: May 03, 2020, 03:23:13 AM »
I saw Leontyne Price in a MET stream of the 1985 Aida yesterday. Simply superb. First heard her in Knoxville on an LP decades ago (which made me a Barber convert).

For me, this is a favorite disc and one of the greatest of lieder discs:


Oh, neat!  Do you subscribe to the Met's online service?  Or was this a free one?  Curious if it's still available to watch?

I've heard of Kim Borg before (as in sounds vaguely familiar) but don't recall ever hearing any of his recordings.  What repertoire was he known for in particular?

PD

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #522 on: May 05, 2020, 05:43:15 AM »



MEnon Lescaut! Who let that one get by?  :o
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #523 on: May 05, 2020, 06:31:35 AM »
MEnon Lescaut! Who let that one get by?  :o

That really just exemplifies the shoddy presentation of the discs.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #524 on: May 05, 2020, 08:29:35 AM »
In a TV interview many years ago, Maureen Forrester told an anecdote from a Carmen production in which she was singing. When Micaëla meets Don José, she tells him of his mother in their village. This particular José (who remained nameless) starts their duet with the phrase « Parle-moi de ma merde, parler-moi de ma merde ». The hysterical laughter coming from the wings was Forrester rolling out on the floor.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #525 on: May 06, 2020, 02:09:52 AM »


Jussi Bjørling - Puccini: Turandot - Nessun dorma
Giacomo Lauri-Volpi - Verdi: La Forza del Destino - Solenne in quet'ora (with Gino Bechi)
Kirsten Flagstad  Wagner: Die Walküre - Ho jo to ho
Rosa Ponselle - Puccini: Tosca - Vissi d'arte
Enrico Caruso - Verdi: Rigoletto - Bella figlia d'amore (with Marcella Sembrich, Gina Severina, Antonio Scotti)
Emmy Destinn - Ponchielli: La Gioconda - Suicidio!
Victor Maurel - Verdi: Falstaff - Quand' ero paggio
Francesco Tamagno - Verdi : Otello - Esultate!
Amelita Galli-Curci - Rimsky-Korsakov - Song of India
Beniamino Gigli - Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana - O Lola, ch'ai di latti la cammisa (with spoken intro by Mascagani)
Conchita Supervia - Carmen: Les tringles des sistres tintaient
John McCormack - Norah O'Neale (trad. Irish Air)
Frieda Hempel - Mangold - Zweigesang
Erna Berger & Tiana Lemnitz - Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - Ist ein Traum, kann nicht wirklich sein

This was a sampler for Nimbus's Prima Voce seris, which, controversially, "re-records rather than re-masters the original sound." Reactions to their methods will vary, but there is some great singing here, opening with Bjørling's wondrously poetic, gloriously sung Nessun dorma. Other highlights include Ponselle singing Vissi d'arte, Caruso in the quartet from Rigoletto with Sembrich, Severina and Scotti and Supervia in the Gypsy Song from Carmen, but nothing here is without interest. Historically important is Mascagni's spoken introduction to the Prelude for Cavalleria Rusticana with Gigli, Victor Maurel in Falstaff's brief Quand' ero paggio and Tamagno singing Otello's Esultate, both their role's creators and recorded in 1907 and 1903.

My only slight disappointment was with Destinn's Suicidio!, which is bland and effortful compared to versions by Ponselle and Callas, and the voice, as recorded, lacks firmness in the middle register. That said this is an interesting compendium of around 40 years of singing on record.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #526 on: May 06, 2020, 02:43:55 AM »
In a TV interview many years ago, Maureen Forrester told an anecdote from a Carmen production in which she was singing. When Micaëla meets Don José, she tells him of his mother in their village. This particular José (who remained nameless) starts their duet with the phrase « Parle-moi de ma merde, parler-moi de ma merde ». The hysterical laughter coming from the wings was Forrester rolling out on the floor.
:laugh: Oh, thank you...I needed a good laugh; glad, however, that I wasn't sipping my cappuccino at that exact moment!
MEnon Lescaut! Who let that one get by?  :o
Ouch!  :(

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #527 on: May 27, 2020, 12:36:37 AM »


Lucia Popp was, still is, one of the world's most loved soprano. I only had the pleasure of hearing her live once, in the mid 1980s at a recital at the Barbican at which she sang Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben at around the same time most of this disc was recorded. Though she didn't speak until introducing her encores at the end (gorgeous Strauss songs, if I remember correctly), she had a winning personality and a sort of relaxed, casual manner that made you feel you were one of a few friends she had invited into her living room for an evening of song.

She was an accomplished Mozart singer and the first part of this recital was recorded at the time she was making the transition from roles like Zerlina, Blonde, Despina and Susanna to the Countess, Konstanze, Fiordilgi and the two Donne in Don Giovanni. She had an immediately recognisable sound, the voice bright and silvery, though, by the mid 1980s, it is possible to detect a slight tarnish on its purity at the very top, which I don't hear in the sacred arias recorded in 1967 when she was in her late 20s. Nonetheless she makes a convincing Fiordiligi managing the wide leaps with dramatic aplomb. Both Donna Anna and Donna Elvira also go well. Not surprisingly, considering her early prowess as a coloratura, she tosses of Anna's flourishes with an ease that would be the envy of most dramatic sopranos.

I don't know if she ever sang Cherubino on stage, but his character is caught beautifully in a wide-eyed  Voi che sapete, whilst the Countess's Porgi amor is not only sung with poise but captures her aching loneliness. However, my favourite tracks in this first recital are the opening L'ameró, saro constante from Il ré pastore, Illia's ideally floated Zeffiretti lusinghieri and, best of all, Susanna's Deh vieni, non tardar, which captures to perfection the tender ambiguity of the piece.

When we move to the sacred arias from 1967, it is to hear a voice which is brighter, firmer and purer, perfectly suited to the music she is singing here, but it is still recognisably the same voice. Occasionally one is aware, both in 1967 and 1983, of what John Steane referred to as the "tooth-paste squeeze" method, her legato not quite perfect, but for the most part this is a lovely voice, well schooled and with a strong personality.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 12:44:28 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #528 on: May 27, 2020, 12:52:33 AM »
The disc that made me aware of the miraculous voice that was Fritz Wunderlich.  And one which I enjoyed all the more for the passion and care with which he sung material that others might consider 'light'.  Since then I've bought just about anything with him on and never once been disappointed.....


Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #529 on: May 27, 2020, 01:22:20 AM »
The disc that made me aware of the miraculous voice that was Fritz Wunderlich.  And one which I enjoyed all the more for the passion and care with which he sung material that others might consider 'light'.  Since then I've bought just about anything with him on and never once been disappointed.....



Nor I. Considering he died so young, we are fortunate that he recorded so extensively. There is quite a lot of live material too.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #530 on: May 27, 2020, 02:51:07 PM »
Cross-posted...

Quote


Well conceived selection of arias and scenes from Aida featuring Nilsson. This 1963 production from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden also features the excellent Grace Hoffman (Amneris), Louis Quilico (Amonasro) and Luigi Ottolini (Radames). Nilsson is in sweeter voice than in the 1967 EMI recording of the complete opera. She revels in the many pianissimo high notes, sung with perfect intonation and security - more substantial in tone than Caballé and almost as tender in expression. Nilsson being Nilsson, however, one cannot but suspect that the utter security of the singing tends to serve as an end into itself. IOW there are more touching, dramatic portrayals of the role out there - but none sung with this kind of perfection though.

This reissue has added for good measure Nilsson’s 1970 recording of Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder. I think this is more her fach. The singing is superb as always, but the extra degree of sensitivity and insight clearly shows. Im Treibhaus and Traüme in particular are treasurable moments.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #531 on: May 28, 2020, 04:32:52 AM »


This disc was, I think, DiDonato's first ever recital record. It was recorded during and after performances at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels in 2008, though there is precious little sign of any audience. Since then of course DiDonato has become a major star with quite a few recital discs under her belt.

DiDonato first came to my attention when the Aix-en-Provence festival brought their superb Luc Bondy production of Hercules to the Barbican in 2006. Her Dejanira was a compelling study in irrational jealousy and eventual mental degradation, all perfectly at the service of the music, so, when this recital was issued, I eagerly snatched it up. However, at the time, I found it a little disappointing and couldn't quite work out why. The singing is wonderfully accomplished, her command of coloartura quite superb, with none of that awful rat-a-tat explosiveness that one gets from Bartoli.

The problem would appear to be one of communicatin. The voice itself, at least as recorded here, just lacks that last ounce of individuality and, possibly a fault of the recording producer rather than the singer, she had as yet not learned to project character and emotion solely through sound. Predictably, and no doubt because she had stage experience of the role, the solos from Dejanira are the most vivid, especially the dramatic outbursts in Where shall I fly. Another highspot is Ariodante's Scherza infida, which she sings with melting tone and imbues with a sense of utter, aching desolation. What is missing elsewhere is that last degree of exitement.

The excellent accompaniments are by Les Talens Lyriques under Christophe Rousset and I am reminded that shortly after acquiring the disc I attended a concert at the Barbican, in which these same artists performed most of the music on this disc. The diminutive DiDonato came onto the stage looking a little like a young Bette Midler, wearing a tight long black skirt and sequined boob tube, her hair a shock of blond curls round her shoulders. However any thoughts of Midler were soon dispelled the moment she began to sing as we were treated to two hours of magnicent singing with DiDonato running the gamut of emotions. Clearly DiDonato needs an audience.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #532 on: May 28, 2020, 12:23:22 PM »
Cross-posted:

Quote

Disc one



A revisit after many years of this endlessly fascinating and generous compilation. It truly lives up to its title. For obvious geopolitical reasons the USSR trained and nurtured its lyrical artists at home (no studies with renowned german, french or italian teachers, no appearances on international opera houses, etc.). The result is a very peculiar brand of vocal emission, with strongly projected (penetrating) timbre, a sparing use of vibrato, a beautiful legato, a true ‘in your face’ dramatic characterization. Some of the performances here hold moments of stunning vocal/dramatic wonders.

28 tracks, some going back as early as 1910 (!). Most are in stereo or excellent mono. 7 are from the period before 1945. Easily available on the marketplace. Strongly recommended to voice aficionados.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #533 on: June 07, 2020, 02:04:45 AM »


Where does the time go? I can't believe it is almost twenty years since I worked with Renée Fleming when the London Symphony Orchestra put on a semi-staged production of Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire at the Barbican Hall with Previn himself conducting. I only had a very minor role, but I found Fleming to be a very gracious lady, an arch professional and a conscientious artist. The rehearsals and performances are amongst my fondest memories and I will never forget the experience of hearing that voice close to, with her literally singing into my ear on occasion. The final Korngold-like aria Blanche sings before being taken away to the asylum was possibly one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard.

I mention this to put into context my reactions to listening to this recital, which I wanted to like much more than I did. The recording was made in 2001 when the voice had acquired a new richness in the middle and lower ranges whilst retaining its beauty and ease up on high, even throughout its compass and admirably firm, with no trace of hardness when singing at full tilt. As it seems now we have said goodbye to Fleming, the classical arists it is good to be reminded that this was one of the most ravishing instruments of the last thirty years or so. She has always had a fairly eclectic repertoire which embraced both opera and song, covering a wide range of different composers and styles, but I've always thought her best suited to the music of Mozart and Strauss.

Hence it is the songs by Strauss and Joseph Marx which make the stongest impression, especially Cäcilie, its radiant close easily and ravishingly voiced. The Marx songs suit her well too, their sensuous expressivity responding well to the heady beauty of Fleming's voice. Thibaudet is also superb in the tricky accompaniments, tossing off their difficulties as if they are the easiest things in the world.

Elsewhere I am not so sure this operatic vocal effulgence is what I want to hear. I found myself longing for the greater simplicity and cleaner vocal production of a Victoria De Los Angeles in the Fauré, the slight touch of irony and cool detachment brought to Debussy's Chansons de Bilitis by a Régine Crespin. The Rachmaninov, with their heavier accompaniments, perhaps respond better to this operatic treatment, but I find it just too sophisticated and even here I prefer a slightly simpler, more direct approach.

However enjoyable it is to hear one of the most beautiful voices of recent times whatever the circumstances, ultimately there are other discs I would pull out first when wanting to sample Fleming at her best.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #534 on: June 07, 2020, 06:32:41 AM »
I have this disc, but it has languished on the shelf for a long time. I should give it another whirl. I have never understood the often quite harsh criticism of her and her voice. I agree that her voice was exceptional and I felt that the older she was, the more she used the words and coloured them. I find it such a rich voice that I just don’t think it is well partnered by piano. That is most of the reason I have not returned to the disc often.

Your memories of her and Previn are very nice to read. If 20 years go by in a flash, I worked out it’s 44 years since I was in performance with Previn and the memories have lasted well for me, yours will too.

Mike
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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #535 on: June 11, 2020, 07:14:36 AM »
Schumann Dichterliebe Op48, Op 90 Lieder and three others. 65 minutes.
Christian Gerhaher, Gerold Huber

I believe that Gerhaher is the best lieder singer around at the moment, on disc. His special skill is I think to make the songs sound conversational. To achieve that, he uses less volume than a lot of other singers. He does expand the sound as and when, but his interpretation of mf strikes me as softer than most other baritones. He also is skilled in narrative grip and his partnership with Huber is as close as ever. I specified he is good on disc. The only time I have had a ticket to hear him, it was a London Prom of Mahler and I could not hear him. He used a parlando and almost muttered the songs.

I am not saying he is really just a recording artist, but I think he does experiment with reducing volume as I read a complaint elsewhere about an opera appearance and that suggested he was inaudible.

Anyway, this disc shows him in great voice, lots of light and shade and he Is imaginative, Ich hab’im Traub is especially striking from both artists, dry tone, no sustaining of the sound. It conveys the deep sorrow of he words. The final song on the disc is Belsatzar is another highlight. It is a very satisfying disc.

Mike
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #536 on: June 13, 2020, 01:19:33 AM »
Cross post from WAYL2N



My first enocunter with this tenor.

Wow! What a splendid voice: warm, velvety, nuanced, versatile, capable of expressing a vast array of feelings, emotions and states of mind all while rarely going  much louder than mf. Mindblowing singing. From Das Gottes Griechenlands, suffused with such melancholy and resignation that it almost brought tears in my eyes, through the nonchalance of Heidenroslein to the wondrous tenderness of Die Sterne, Haefliger took me on a most rewarding journey. His musicianship is really something else. A special note of praise for Dahler's fortepano, whose mechanism is minimally, non-intrusivelly audible.

A splendid disc. Desert island stuff.
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.” --- Rachmaninoff

Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #537 on: June 15, 2020, 04:06:53 PM »

Cross posted:

Quote


Berlioz: Les Nuits d’été etc. Massenet: arias.

Full program:



What struck me here - apart from the size and allure of the voice - is how perfectly natural Brueggergosman’s french diction is. I gather that, hailing from New Brunswick, she feels equally at home in French as in her native English. A superb recital.

I should add that I seldom find a vocal recital entirely to my taste. Brueggergosman simply disarms criticism. She totally won me over, especially in the Massenet items. Recommended with enthusiasm.

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #538 on: June 16, 2020, 11:00:26 PM »
Thanks for this André, possibly the last thing I need is another Nuite d’ete, but I am a sucker for them. This is not on Spotify, I found it second hand and have ordered it.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #539 on: June 16, 2020, 11:17:42 PM »
Shirley Verrett in Opera: A compilation disc with arias from Gluck, Donizetti, Berlioz, Gounod, Massenet, Saint Saens and Verdi. Conductors Pretre, Schippers and Leinsdorf.

There is little available of her recital work and a full recital disc has been raided for this compilation. Note the title, the Berlioz music is from Romeo and Juliet and from Damnation. I ordered it because I wanted more of her and I took what I could get.

I love this voice and her commitment to what she sings. There is both mezzo and soprano music here. I am not fond of Anna Bolena and the extracts here sound fairly random. Orfeo is great, not how we hear it now, but I am happy to have it. I have her full portrayal and it is compelling and not overblown. The Berlioz is very beautiful. Gounod’s Sapho has such long phrasing, lovely. The Verdi aria from Forza is that most irritating ever piece of Verdi’s, Rataplan. What a waste of space that is. Then finally some Ballo, which is excellent.

I think that altogether the programming is odd and I hope that some more thought through discs reemerge.

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