Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Leinsdorf, Anna Moffo, Mario Carlin|
Puccini: Madama Butterfly / Leinsdorf, Moffo, Valletti, Elias
No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: CD Artist: PUCCINI,G. Title: MADAMA BUTTERFLY-COMP OPERA Street Release Date: 03/29/1988
No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Title: MADAMA BUTTERFLY-COMP OPERA
Street Release Date: 03/29/1988
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Still a reference after fifty years
L. Gallagher | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is no reason to expect consensus on a work as richly and as often recorded as "Butterfly," but this 1957 recording (from what would become the golden era of RCA's opera catalog) is arguably one of the most complete interpretations of the work. By "complete" I refer not to the musical score (and its revisions) but to the consistency of the performances, both vocal and orchestral. Leinsdorf's handling of the score is one that repays repeated listening, precisely because it is unsentimental, amazingly responsive to the conversational character of much of the drama, while also capable of soaring lyricism at just the right moments. For example, Leinsdorf's pacing of the duet between Pinkerton and Butterfly at the close of Act 1 is rapturous, more so than any other recorded version apart from Karajan's reading in the 1955 EMI recording with Callas and Gedda. As other reviews have noted, the casting of the lead roles is simply miraculous -- not because each singer is best in category (whatever that would mean) but because the ensemble works so well together, throughout the performance. Almost every other recording I can think of (with a couple of exceptions) depends on star turns by individual singers, but Leinsdorf's recording gives us a completely realized world --Puccini's fantasy of a delicately exotic, dangerous, and emotionally devastating encounter between East and West. Valetti and Moffo are perfectly matched as Pinkerton and Cio-Cio-San. Only Bergonzi (in the lovely '60s recording under Barbirolli) surpasses Valetti (and this by a margin). Rosalind Elias is peerless as Suzuki (and more involved here, in fact, than in the later RCA recording with Leontyne Price). As for the Butterfly, Moffo's performance may well be the best reason to hear this recording. There's no denying that her voice is light for the role. She cannot quite manage the vocal avalanche that Tebaldi and Callas and even de los Angeles could summon in the pivotal, traumatic scenes in the last two acts. And she doesn't convey the same degree of textual nuance displayed in both of Scotto's mainstream recordings. But she possesses something that none of these sopranos quite had, a voice with a timbre and color capable of conveying youthful innocence and powerful sensuality and emotional ambivalence at the same time; in purely vocal terms, Moffo knows how to convey the transformation from girl to woman in a way that practically no other soprano on disc has done. In my view, Callas' performance is the only exception -- and it's a wonder, exponentially more powerful than Moffo's in the last act, but far less believable in the first two acts (Callas' simulated "little girl" voice is not for all markets, but Moffo's is simutaneously gorgeous and touching without being affected, as both Callas' and Scotto's performances tend to be in the early scenes). Moffo's Butterfly is uniquely "complete" because it presents a consistently plausible vocal and dramatic portrait of Butterfly. This isn't to say there aren't rivals in key scenes: listen to Leontyne Price's entrance scene (RCA, again with Leinsdorf), Mirelli Freni's "Un bel di" (with Karajan), Renata Scotto in the painful Act II encounter with Sharpless (especially in the recording with Maazel), and Callas (Karajan) in the final scene."
A romantic Butterfly
Michel | Montreal, Quebec | 06/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is and interesting recording of Madama Butterfly. Anna
Moffo and Cesare Valletti have lighter voices than we usually
hear in these roles and the result is very refreshing. Moffo
sings very sweetly, her interpretation is girlish but not coy.
She brings considerable warmth and tenderness to the role and
is quite touching in her desperation and tragic end - a very
beautiful and moving performance. Valletti is seductive more
carefree than truly callous. Rosalind Elias is a fine Suzuki
and her voice blends beautifully with Moffo in the flower duet.
Renato Cesari portrays a compassionate Sharpless. Chorus and
orchestra lack a bit of polish but are generally good and the
sound quite good and atmospheric for its age (1957).
Goodwin Deacon | Seattle, WA USA | 10/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a surprisingly fine set. Moffo may not be the youngest-sounding Butterfly, but there are passages upon passages of lovely, intelligent singing -- something you cannot say about so many of the Butterflies on the market! There can be no arguement about Valetti. His handsome lyric voice is light, but his interpretation is totally engaging and his musicianship superb. Elias, too, is an uncommonly good Suzuki. Leinsdorf's rigid phrasing is the only snag, but not enough to compromise a remarkably appealing performance. The stereo is simple, but well-balanced. This is a true bargain at mid-price."