Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Tito Gobbi, Giacomo Puccini, Gabriele Santini|
Listen to Samples
Black, impish, and glorious!
Michael Newberry | Santa Monica | 11/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No doubt about it this compilation of Puccini's Il trittico, three one-act operas, is the one to have for several reasons: Tito Gobbi, the baritone, is nothing short of magnificent in the radically different characters of Michele in Il tabarro and as Gianni Schicchi in the opera of the same name. In Il tabarro he plays the desperate and loving husband to a despondent, unhappy, and unfaithful wife, richly sung by Margaret Mas. He weaves effortlessly and dramatically from the warmly sensitive and sensual lover to beyond the depths of despair and jealously. He leaves technique far behind and I feel every shift of his emotions. And he is extremely musical--beautiful arching line. Both Mas and Giacento Prandelli are unexpectedly very good and so is the small role of La Frugola, Miriam Pirazzini. I think the conducting of Bellezza is excellent.I have also Il tabarro with Price, Domingo, Milnes and Leinsdorf conducting. Price touches a cord in me like no other artist, Domingo is great but Milnes sings beautifully with, by comparison with Gobbi, no character. Leinsdorf conducting sounds wagnarian to me and with all the minor characters he creates a really ugly sound and atmosphere. This CD comes with Pagliacci--and I don't like to hear this music adjacent to Puccini's glorious sound and structure.Victoria de los Angeles, a very great Butterfly, sings Suor Angelica. The role is perfectly suited to her romantic and young sound. Her voice has a particular sound, as does Price, Sutherland, and Callas, and it might not be to all tastes. But she is an artist both musically and in character. She makes me sit up and take notice of her feelings and she creates a great deal of anticipation around her climatic notes--and, of course, she delivers! Fedora Barbieri is excellent as La zia principessa. Perhaps the conducting of Serafin is less atmospheric as I would like but it is nonetheless very, very well structured. He tells us a powerful story. My all-time favorite Angelica is with the most angelic performance of any role I have ever heard by Richarelli and the most wicked, sick, frigid, and black singing by Cossotto. WOW! It is out of print! ^%$#^*!!!The capstone is the hilarious comic opera, Gianni Schicchi. Gobbi has a field day. De los Angeles shines, the cast are beautifully hammy, and the conducting is brilliant by Santini. Puccini is an amazing genius and these three operas mark that. He is black in one, glorious sentimental in another, and rip-roaring impish in the last; yet in all of them they are filled with passionate and beautiful music. Amazing.Last note: Even though three different conductors conduct these, they go extremely well together."
Victoria de los Angeles at her finest
R. M. Simmons | Mississippi | 05/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To say that a particular artist is a great singing actor or actress often sounds like a dubious compliment, as if the reviewer is saying that the singer has compensated for inadequate vocal resourses by vocal acting. But Victoria de los Angeles was a great singing actress in the truest sense of the word.
Her Suor Angelica is outstanding, one of the most fragile, tender accounts of an operatic heroine ever recorded. The beautiful sheen of that voice could suggest vulnerability, pathos, pain, grief, loss--you name it--like no other. Whether the emotions were striking contrasts or subtle shades of the same hue, she had the vocal palette and acting skill to clearly differentiate them all.
Consider for a moment her vocal peers among sopranos: Tebaldi, Callas, Price, Nilsson, Caballe, Moffo, Sutherland, Sills, just to name a few. One phrase of one aria by any of them, and you'd never mistake them for anyone else on earth. That they were able to distinguish themselves among such distinguished company is further evidence of both their individual and collective greatness.
While striving for something profoundly human in her Angelica, in the end de los Angeles achieves something profoundly spiritual and transcendent, and the glowing sound of her voice alone is its own kind of benediction, its own kind of halo over this poor, tortured soul."
The best of all three operas
Larry A. Verdugo | Pasadena, CA USA | 03/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"None of these recordings are new and, unfortunately, two of them were recorded before the advent of stereo. Thus, "Il Tabarro" and "Suor Angelica" lack the richness, depth and sense of perspective that a good stereo production would have provided. Nevertheless, all three of these performances are wonderful interpretations, each with at least one contribution that moves it into the inspired category.
"Il Tabarro" is a well conducted performance that is well sung by almost all of the participants. There is a sense of drama that is riveting and missing from most of the competing versions. The singers here cannot provide the richness of sound provided by Decca's Tebaldi/del Monaco or RCA's Price/Domingo but neither Merrill or Milnes can match EMI's Tito Gobbi. This is the kind of role in which the baritone made the most impact, characters not entirely sympathetic but with a streak of pathos that move the heart. Listen to his recording of Rigoletto for an apt comparison. ]
In "Suor Angelica" the great Victoria de los Angeles gave one of her finest performances. From her first entrance which she presents with limpid tone and secure intonation to her truly harrowing account of her character's last moments, she is totally in command of every nuance and emtional shift. Listen to the abrupt changes in mood she offers in the duet with her aunt. This is truly great singing/acting. She is partnered in the latter scene by Fedora Barbieri who provides all the chill and coldness called for but without the somewhat vulgar booming of, say, Marilyn Horne in the Scotto version. All of the comprimari are varied and characterful.
"Gianni Schichi" is a romp with vibrant singing from de los Angeles, a rich and humorfilled characterization from Gobbi and a host of Italian character singers who sound like their having the time of their lives. This is probably the oldest of the stereo versions of this score but it remains the most theatrical and enjoyable. One stipulation: the sound is a might shallow and "blasts" or distorts during some of the complex ensembles. Otherwise, the sound is adequate.
All in all, this a treasurable recording."