Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Pietro Mascagni, Arturo Buzzi-Peccia, Giuseppe Verdi|
Genres: Pop, Classical
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Steven A. Peterson | Hershey, PA (Born in Kewanee, IL) | 01/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Claudia Muzio died young, at age 47. She was born in 1889 and died after a brief illness in 1936. The bulk of these songs were recorded in 1934 and 1935, when she was in the latter part of her career. Thus, we do not, except for one exception, hear on this CD the voice from the peak of her performing career.
But what is here is still impressive. The recording quality is pretty good for the time. She shows a range in her repertoire from Puccini and Verdi and Mascagni and Boito to Bellini. One fascinating asdpect of this work is two versions of Mimi's "Si, mi chiamano Mimi" (from Puccini's "La Boheme"). One was recorded in 1911, when she was only 21 or 22 and the other recorded in 1935, when she was 45 or 46. The latter recording exemplifies a lovely, lush voice, The poignancy of the aria is clear; she displays strong interpretive ability. The 1911 version shows off a lighter voice, and an agile one. Maybe she does not interpret so well, but the freshness of the voice provides a nice contrast to her later recording of this aria.
Some other works, in a nutshell. Also from "La Boheme, "Donde lieta usci," very touching and affecting. She conveys the emotion of the scene well, while singing lushly. From "Il Trovatore," she sings "Tacea la notte placida." Her line is smooth; she handles the aria well.
There is one effort in the bel canto repertoire, "Ah, non credea mirarti" (from Bellini's "La Sonnambula"). Her rich voice does justice to the aria, although the sound is a bit dark. I regret that the recording does not include the cabaletta that goes with the aria so that we could assess her coloratura technique.
From "La Traviata," an affecting version of Violetta's "Addio del passato." Other music comes from a variety of operas as well.
All in all, a lush voice from a soprano toward the end of her career. It makes one want to hear recordings from her prime."
The divine Claudia
Ralph Moore | Bishop's Stortford, UK | 09/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thank Steven A. Peterson for his thoughtful and appreciative review of this Nimbus disc and take issue with him only over the four stars; this is a five star voice no matter what stage of her career you hear it. Muzio's was the voice that Giacomo Lauri Volpi so memorably described as being "made of tears and sighs and restrained interior fire." She has that rarest of qualities: the ability to inhabit the music such that notes are transcended and the emotional heart of the music is laid bare to the listener. I know nothing more beautiful than Muzio's recording of "Ombra di Nube"; it is one of my two or three most precious records of the human voice. I also believe that the slight breathiness, the hint of tremulous frailty which colours her voice in her last Columbia recordings made shortly before her untimely death actually enhance its communicativeness - and it is a very beautiful sound in its own right. Muzio's sincerity and dedication shine through her interpretations; if you already have this Nimbus disc, look out for the currently deleted "Complete Columbia Recordings 1934-35" (I obtained mine from wwww.mainlyopera.com). This 2 disc set also contains the indispensable excerpts from Refice's "Cecilia" and the love duet from "Otello" with Francesco Merli, neither of which, unfortunately, appears on the single Nimbus disc. Meanwhile, this will do; if you don't know Muzio buy it and discover why she is top on the list of great voices amongst the cognoscenti!"