Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Raymond M. Bercse | 11/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On January 2, 1958, Callas was scheduled to sing Norma at the Rome Opera House. It was a gala event that included the president and his wife. Do to indisposition, she only sang in Act One. This cancellation severed her career in Italy for a while. I feel that she wsa unjustly treated, because for a moment, Italy forgot that she was the leading exponent of Norma in the 1950's. The next scheduled performance was on January 4, and Callas recovered but was prevented from appearing. Anita Cerquetti, the wonderful young dramatic soprano replaced Callas. In the opening scene beginning with the recitative, Cerquetti hurls Norma's first words, 'Sediziosi Voci' with fiery abandon. 'Casta Diva' is haunting, and the coloratura's in 'Ah, bello a me ritorna' are sung with ease. From Act One, Scene Two to the conclusion of the opera, Cerquetti not only sings wonderfully, but interprets Norma with great conviction. She is a worthy successor to Callas in this demanding role. Franco Corelli as Pollione is splendid, reveling in vibrant ringing tones. Miriam Pirazzini is adequate as Adalgisa, but not in the league of Ebe Stignani, Fedora Barbieri or Giulietta Simionato. Giulio Neri as Oroveso sings with dark ominous tones, and great authority. Gabriele Santini's conducting has vigor and passion. This transfer by IDIS is very clear. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
...and he will return thoughtful, supplicating,, loving!
Impostazione | New York City Area | 03/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The label Living Stage is not above interpolating small sections from other performances where sections are missing, for example, here Callas' voice may be heard briefly just before "Ah, non tremare, track 15 CD 2.
Corelli is great! Pirrazini, I am fond of and the maestro is truly wonderful. Otherwise, this performace started with spine tingling singing by Cerquetti whose Casta Diva was a sublime vocalization. However, she would not hold on to that level of singing and I was surprised to find that the caballetta "Ah bella a me ritorna" challenged her. She was a careful singer here, not at all like her Elvira in Ernani where she truly was great. Her middle and low range is every bit as rich and fat as Jessye Norman. Her top notes are very open and I feel (as well as some of her contemporaries) that this why she must at times heave for them or abandom them quickly. She does not possess a trill or pianissimi. Her efforts at high C's reminded me of Adelina Patti. Her coloratura is perfect, nothing is faked or hurled about, flawless. She had and has a legion of fans and she has become a legend, particularly after Stefan Zucker's film "Stefan and the Divas."
You will find those who find her without blemish, yet others will go far the other way and say that she only could sing well on a good night when the "moon was right" but my feeling is that Cerquetti was meant to be shooting star and that she may have been forced to retire from exhaustion. She sang in a way that only the very young can manage, and very young she was.
A wondeful historical document!"