Author Topic: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD  (Read 413408 times)

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #640 on: August 13, 2021, 01:59:20 AM »


Probably best avoided by anyone who doesn't have a sweet tooth, but those of us who enjoy whipped cream desserts can dive in with relish. Moffo sensuously croons her way through these gorgeous confections, with Stokowski ramping up the lush, romanticism. The effect is undeniably beautiful and I really enjoy the sticky sweetness of these delectable bonbons, but they won't be to everyone's taste.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #641 on: August 14, 2021, 08:33:18 AM »


In theory this compilation of 3 different recitals ought not to detain us long. The sound in tracks 1-5 is fairly primitive, verging on the atrocious (orch. cond. by Georges Prêtre in RFH, London, Febr. 1962). That of the following tracks (also with Prêtre, this time in ROHCG later that year) is much better, if obviously not of studio quality. Then come 3 tracks with Malcolm Sargent on the piano from May 1961.

Callas is in good voice in the first recital from 02.1962, but anything sung forte in the mid and high registers is a trial - sometimes won, sometimes lost. The diva’s artistry and communicating powers are still intact though. The tape of La luce langue is incomplete, missing the end of the aria.

Among the 3 sung items in the second portion of the disc from November 1962, the Habanera and Séguedille from Carmen find her in excellent voice and full command of all her registers. I’ve always felt her assumption of the gipsy girl somewhat of a curate’s egg: flighty, easily angered and when so, pretty venomous. IOW impressive but charmless. Here her portrayal is outstandingly in character, alluring and bewitching both vocally and histrionically. I’ll keep this disc for these stunning tracks.

The piano recital OTOH is an outright disaster. The voice in May 1961 was in a parlous state and she acts with it like a silent movie vamp. She is not helped by Sargent’s unsubtle, theatrical way with the music. Two of the items duplicate other tracks on the disc. Furthermore 2 of the arias are incomplete (the tape simply stops). Why was this issued in the first place ? Callas heirs should sue EMI for that travesty of her art.

Honestly, only tracks 6-10 should be heard. They are Tu che le vanita from Don Carlos and the Carmen excerpts - the other 2 are orchestral bits from the opera separating the two Carmen arias. It would seem that Callas’ voice at the time was quite unreliable, something that must have frayed her nerves a lot, obviously not helping her condition. The best items are the last ones, from the end of 1962. It could be that she had worked on her instrument, or rested - or both.

Online JBS

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #642 on: August 14, 2021, 09:39:21 AM »
I have that as part of this.

I don't particularly remember those recitals, but there is a batch of stuff from London in 1958/59 in which the sound was far worse. I remember describing it as sounding like the microphones had been put inside a full bathtub located two floors down and at the opposite end of the building.

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #643 on: August 15, 2021, 12:02:30 AM »
The best live Callas recital material is on this two disc set, which also has excellent sound.



However, if hard to find, most of the material is on this set



which, unbelievably, is available as a free download from https://divinarecords.com/maria-callas-soprano-assoluta-bjr-143/.

Full details, and a review, are on my blog http://tsaraslondon.com/2019/06/13/maria-callas-soprano-assoluta/
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #644 on: August 15, 2021, 02:22:35 AM »
The best live Callas recital material is on this two disc set, which also has excellent sound.



However, if hard to find, most of the material is on this set



which, unbelievably, is available as a free download from https://divinarecords.com/maria-callas-soprano-assoluta-bjr-143/.

Full details, and a review, are on my blog http://tsaraslondon.com/2019/06/13/maria-callas-soprano-assoluta/
Regarding the 2-CD set at the top, what label is that on?

I have six boxed sets (purchased ages ago) on CED called "The Callas Edition" which is a combo of live recordings plus interviews which I had fun listening to in the past (haven't done so recently) plus DVD "Maria Callas in Concert:  Hamburg, 1959 and 1962); EMI's Maria Callas in Conversation with Edward Downes; EMI's "The Voice. The Story" and also EMI's "Master Class".  Have you heard the CED releases TL?  If so, how would you compare the sound to the comparable EMI releases?  As an aside, interviews of her are quite enlightening and often very amusing to listen to.  :)

PD

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #645 on: August 15, 2021, 02:49:11 AM »
Regarding the 2-CD set at the top, what label is that on?

I have six boxed sets (purchased ages ago) on CED called "The Callas Edition" which is a combo of live recordings plus interviews which I had fun listening to in the past (haven't done so recently) plus DVD "Maria Callas in Concert:  Hamburg, 1959 and 1962); EMI's Maria Callas in Conversation with Edward Downes; EMI's "The Voice. The Story" and also EMI's "Master Class".  Have you heard the CED releases TL?  If so, how would you compare the sound to the comparable EMI releases?  As an aside, interviews of her are quite enlightening and often very amusing to listen to.  :)

PD

It's on the Gala label. I don't think I've come across the CED label.

A great deal of interview material is available on Youtube now, but I do have most of EMI's DVD releases. Of the greatest interest is "The Callas Conversations" where she is interviewed by Lord Harewood. They were originally shown on BBC, I believe.

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

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #646 on: September 12, 2021, 02:05:46 AM »


When I did my ]survey of recordings of Berlioz's Les Nuits d'Eté a couple of months ago (http://tsaraslondon.com/2021/07/07/berliozs-les-nuits-dete/), I hadn't heard Von Stade's version, which was Ralph Moore's favourite in his excellent and more extensive survey on MusicWeb Intrenational. Had I done so, this version would definitely have joined the ranks of my favourites (Baker/Barbirolli, Steber/Mitropoulos and Hunt Lieberson/McGegan), if not quite ousting the Baker from the top spot.

As usual, Von Stade sings in excellent French and she is able to emabrace the melancholy and pain of the middle songs as well as the lightness and joy of the outer ones. Her lovely voice, with its signature flicker vibrato, is in excellent shape, easily encompassing the wide range of the songs (right down to a secure and resonant low F# on linceul in Sur les lagunes and radiantly beautiful on high.

The coupling of Debussy's La Damoiselle élue is also lovely and all in all this is a winning disc.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2021, 02:08:17 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline ritter

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #647 on: September 14, 2021, 12:55:50 AM »


When I did my ]survey of recordings of Berlioz's Les Nuits d'Eté a couple of months ago (http://tsaraslondon.com/2021/07/07/berliozs-les-nuits-dete/), I hadn't heard Von Stade's version, which was Ralph Moore's favourite in his excellent and more extensive survey on MusicWeb Intrenational. Had I done so, this version would definitely have joined the ranks of my favourites (Baker/Barbirolli, Steber/Mitropoulos and Hunt Lieberson/McGegan), if not quite ousting the Baker from the top spot.

As usual, Von Stade sings in excellent French and she is able to emabrace the melancholy and pain of the middle songs as well as the lightness and joy of the outer ones. Her lovely voice, with its signature flicker vibrato, is in excellent shape, easily encompassing the wide range of the songs (right down to a secure and resonant low F# on linceul in Sur les lagunes and radiantly beautiful on high.

The coupling of Debussy's La Damoiselle élue is also lovely and all in all this is a winning disc.
That looks like a lively disc. What a great artist, Frederica von Stade! I was lucky enough to see her onstage once, as Cherubino, in Peter Hall's wonderful production of Le nozze di Figaro in Chicago in 1987. A memorable occasion.

THREAD DUTY (cross-posted from the WAYLTN thread):

First listen to this intelligently programmed CD:


All the songs presented were composed by Frenchmen to English texts. Baritone Tyler Duncan performs beautifully, in a very intimate manner and with excellent, clear diction, and is wonderfully supported by pianist Erika Switzer (Mr. Duncan and Ms. Switzer are husband and wife). Some of the works I already knew (Hahn's Five Little Songs, Ravel's lovely Chanson écossaise, Gounod's Maid of Athens --which had been recorded by Reynaldo Hahn himself-- ), and others are discoveries (the two sets by Milhaud on Tagore poems being the main point of interest for me). A superb disc (available for a pittance at amazon.es).

« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 01:05:27 AM by ritter »
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Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #648 on: September 24, 2021, 06:50:58 AM »


An 84 minute recital that mixes tenor and baritone repertoire. Excerpts here:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8933524--baritenor?utm_source=News-2021-09-24&utm_medium=email#tracklist


I ‘m not convinced. Even though the basic colour of the voice sounds fine in places, it sounds odd at others.

Opinions ?

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #649 on: September 24, 2021, 07:35:20 AM »


An 84 minute recital that mixes tenor and baritone repertoire. Excerpts here:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8933524--baritenor?utm_source=News-2021-09-24&utm_medium=email#tracklist


I ‘m not convinced. Even though the basic colour of the voice sounds fine in places, it sounds odd at others.

Opinions ?

So far I've only heard Figaro's Largo al factotum, which is the only track available on Spotify at the moment. I thought he sounded like a tenor singing a baritone role.

I have heard Spyres live once, in a Prom performance of La Damnation de Faust on original instruments at the Royal Albert Hall. I was impressed with his musicality, but his voice didn't seem particularly large and he sometimes had difficulty penetrating the large hall.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #650 on: September 29, 2021, 08:33:20 AM »


Returning to this fascinating set with Disc 4, which is made up of excerpts from Nabucco (Nazzareno de Angelis, Ines de Frate and Carlo Galeffi) and La Fora del Destino (Gina Cigna, Celestina Bonisegna, Dusolina Giannini, Ivar Andresen and Meta Seinemeyer, Pinza and Ponselle, Francesco Merli, Caruso and Antonio Scotti, Heinrich Schlusnus, Gino Bechi and Lauri-Volpi, Salomea Kruszelnicka, Milanov and finishing up with the final trio featuring Pinza, Ponselle and Martinelli).

Not all are faultless (De Angelis and Cigna both display a tendency to aspirate) and not all are equally imaginative, but what magnificent voices. You really don't hear Verdi sung like this anymore.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #651 on: March 12, 2022, 12:42:31 AM »


TRACKLIST – EDEN

Charles Ives 1874-1954
The Unanswered Question

Rachel Portman b.1960
The First Morning of the World*

Gustav Mahler 1860-1911
Rückert-Lieder
“Ich atmet’ einen linden Duft!”

Biagio Marini 1594-1663
Scherzi e canzone Op.5
“Con le stelle in ciel che mai”

Josef Mysliveček 1737–1781
Oratorio Adamo ed Eva (Part II)
Aria: “Toglierò le sponde al mare” (Angelo di giustizia)

Aaron Copland 1900-1990
8 Poems of Emily Dickinson for voice and chamber orchestra
Nature, the gentlest mother

Giovanni Valentini c.1582–1649
Sonata enharmonica

Francesco Cavalli 1602–1676
Opera La Calisto (Act I, Scene 14)
Aria: “Piante ombrose” (Calisto)

Christoph Willibald Gluck 1714–1787
Opera Orfeo ed Euridice Wq. 30
Danza degli spettri e delle furie. Allegro non troppo

Christoph Willibald Gluck 1714–1787
Scena ed aria Misera, dove son! From Ezio Wq. 15 (Fulvia)
Scena: “Misera, dove son!… ”
Aria: “Ah! non son io che parlo…”

George Frideric Handel 1685–1759
Dramatic oratorio Theodora HWV 68 (Part I)
Aria: “As with Rosy steps the morn” (Irene)

Gustav Mahler
Rückert-Lieder
“Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen”

Richard Wagner 1813–1883
5 Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme WWV 91 (Wesendonck Lieder)
“Schmerzen”

George Frideric Handel
Opera Serse HWV 40 (Act I, Scene 1)
Recitativo: “Frondi tenere e belle”
Aria: “Ombra mai fù” (Serse)

*World-premiere recording

Joyce DiDonato’s new album could probably best be described as a concept album and, despite one or two less than smooth transitions, is best listened to in one sitting and in the order she has set out.

At present DiDonato is in the middle of a twelve city tour, taking in both Europe and the USA and I am very much looking forward to seeing her perform at the Barbican in April. Looking at the photographs from some of the concerts she has already done, DiDonato is using to redefine the the recital format. Apparently every audience member is to receive a seed to plant as they’re asked: ‘In this time of upheaval, which seed will you plant today?’

“With each passing day,” writes DiDonato, “I trust more and more in the perfect balance, astonishing mystery and guiding force of the natural world around us, how much Mother Nature has to teach us. EDEN is an invitation to return to our roots and to explore whether or not we are connecting as profoundly as we can to the pure essence of our being, to create a new EDEN from within and plant seeds of hope for the future.”

As on the album, she is accompanied by her regular collaborators Il Pomo d’Oro under Maxim Emelyanchev.

The programme ranges wide, from the 17th to the 21st century and at least one change, when we go from the 21st century to the 17th strikes me as a little jarring, but for the most part the choices are sensible and the journey well thought out.

The album starts with an absolutely haunting performance of Ives’ The Unanswered Question, in which DiDonato wordlessly sings the trumpet part. This segues into a commission from the Academy Award winning composer Rachel Portman, entitled The First Morning of the World, to a text by American writer Gene Scheer. This is a wonderfully evocative piece, full of sweeping lyricsm and gorgeous harmonies. Portman surely could not have hoped for a more beautiful performance. This is followed by a lovely performance of Mahler’s Ich atmet einen Linden Duft, though we miss the richness of Mahler’s original orchestra in this chamber re-orchestration.

The first slightly incongruous transition happens here with Biagio Marini’s Con le stelle in ciel che mai, though there is nothing wrong with its execution and, once I’d got used to being plunged into an entirely different sound world I enjoyed it and the Mysliveček aria from his orotorio, Adamo ed Eva, which follows.

This first part of the recital finishes with a masterful performance of Nature, the Gentlest Mother from Aaron Copland’s 8 Poems of Emily Dickinson, beautifully played by Il Pomo d’Oro and in which DiDonato sings with excellent diction without compromising her legato line.

It is followed by one of two purely orchestral tracks, the Sonata enharmonica by Giuseppe Valentini. The other is Gluck’s Dance of the Spirits and Furies from Orfeo ed Euridice.

DoDonato is known to us as a great Handel singer and one of the highlights of the album is Irene’s As with rosy steps the morn from Theodora, which is deeply felt, even if ultimately for me it doesn’t quite erase memories of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in the same music. Handel is also reserved for the final piece, which comes after Mahler and Wagner, leaving us to bask in the peace and calm of his Ombra mai fu.

DiDonato is in fine voice throughout, her fast flicker vibrato, which can sometimes be intrusive, hardly in evidence at all. I must say that I rather like this “concept” and I have no hesitation recommending this album, and I would urge you to listen to it in one sitting. If I have sometimes had reservations about DiDonato’s ability to convey personality and individuality in the studio, I have no such reservations here and would recommend this album unreservedly.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline ritter

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #652 on: April 06, 2022, 06:08:55 AM »
Cross-posted from the WAYLTN thread:

Listening to the compilation of live recordings by Suzanne Danco:



Mme. Danco’s unusual voice and refined artistry are growing on me (even if I’ve known her since, well, ever: her recordings of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni under Krips and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro under Kleiber were in my parents’ collection since before I was born).

Here we get the rarity of Darius Milhaud conducting Satie’s Socrate. I still haven’t made up my mind as to whether this is a refined, delicate score, or just an utterly boring one.  ;D. Milhaud and Danco make a strong case for the piece (even if the work may gain from having different singers for the different “characters” —as is the case in the Dervaux recording on EMI). I’ll probably revisit this sometime soon.

Then we get three long extracts from Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, with Danco, Camille Maurane, and conducted by Inghelbrecht. Danco’s Mélisande is a well-known quantity, and justly famous,as is the case of Maurane’s Pelléas (I actually have both of them together, also conducted by Inghelbrecht, in a BBC broadcast on Testament). These extracts were pure delight, with everyone in great form. But what is jaw-dropping is Maurane: it’s as if he were whispering in your ear, every word perfectly intelligible. Not a beautiful voice as such, but one used with supreme artistry.

The disc ends with a perfectly fine rendition of Ravel’s Shéhérazade, conducted by no less than Charles Munch. I already knew Danco in this music from her famous recording under Ansermet, and must admit I prefer other singers to her in this particular piece (e.g. Heather Harper under Boulez, Christiane Karg, etc.).

In any case, an excellent CD showcasing the great talents of this versatile singer.
ritter
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #653 on: April 12, 2022, 11:42:36 PM »


This set was originally issued on three LPs back in 1984, and later condensed into two very well filled CDs and is still available as a download. As such, it is an excellent way of collecting all Ravel’s song settings, the singers all being well chosen for the songs they are allocated. It also has Michel Plasson in charge of the orchestral and chamber accompanied songs and that master accompanist, Dalton Baldwin, at the piano.

We start with Teresa Berganza singing Shéhérazade, orchestrally fine and well sung, but Berganza is just a little anonymous and the performance doesn’t stay in the memory as do those by, say, Crespin, Hendricks or Baker, all of whom are more vivid storytellers. The orchestral contribution by Plasson and his Toulouse orchestra is splendid. This is followed by the Vocalise en forme de Habanera and Chanson espagnole, ideal performances in which Berganza finds the erotic sensuality that had eluded her in Shéhérazade.

Next up is Gabriel Bacquier, who is entrusted with Histoires naturelles, Sur l’herbe and Chanson française. These are superb performances, Bacquier finding just the right sense of ironic derachment for the Renard settings, his enunciation of the text so clear you can all but taste the words.

Mady Mesplé’s clear, bright, very French soprano with its characteristic flutter vibrato is not to everyone’s taste, but I like her, and she is absolutey charming in the Greek songs, including the less regularly performed Tripatos. She also gives us lovely performances of three rarities, Ballade de la reine morte d’aimer, Manteau de fleurs and Rêves. José Van Dam gets the Hebrew settings, Don Quichotte à Dulcinée and five more songs, of which Les grands vents venus d’outre-mer is especially notable. To all he contributes the sterling virtues of his beautiful, firm bass-baritone, coupled to sensitive treatment of the text.

Felicity Lott, charming in the Noël des jouets and Chanson écossaise, also has the Mallarmé poems, in which she is suitably languid, if a little diffident. She is also good in the two Clément Marot settings, but Maggie Teyte gets more out of the words on her recording. Jessye Norman brings the collection to a close with the Chansons madécasses, as well as Chanson du rouet and Si morne. As usual, Norman is never less than involved, but as so often I find she sings with an all-purpose generosity, and I’d have welcomed a little more of Janet Baker specificity. Still this is nitpicking, and hers are still among the best versions of these wonderful songs. Throughout the piano accompanied songs Dalton Baldwin provides superbly idiomatic playing, with the Ensemble de Chambre de l’orchestre de Paris providing the accompaniment for the Mallarmé settings and Michel Debost on flute and Renaud Fontanarosa on cello in the Madegascan songs.

Altogether, this is a wonderfully rewarding set and, if individual performances have been bettered elsewhere, all are more than adequate and many a great deal more than that, though, on this occasion, it is the gentlemen who take the palm. Warmly recommended.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2022, 12:14:14 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline ritter

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #654 on: April 15, 2022, 12:00:24 PM »
Cross-posted from the WAYLTN thread:



Wow! WOW!
Irène Joachim was the female lead in the legendary wartime recording of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande under Désormière (one of the greatest opera recordings ever), but otherwise her discography is rather scant. Here we have a well selected programme of the well-known and the obscure, from three live or radio recitals of the 1950s. What made Joachim so endearing as Mélisande applies just as well to what we hear on this CD: a smallish —almost childlike— and clear voice, but one that is perfectly managed and projected, a clarity of enunciation as I’ve seldom come across (both in French and in German), and a feeling of strong but reined-in emotion (no flashiness here) that is of impeccable taste. She shines in everything: the Berg 4 Lieder op. 2 are stunning, Maurice Jaubert’s Chanson de Tessa is delightful —even if it’s almost more a chanson than a mélodie—, Koechlin’s Berceuse phoque —an earlier version of what would later become a part of The Jungle Book— is charming. A real jewel is her Trois chansons de Bilitis; I have Mme. Joachim in an earlier recording of these pieces (accompanied by Jane Bathori, who plays the piano in other pieces on this CD, including the Koechlin songs), but today these songs (perennial favourites of mine) sounded so fresh and wonderful. A desert island CD I must say (pity the sound deteriorates a bit in the Koechlin songs). The complete contents can be found here.
ritter
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Offline KevinP

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #655 on: April 21, 2022, 12:16:44 AM »
Recitals currently en route to me:









(Sorry some of the graphics are so huge.)
« Last Edit: April 21, 2022, 11:53:25 AM by Que »

Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #656 on: April 30, 2022, 12:25:37 PM »


All great singers have in their vocal personality some mannerisms that can grow a bit annoying, and Caballé was no exception. But I’ll be damned if I ever heard singing so beautiful. It’s simply surreal.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #657 on: May 01, 2022, 12:42:15 AM »


All great singers have in their vocal personality some mannerisms that can grow a bit annoying, and Caballé was no exception. But I’ll be damned if I ever heard singing so beautiful. It’s simply surreal.

Recorded in 1967 and 1969, all three of Caballé Rarities recitals (the others being Donizetti and Rossini) were once issued on CD in a nice twofer, which I have and the singing is indeed wonderful. She was fresh from her sensational debt as Lucrezia Borgia ar Carnegie Hall and she was in superb voice for all three. It's not just that the voice itself is so beautiful, but that she shapes the music so beautifully and musically too. Later on the top of the voice would harden on loud notes and she started to overindulge her penchant for floated high pianissimi, but not here.

A few years ago I listened via Spotify to Radvanovsky's Verdi recital and found the singing (in a somewhat cavernous acoustic, to be sure) rather hard and unrelenting. Moving to Caballé was like balm to the ears.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2022, 12:41:23 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #658 on: May 01, 2022, 02:32:50 PM »
Exactly. Balm to the ears and a tickly tummy. :)

Offline KevinP

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #659 on: May 02, 2022, 08:04:59 PM »


This just arrived. I didn't realise what a big box this would be in terms of physical size. When I opened the Amazon box, I momentarily thought I had mistakenly ordered LPs (which would be fine). Beautiful packaging, though it'll have to sit alongside by Beatles box sets rather than on my recital shelves.