Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gaetano Donizetti, Mário Rossi, Milan RAI Lyric Orchestra|
Donizetti: La Figlia del Reggimento
So good, I want more
L. E. Cantrell | Vancouver, British Columbia Canada | 06/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Source: 1950 studio recording, presumably intended for broadcast.
Sound: Remastered into good, clean mono.
Documentation: Libretto in Italian only. Brief summary of the plot in English. Photos of performers from about the time of the recording.
In an Amazon review of another Fonit/Cetra edition of this performance, the perceptive and learned John Austin of Kangaroo Ground, Australia, wrote, "If I could have only one Donizetti opera on my desert island it would be this one, either in its original French version 'La fille du regiment' or in Donizetti's 1840 Italian revision 'La figlia del reggimento'. If I could have only one recording of it, I would chose this 1950 Italian performance conducted originally for Cetra by Mario Rossi. Rossi manages to stress the elegant, aristocratic character of the score, without allowing proceedings to develop into farce." Exactly.
The daughter of this particular regiment is the formidable Lina Pagliughi, a diva who was hefty even by the generous standards allowed for operatic sopranos. She appears on impressive recordings of "La sonnambula," "Rigoletto" and a particularly fine pre-War "Lucia." She is simply terrific as Maria in this recording.
Cesare Valletti is equally good as Tonio, the poor goof who joins the army to get the girl on the very day that she is taken from it. When I saw him on stage forty years ago, he had all the dynamic charisma of a tree stump. It is, therefore, all the more astonishing to me that he is brimming with energy and ardor in this recording. Needless to say, he intelligently navigates all of Tonio's challenging music with both musical grace and ringing tone.
Both Sesto Bruscantini and Rina Corsi, in supporting roles, were consummate pros and sound like it here.
This is one of those exceedingly rare performances in which everything is right. It is a joy to hear.
The only criticism I have of this "Figlia" is that there isn't more of it. The opera was originally written in French. It was noticeably shortened when revised for production in Italy and that Italian version was trimmed once again for this performance, which comes in at just under one hour and thirty-two minutes. (I have a live performance with Sills in the French version that stretches to more than two hours.)
Great performance. Great cast. Grab it!