Beautifully Rough around the Edges
Impostazione | New York City Area | 01/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I like this recording. This is my subjective opinion. I take it out before I take out any of my other favorites. Simionato stands out for an exceptional performance. She makes Amneris seem so very easy. Her perfection is something that few singers have matched in any voice category.Caterina Mancini had a great voice and she gives a uniquely glowing performance. It is just hard to get over this voice, so big, so beautiful and in this recording she sings with a lyricism that is not apparent in other recordings. The duet with Amonasro is THE most heart felt I have ever heard on a recording. The male voices don't fair as well. They are all rough and ready, too rough. Filipeschi has a fine voice and he wobbles his way straight to my pleasure sense. Strange statement but it is true. His voice, in spite an ever present erraticism, gives me pleasure.The conducting is effective and dramatic by Gui. In spite of all the insecure moments, it is a document of singing that comes from the soul and worth listening to. We don't have an opportunity to hear such singing anymore, unfortunately."
Paul A. Dunphy | Bogota, New Jersey USA | 01/21/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although this recording of Verdi's masterpiece may not rank up with the biggies, there is really very little to complain of. The sound is good, clear, monaural with the voices very present. Vittorio Gui conducts at a good pace - bringing the drama out while allowing the voices to flourish. As for those voices: they may not be the most technically accomplished but they do bring this work to life. Caterina Mancini, whose meteoric rise to fame did not bear much fruit later, has a rather insecure start but comes into her own in the third act. Her voice is remarkably like Maria Caniglia's without the latter's magnificent chest tones. Mario Filippeschi gives a robust, youthful Radames; true, he hits the final note of "Celeste Aida" with a squillo to raise the dead but at least he's got it! Giulietta Simionato was never, to my ear, a great Amneris - neither here nor in her later Decca recording. Nonetheless, her's is a voice to reckon with and she handles the Trial Scene admirably. Rolando Panerai is a bit overparted by Amonasro but his sincerity comes throught. Giulio Neri, a classic black-voiced bass, has a few pitch problems but is a fine Ramfis otherwise. The Triumphal Ballet is severely cut and the libretto is Italian-only."