Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, Francesco Cilea|
Tebaldi and Corelli: Great Opera Duets
Listen to Samples
A Legendary Partnership
R. M. Simmons | Mississippi | 05/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I give this recording 5 stars knowing full well that it captures these two legendary artists in the twilight of their careers. Both were past 50 when this disk was recorded; and more significantly, both had been singing for nearly thirty years. The latter fact is all-too evident at times.
Yet what other famed duo--past or present--could have recorded so late in their careers and pulled off a performance with such elan as to suggest grandeur, even if only rarely actually producing it? I can think of none. Here, Tebaldi and Corelli are still Grand Opera personified. If time and attrition are evident in virtually every note and phrase these two sing, equally evident are the ear-markings of the sovereign performer, the consummate artist. Always there is the glimmer of the past. The old thrill. And THAT warrants 5 stars any day."
Not Quite Their Best, But Still a Treasure
Timothy Kearney | Hull, MA United States | 05/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Remember all those old LP's that maybe your parents or grandparents owned? You were always told not to touch, but you disobeyed the order, and thumbed through the collection. You find a great operatic recording, with the stars on the jacket that seemed larger than life. You take the record out of the jacket, carefully place it on the phonograph, and fall in love with opera. Then of course, you carefully place the record back in the jacket, and few weeks later Mom or Dad, or Grandma or Grandpa listen to the record and can't understand how it got scratched. They know it is you, so you run and hide, but all will later be forgiven when you join them in listening to a Saturday afternoon radio broadcast live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Now you're an adult and you remember those great old recordings from opera's golden and know that with all of today's technology and wonderful recording artists, they somehow do not measure up to those of yesteryear? Well, now you can rest assured because someone at Decca must have had the same childhood experiences and has started releasing some of these great recordings in its CLASSIC RECITALS series.This recording of operatic duets by greats Renata Tebaldi and Franco Corelli was recorded in 1973, when both were beginning to be past prime, yet it is still a gem. There are only five duets, three of which are from operas and roles associated with both performers: Manon and Des Grieux in MANON LESCAUT, Francesca and Paolo in FRANCESCA DA RIMINI, and Adriana and Maurizio in ADRIANA LECOUVREUR. These duets are performed well, as one would expect from singers of their caliber. The treasures are the duets from LA GIOCONDA and AIDA. Normally Tebaldi was the soprano in these operas and exceptional as both Gioconda and Aida. Yet in the duets, her voice is more mezzo and she sings Laura and Amneris respectively. The recording is packaged nostalgically which Decca hopes will give it a retro appeal. The only drawback is that the liner notes are in very small, almost unreadable font. Perhaps with a magnifying glass, the text can be read, but at a legendary recording at a discount price is a bargain any day, even with a few slight packaging flaws."
Interesting but not what it could have been
Armindo | Greece | 04/02/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Tebaldi-Corelli partnership was one of the most electrifying in the operatic world. Their ringing Italian voices brought down any theatre and people who've experienced them live say that recordings have never been able to capture the size of their voices and the effect they had in the theatre. Even on recordings however, their Italian squillo voices have always excited me and the fact that they never recorded a complete opera together in studio is certainly a shame.
These duets were recorded a few years before their retirement and the decline in their voices is obvious. Tebaldi is often hard-toned, especially above the staff but the middle register remains distinctly warm and as always firm. Corelli on the other hand can still blast out the high notes but the sound has lost its freshness while his lisp is at its worst here. Having said that, I doubt there are singers today who can deliver the excitement heard here.
La Gioconda and Adriana Lecouvreur were Tebaldi's biggest successes in the '60s and Corelli was her most spectacular partner during those performances. As in the Aida excerpt, in the La Gioconda scene Tebaldi sings the mezzo part for a change and it certainly is a treat. She brings a regal style to these roles, which is most appropriate.
Francesca da Rimini is a role Tebaldi always wanted to perform, and was actually supposed to in '57, but sadly the plans were never realised. The long scene they recorded here is passionate and makes us wish for a full recording of the opera. A tribute to Zandonai who was one of the first who recognised young Tebaldi's potential. I doubt the tenor and soprano ever sang Manon Lescaut together so the long duet gives us and idea of what such a performance could have been.
As part of the battle between recording labels, Phillips desperately tried to resuscitate two other stars by attempting a similar "duets" recording just a few months after this one. Sadly, the results were not good enough to keep the recording on the shelves.
While not what it could have been, seasoned Tebaldi-Corelli fans will still want this recital especially for the rarities.