Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Luigi Cherubini, Vittorio Gui, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra|
Listen to Samples
Medea - Vocal wonders!
Emma de Soleil | On a holiday In Ibiza, then back to the UK for stu | 05/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Medea is perhaps the most complex (anti-) heroine in all operatic history. A woman who betrayed her country, butchered her brother to pieces and became the wife of the enemy, all this before the opera begins. (What a pre-setting!) Medea, the proud princess from Kolchis who gave the golden fleece to her husband Giason, only to be treated horribly by her husband's home-town, king and people. With time her weak but ambitious husband begins to loathe her and decides to forsake his wife and children to marry the king's daughter Glauce. Medea's children are to remain with their father but Medea is to be sent into exile. Medea, forsaken, alone, desperate and furious tries once more to beg her husband to stay with her but is rebuked harshly. The king also refuses her a home but allows her to stay another day to see her children. Enough time for Medea to take revenge. She sends a poisoned gown to Glauce and her father and decides to kill her children to wound Giason to the heart. And this is where this role turns into a "killer". Callas, in her vocal prime then, sings like a goddess. The "Del tuoi figli la madre" is a killer-aria, it demands endless breath, incredible legato and the darkest of colours. How she phrases "Ho dato tutto a te!" (I gave you everything!) will break your heart. An outcry for pity, a plea for mercy! After being rebuked Callas raises to new heights! "Nemici senza cor!..." Singing "Heartless enemies! My vile rival! All of you want to torture me!" Not only is it a fiery outcry and oath of vengeance but fabulous, flawless singing. The tender moments with her children... Calling them "Cari figli" (Beloved children) and then "lontan serpenti!" (Vile serpents!) only a moment later! How she brings Medea's tortured soul to life! "Morir dovram!....Il cor di madre batte nel mio petto!" (They must die!....A mother's heart is beating in my breast!) My God, she is torturing herself! In the finale there is a phrase "Come mai tu pensar d'esser madre?" (How can you ever think of yourself as a mother?) filled with so much despair by Callas, it's heartbreaking! The joy over Glauce's death, the fury in the end as she does kill her children and tell Giason she'll await him at the river Styx... There is no other recording in all opera as haunting, breathtaking and overwhelming as this final act of Callas' Medea! Buring with this "sacred fuoco" (As a famous conductor called it) she delivers a performance defying nature, death and life. She gives so much of herself, it's suicidal. This recording will take your breath away. Medea, the ancient princess is portrayed to perfection by opera's reigning prima donna assoluta (Since this term has been misused many times: It means a soprano who is supreme in belcanto, lyric and dramatic repertoire) And Callas is the only one after Lehmann and Easton who triumphed in Belcanto (Bellini, Rossini, Donizetti, Cherubini, Spontini, Mozart, Haydn), lyric and spinto (Verdi, Puccini etc.) and the highly dramatic repertoire (Wagner, Turandot by Puccini, Ponchielli etc.). One of La Divina's greatest performances. That she sang Donizetti's fragile Lucia, Verdi's lunatic Lady Macbeth and Bellini's sublime Norma at the same time (A feat no other soprano achieved) is absolutely miraculous!!!"