Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Renata Tebaldi, Arturo Basile, Rome RAI Orchestra and Chorus|
La Fanciulla del West
La Fanciulla Del West is Puccini's most sophisticated score: a slightly different flavor of opera than we're used to from the composer of La Bohème and Manon Lescaut, but one that shimmers and affects in a new, sometimes s... more »
Listen to Samples
La Fanciulla Del West is Puccini's most sophisticated score: a slightly different flavor of opera than we're used to from the composer of La Bohème and Manon Lescaut, but one that shimmers and affects in a new, sometimes startling way. The soprano role of Minnie is brutal--she has to be a sort of Puccinian Valkyrie--and few sopranos make the grade. Renata Tebaldi recorded it commercially in 1958, but this performance, taped live in 1961, shows her more involved and in equally fresh voice, jumping the huge, high-note-hurdles with relative ease and able to lighten her voice when need be. Daniele Barioni copes well with Dick Johnson's music, singing heroically and convincingly, and baritone Giangiacomo Guelfi's snarling, dangerous Jack Rance is properly nasty in a mustache-twirling way. You still wouldn't want to be without the Deutsche Grammophon recording with Neblett, Domingo, and Milnes and with Mehta in the pit, but this set is galvanizing and highly recommended. Tebaldi at her peak--super! --Robert Levine
This is it.
Michael Newberry | Santa Monica | 04/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This opera is a masterpiece, though it doesn't really have arias it has glorious music. It is really like a huge romantic symphony. Unfortunately we don't have many choices for recordings, and of them there aren't great ones like you would find with Puccini's other operas.I agree with an earlier reviewer, once past the mediocre sound, that this Fanciulla grows on one. The melodies haunt me for days after I hear it. Though Tebaldi, here, sounds mature and almost like a mezzo, she has a magnificent way with this opera--she handles it with nuance, passion, and with big high notes. Barioni is not Domingo but he does an excellent job as Johnson and he sounds like a rough and tumble guy. The chorus is wonderful, I almost cry when they pass the hat to raise money for the broke, homesick miner so they can send him home. Arturo Basile conducts with a magnificent flowing line.Last year I was in a record store that had Tebaldi's studio recording and I opted not buy then but later, now, like many of you, I can't find it!I do not recommend the Mehta-Domingo-Neblett because it is a frustrating experience. Mehta's conducting is sublime. Domingo's performance is nothing short of great. The problem is that Neblett sings has if she were studying the role for the first time and testing to make sure she as all the notes, which she does. I am sorry I don't like to make negative comments about any of the singers but her musicality and lukewarm disposition destroys the line, the movement, the intensity, all the brilliant work that Domingo and Mehta created...argh.So if you don't mind the sound this is the one!"
Not for the faint hearted
mrzee256 | Long Beach, New York United States | 03/13/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I truly believe that the Fanciulla recording made with Tebaldi, del Monaco, and MacNeil is one of the ten or twelve "perfect" recordings. This recording is not nearly in that league. It has its pleasures: Tebaldi never makes less than a lovely tone, Barioni has a nice sound without ever hinting at the excitement of the music. I love every note of this score, and will listen to this performance now and again, but the real standard set for the opera by Tebaldi's studio recording is barely hinted at here."
A Second Review-- New Perspective!
F. Barton | Newport, WA USA | 05/25/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After the listening to this performance that I swore I wouldn't do (!), I have to say that I was incorrect in my former review.It is a must have, since the studio Faniculla is out of print. The only other recording with Tebaldi is the Met Broadcast from 1970.This performance grows on you, as it did me. What I forgot to mention before, is the tremendous performance by Guelfi! He is completely in character, and truly spectacular voice! Tebaldi is fresh-voiced as well. I'm extremely happy about Opera D'Orio releasing these titles, this the fourth with Renata Tebaldi. While the studio recording is the ultimate, this has to be second. It was unfair of me not to think of that in my other review. I've also listened to this performance quite a bit, liking it MORE with every playing. Recommended!"