Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giacomo Puccini, Riccardo Muti, Philadelphia Orchestra|
Listen to Samples
Let me set the record Straight.
Angus W. Grant | Melbourne, Australia | 06/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So we have some differing opinions on this recording. This is a frequent occurence with Muti's output. His uncomprimisimg approach to performances often alienates people (as Sante fe Listener obviously has been), but I would suggest the result is more often thrilling.
The love scenes may lack a little ardour at times and you sometimes regret that Muti doesn't allow himself to occasionally wallow in the music. But the excitement and pacing of this recording are excellent, an example of when live recordings can provide a sense of structure and drama that is impossible in the studio. Muti is not about making you feel comfortable, so enjoy the tension. It is obvious that every bar has been rehearsed and considered vital to the work. The Philadelphia Orchestra obviosuly relished playing this repertoire and are reason enough for giving this recording a try.
Vanness is far more than a "servicable" soprano. She is a singer's singer and by that I mean a she possesses a flawless, powerful technique; totally even tone throughout her entire range, with tremendous high notes. I will concede that there are more interesting and passionate interpretations out there but this is not a certainly a dull performace (in fact, I find it very exciting). With the orchestra taking such a prominent role she does not need to add layers of drama and interpretation for the drama to work as well as it does.
Zancanaro is another singer requiring superlatives. I find him to be one of the most thrilling voices of any singer. It is such a grounded, dark sound with a brightness and ease at the top of the register (something you don't hear much in this low role). He is more dramatically involved in this recording than I have ever heard him, to the extent that I think that his tone comes under pressure towards the end of the night. His tone is so suited to evil chatracters and he truly is a menacing presence.
Giacomini is not perhaps a voice you would go out and buy on CD but you would be delighted to have come across suich a performance in the theatre. And what a delight to hear Piero de Palma sounding as creepy as ever as Spoletta.
More than any other opera , I frequently listen to different recordings of Tosca withouit having a favourite. This is certainly one that I return to frequently."