Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Classical
V. Chau | San Diego, CA | 09/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This compilation recording was put together by EMI and is a great tribute to the great soprano Montserrat Caballé, of whom I am a huge fan. Many of the recordings included here are some of her finest, so any fan of hers owes it to him/herself to buy this compilation. I am certainly glad I did.All the Puccini selections come from Caballé's 1970 recital of Puccini arias. All of the Verdi selections come from Caballé's 1971 recital of Verdi arias. The other selections come from other recitals and from complete opera recordings.Both arias from "La Bohème" are very well-sung. The inclusion of Imogene's Mad Scene from "Il Pirata" was a wise choice. It's too bad that the fiery cabaletta was left out. This version of Caballé's Mad Scene is more dramatic than the one included on her "Montserrat Caballé Sings Bellini and Donizetti" disc. It is a tad less tonally resplendent, but quite a bit more exciting. The two soprano arias from "Aïda" are ravishingly sung. As good as the versions of these two arias are, the two versions of the arias in her complete recording of "Aïda" are even better. In this version of "O patria mia", Caballé's pianissimo high C is gorgeous, but in her "O patria mia" from her "Aïda" recording, the pianissimo high C is sublime and held for a surprisingly long time. Cio-cio San's "Un bel dì" features breathtakingly beautiful singing from Caballé. Caballé seems like she was in a trance when she recorded that aria. The tempo for the aria is quite slow. Her powerful spinto voice has more than enough power to cut through Puccini's dense orchestration and loud climaxes. Butterfly's Death Scene displays Caballé's powerful high notes. "L'altra notte in fondo al mare" shows Caballé in alert dramatic form. This aria probably contains the best trills that Caballé ever committed to disc. Now, Caballé never had a genuine trill. Her trill was almost always a weak fluttering between two pitches. But in this version of "L'altra notte in fondo al mare", you can actually hear the two distinct pitches of each trill. Notice Caballé's extraordinary breath control while singing the florid parts of the aria.The version of "Vissi d'arte" included here is, in my opinion, the third best that Caballé recorded. Her best recording of the aria is her 1964 recording with Gian Franco Masini, which can be found on the compilation "Montserrat Caballé: The Ultimate Collection". That version boasts two spectacular, distinct diminuendos on the high B-flat at the end of the aria and showcases the ethereal beauty of Caballé's voice at its absolute freshest. The high B-flat itself is a secure note, but not overwhelmingly powerful. This version of "Vissi d'arte" boasts slightly less gorgeous tone and two diminuendos on the high B-flat that may as well be one, because the two are not distinct. Caballé's third version of the aria is from her complete "Tosca" recording with Colin Davis. That version is quite fine, the two diminuendos being quite good, and the high B-flat being the most powerful high B-flat that Caballé recorded for "Vissi d'arte".The two arias from "La Forza del Destino" are very well-sung. "Pace, pace, mio Dio" is given a gorgeous rendition and boasts a spectacular pianissimo high B-flat. The ending high note is a bit caustic though."O mio babbino caro" is amazingly beautiful, with ravishing pianissimos, but the tempo is a bit slow."In questa reggia" is one of the few bad selections on this compilation. To tell you the truth, it is the worst selection here. Caballé struggles with the high tessitura of the aria and her phrasing is totally wrong for the aria. Her tone becomes thin and weak due to the high tessitura and her high C's shake disconcertingly. The unison high C with the equally miscast José Carreras at the aria's end is very bad, almost painful to hear.The Montsalvatge song, a lullaby in reality, is a bit sleepily sung, with not too-well-enunciated Spanish, Caballé's native language. Her diction suffers due to her singing the song very softly.Mathilde's first aria from "Guillaume Tell" is included with its recitative. Caballé's version is from her complete studio recording of the opera. This is the best recording of "Sombre fôret", in French or Italian, on records. It is exquisite singing with beautiful phrasing, beautiful tone, wonderful pianissimos, and very good French.The Valentine/Raoul duet from "Les Huguenots" is OK. The tenor singing Raoul is Caballé's husband, Bernabé Martí. Both husband and wife are taxed by the duet's high note demands.The Strauss lieder, as sung by Caballé, is really not that good. My advice is to skip them.The selections from "Giovanna d'Arco" are well-sung with some amazing pianissimos.Caballé sings the Mad Scene from "I Puritani" well, but the cabaletta is not included. Elvira, with its high tessitura and difficult coloratura demands, is really not a role for Caballé.The magical aria from "Le Villi" is wonderfully sung. Caballé lavishes her rich, creamy voice on it. The final pianissimo is an absolute beauty. The last selection is Lady Macbeth's Sleepwalking Scene, complete with a doctor and a lady servant. This selection is voiced with full-throated singing. Caballé is at her most melodramatic here. I think it works for this aria, even though a little more subtlety is probably more appropriate. The diminuendo on "Macbetto" near the aria's end is ravishing and the pianissimo high D-flat on the word "Andiam", held for a surprisingly short time, is amazing. Get this compilation while it is still available."
Caballe the greatest singer in recorded history!!!!!!!!!!!!!
montserratblackmaddona | gastonia, NC USA | 08/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a sensational collection of Montserrat Caballe's enormous repitore.I love this 2cd set the cover art is beautiful and pleasing to the eye.This set possesses many of her best early recordings remastered in stunning sound.This set is made in europe and has a much warmer and natural sound than many like cds made in the USA.This cd is already out of print in the us stores,but you can still get it here at amazon before it dissappears.This set has her singing Verdi,puccini,bellini,french & spanish arias,and other composers to.Her beauty of tone,breath control,emotion,and regal grander is simply amazing.Not to mention the most incredible pinissimos ever floated from a human throat.No other soprano ever had a voice of such purity and spellbinding beauty.If you own just one cd by an operatic soprano,you must have a Caballe cd,don't short change yourself."