Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Art of Pilar Lorengar
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
A Passionate and Elegant Soprano
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At last, Decca has made amends for ignoring this magnificent artist by releasing a 2-disc set of some of her best recordings of the 60s and 70s. Actually I dont think Lorengar ever made a bad or even an uninteresting recording. She was a superb lyric who was the equal of Freni, and far more versatile. A star at the San Francisco and Berlin Staatsoper, Lorengar enjoyed a long and successful career. Her appearances at the Metropolitan Opera were events. I saw her as Desdemona, Elsa, and Fiordiligi, and she was wonderful (how sad that I missed hearing her there in the 60s). There was some controversy about her singing. Terry McEwen, her great supporter at London records in the United States, loved what her called her "shimmering" top, that reminded him of the great German lyrics, Schwartzkopf, Reining, Lemnitz, Muller, Janowitz,etc. Some found that gorgeously blooming top to contain a beat, or a slight wobble. Nothing could be further from the truth. That top, coupled with her superb diction, and excellent vocal technique and outstanding breathing, made her one of the most distinctive voices of her generation. The top was pure sunshine with a throb. Nobody sounded remotely like her. I loved her singing.I wish Decca had released all her fine recordings for that company in a multi-disc set. Perhaps they were worried that it wouldn't sell. Her first recital of Italian and French arias, the Prima Donna in Vienna album, as well as her Spanish song recital with the incomparable Alica de Larrocha, and her final Decca recital were all superb, and might have fit on three generous CDs. Here we get bits and pieces from all the LPs, plus arias from some her her complete recordings on Decca. So we're missing such treasures as her arias from THE PEARL FISHERS, DON CARLO, and other important items. I don't care. Lorengar's superb singing of arias from MADAMA BUTTERFLY, LA BOHEME, LA RONDINE, LOUISE, RUSALKA, LOHENGRIN, DIE ZAUBERFLOTE, COSI FAN TUTTE, ARABELLA (with Arlene Auger!) and others (plus a generous selection of that famous Spanish song recital), make the point abundantly clear. No matter what language Lorengar is singing, she touches the heart. Today's lyrics could learn a lot from listening to these superb selections. Lorengar's beautiful legato singing is married to the text of each item she sings. Here is a lyric with a strong middle to go along with the bottom and top ranges. She and her conductors never dawdle, pulling at the rubato as though it were Turkish Taffey such as Renee Fleming (who has an compellingly beautiful voice which she undermines with deadly slow tempi and and overly complicated phrasing). Lorengar was intermittently busy in the recording studios throughout her long career. If you can find her recording of THE BARTERED BRIDE (EMI and in German, rather than the original Czech), grab it. She's a superb Pamina and Fiordiligi for Solti (Decca). On Fritz Wunderlich's Gala CD set, she partners him brilliantly in a live recording of the Act one duet from MADAMA BUTTERFLY. I'm a huge fan of her work on the Maazel-led LA TRAVIATA (also on Decca). She was still in superb voice in the mid to late 80s in a live Zarzuela concert with Placido Domingo (Sony). And near the end of her career, she still stunned in the famous LES HUGUENOTS duet at a Richard Tukcr gala with the emerging Richard Leech. Sadly, she died in her late 50s, a victim of cancer. Lorengar's recordings got lost in the re-issue shuffle of the first wave of CD's issued around 1983. I finally snagged a collection which was re-mastered for release in Japan, spending a fortune for this import just to have some Lorengar on CD. That must have been at least 10 years ago. Decca has finally rectified this shamless omission. This 2-CD set offers the richest trove of her recordings we have so far. A must-have set, Lorengar delivers direct, heartfelt, elegant singing to set beside the best of Freni, Price, Moffo, Te Kanawa, etc."
One of the great sopranos
J. Rodriguez Cano | Santiago, Chile | 06/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pilar Lorengar is the best Spanish soprano of the last fifty years. Her silvery voice, beautiful vibrato, and clear phrasing are something to behold. Her Rossini's Stabat Mater (with Pavarotti, Minton, Sotin, Kertész cond) is the best version of this work. Her Traviata (Maazel cond.), Don Giovanni (Bonynge cond.), and Gounod's St.Cecilia Mass (Hartemann cond.) are superb. But I believe the best Lorengar is in her early zarzuela recordings, where her voice had, apart from all its other qualities, a young, sweet, candid tone that touched the listener, and her vibrato evoked a fountain of fresh, clear water. I hope some recording company produces a CD set with her zarzuela arias, and pieces with other soloists. Meanwhile, the present Decca two-disc release is very welcome."
E. Montoya | Coral Gables, FL | 03/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pilar Lorengar is one of the most underrated artists of days gone by. She left a true legacy on these rare Decca recordings as a Puccini and Zarzuela singer. She is part of the school of Berganza, now Bayo, and other Spaniard greats. Her Puccini arias are the authoritative, I have never heard better and the Spanish opera (Zarzuela) songs are impossible to find anywhere else. It's about time Decca releases a compilation of someone whose voice inspires power."