Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A fair elucidation of Viorica Ursuleac's performance!
Impostazione | New York City Area | 10/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The stellar quality of this recording is well known. Practically every male in this production is outstanding, Maestro Krauss included. Yet, the name Viorica Ursuleac (pronounced in Romanian [UR soo lyak]) is strong enough to persuade some buyers to choose another production altogether. I did not know until recently how misunderstood this artist of historical importance is.
Ursuleac's voice is large, rich, full, dark and quite powerful from top to bottom. It is trained to maintain a high tessitura. The vowels are based on the sound [oo] as the word "spooky". For those who want a reference, Ursuleac seems to be a fine mixture of Zinka Milanov and Antonietta Stella. In fact, Milanov's later style seems based on Ursuleac's example, they are that similar. Yet, Ursuleac is less slavic and more open toned, and in the top and bottom ranges she is more powerful than Milanov. She does not match Milanov's middle voice but her piano tones are on a par.
There is much to be studied about Ursuleac since she was the original R. Strauss soprano. Ranczak and Grob-Prandl among many others have spoken of her big and easy top register, which persuades me that Schwarzkopf, TeKanawa, and Fleming may be the modern version of the Strauss soprano; lighter voices. It seems that Ursuleac was able to sing ALL of the Strauss operas. It seems now that there are two types of Strauss sopranos: the dramatics and the lyrics.
My own opinion is that I am fond of her voice, if not the way she sings. I don't like that her High C in "In questa reggia" sounds as if it came from another throat or that her tone sags at times. Yet, I love the sound, the heaviness, that molasses like heaviness; sweet, thick, and rich.
Bravo Ursuleac!!!! It's about time!
-- silent, upon a hill in Darien.
Howard G Brown | Port St. Lucie, FL USA | 07/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As soon as the overture began, I thought of Keat's lines, reflecting his astonishment 'upon first looking into Chapman's Homer.' I did not expect a recording from 1944 Bavaria to sound thiss good -- like a good, mono recording from the 50s.
The orchestra sounds splendid, and Kraus really whips up a storm for the ears. Then the voices! Hotter's "Der Frist is um" sounds like Aeschylus or Shakespeare in German -- tragedy personified!
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