Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Donizetti, Caballe, Queler|
Parisina (New York, 1974)
A Great Find for a Donizetti Fan
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of Donizetti's favorite operas, and he seemed to have a special affection for stories dealing with marital problems (Maria di Rohan, Gabriella di Vergy). What to me distinguishes this opera from his many others is its beautiful and very deeply felt melodies. Ugo's aria in Act One, Parisina-Ugo duet and all three of Parisina's arias show Donizetti at his most melodic. And it really helps that this version has Caballe at her most involved. Her voice is in a very good shape, pianissimos and melisma are effortlessly done, and at the end of her aria "Sogno talor di correre" the audience goes insane with a very good reason. The other soloists are not as good. Pruett is serviceable, but he doesn't have the most beautiful tenor one can imagine, and Quillico is not a quite a bel-canto singer. But they are both committed, and Eve Queler commands the orchestra with panache. The sound is not great (the booklet says its stereo, but I would not bet on it), and it seems that it was an in-house tape, but we are not likely to encounter a better performance of this opera in near future."
A live performance of some great Donizetti
B. Cathey | Wendell, NC United States | 10/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This release by Myto Records of Donizetti's PARISINA is very welcome indeed. Previously the performance was available on Legato (and perhaps some other labels). La Caballe is simply superb; at this time in her career (1974) she could float out the pianissimi with abandon. James Morris, in robust voice, is equally fine, as is Louis Quilico. Jerome Pruett is quite serviceable (he compares well with some present-day stars!). The recording was made from the audience, apparently (you'll hear a bit of coughing, etc.), but the sound is quite decent, despite that, and captures the range of the performance generally. Occasionally, someone will step too far back, but even that doesn't really mar this performance. Myto continues to give us fine live performances. This is one you should not pass up."
GREAT opera and one of Caballe's finest performances!
Armindo | Greece | 07/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although one can name many exceptional performances of this rare artist throughout her long career, what makes Parisina so special is the vocal line of this beautiful soprano role which fits Caballe to a tee. I'm surprised the opera isn't performed more often. It definitely ranks among my favourite Donizetti works. It's grand, dramatic and full of beautiful duets and cavatinas. We're fortunate enough that all three landmark performances of this opera with Pobbe, Caballe and Devia in the title role have something to offer.
In '74 Caballe was at her considerable best. Her aristocratic phrasing was fully developed and supported brilliantly by her technique. What always amazes me is that with less high notes than others but with more attention to the music, Caballe had complete control of her audience. She could gain more applause and attention by milking a long phrase while others would have to fill the scene with high notes to win the audience. And Parisina offers her all the opportunities to do her tricks.
Queler however spoils the finale by increasing the tempo suddenly and too much. I also prefer Caballe's earlier ending (on the studio recording) to the one she opted for this night but it's still an interesting alternative. Her highest notes by '74 were no longer as pleasant but the audience still enjoys them. In any case, this remains one of my favourite Caballe recordings.
Unfortunately the rest of the cast is not up to her par. I've never warmed up to Quilico's unitalian voice though he does his best while Pruett is acceptable but nothing impressive. Both Pobbe's and Devia's Parisina recordings have better supporting casts (Cioni, Fioravanti, Zancanaro, Karvakos) and Devia is at least as good as Caballe.
Myto sound is not the best by the way (and by far not the cheapest) so you might want to try other sources of this performance.
In any case, don't neglect this wonderful opera and Caballe's stunning performance!