Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Better than even Leontyne suspects!
J. Anderson | Monterey, CA USA | 08/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A great recording often manifests silently from inside the genuine humility, even doubts, of the artists laboring to create it. I suspect that is as apt a characterization as any of the effectiveness of this album. Leontyne Price has always been, to my mind, a marvelously transparent singer; one feels immediately her approach, and indeed her own trepidation on the high wire, as it were. This collection of Strauss is a model of that transparency. She is outside her safe zone here, albeit willingly and with customary copious voice, but it is, at least for those intimately familiar with Leontyne Price's voice, a land of no coasting and no boasting. And it is a remarkable triumph, with a fetching choice of material, and an incomparable version of the final scene of "Salome". The quixotic magic of Price's Salome is something to experience, her work with Leinsdorf has never been more collaborative, and the Boston Symphony really sizzles! The superb aria from "Ariadne" is a perfect 'calling up' of the Salome, directly preceding it as it does and alerting the countryside of the imminent eruption of Salome's arresting disintegration to come. Absolutely splendid work from a prima donna of deservedly legendary status, with the additional treat of first-rate orchestral playing."
PRICE IS ALWAYS NICE
J. Anderson | 03/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A LIITLE OUT OF HER ELEMENT HERE. THE GERMAN ISN'T ALWAYS GERMANIC BUT MISS PRICE ALWAYS GIVES 100% IN MUSICIANSHIP AND CARE. IF YOU LOVE PRICE YOU NEED THIS CD. 5 STARS BECAUSE SHE HAD SOME OF THE MOST GLORIOUS UPPER REGISTER SOUNDS. SHE IS NEVER PHONY. SHE WORKS IT !ES GIBT EIN REICH IS A LITTLE SLOW FOR ME BUT WHO CARES. IT'S THE AMERICAN DIVA ASOLUTTA."
An American Diva Sings German
Rudy Avila | Lennox, Ca United States | 11/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In this album, the first international black diva Leontyne Price sings German arias by Richard Strauss, a repertory she is not usually associated with. Leontyne Price will forever be lauded for her Verdi and Puccini Italian opera repertoire. But Price sang a wide variety of works, from Samuel Barber, Gershwin, Baroque works, French composers and German composers. Her versatility is prominently showcased in the album "Prima Donna". These arias are virtuosic interpretations and the New Philharmonia does an oustanding job. Erich Leinsdorf championed Leontyn Price more than any other conductor and knew how her voice can be transferred beautifully into recording. The first track is a dramatic and lyric aria from Strauss' last opera Die Frau Ohne Schatten (Woman Without Shadow). From the beginning, she shows command for the German diction and the melodic tone is rich, dark and dramatic. If I'm not mistaken this album was made in the 70's, a period of time that found Leontyne singing with a bigger voice and louder fortissimi, and this without sacrificing the beautiful pianissimi. This is quite evident in the Marschallin's Monologue from Der Rosenkavalier, which Leontyne Price essays with queenly grace, and with an even bigger voice than the more lyric Schwartzkopff, the most famous Marschallin. This is a beautiful aria in which the Marschallin expresses her sadness about growing older. Leontyne has a dark, mature voice that is wholly suited to the character and Price totally gets the part. Her voice is dark chocolate. The rare operas The Egyptian Helena and Guntram are not performed today but demonstrate a powerful musicality and theatrical prowess. Price sings the high tessitura of Helen's aria without any strain. It is smoothly sung and supremely dramatic. It is a fiendishly difficult aria and few singers have actually sung it (Today only Jane Eaglen in the Mozart and Strauss Album sings it). The final scene from Salome is hair-raising and Leontyne's voice raises above the staff and above the orchestra with thunderous power. She never performed Salome (only Maria Ewing is the only black singer to sing the role) and perhaps for good reason since in Price's time the reigning Salome was Birgit Nilsson and it was still very risque to dance in semi-nude costume. While Leontyne Price does not lighten her tone to sound girlish (Salome is a teenager) like some sopranos have done, but she is powerful, visceral and sexually charged. It is a masterpiece. Unfortunately, they didnt add Wagner arias to further show off Price's German repertoire. But Price has sung magnificent Wagner pieces - Sieglende from Die Walkure, the Liebestod from the final scene in Tristan and Elisabeth's Prayer Aria and Hall Aria from Tannhauser. Overall, this is one of Leontyne Price's better recording albums. I would recommend this one along with the Prima Donna Album.