A Christmas Tradition for the Ages: Leontyne Price & Xmas
Donizetti's Kid | NYC, NY United States | 05/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Christmas is THE Cd to own above all others, as most anyone who's heard it will tell you - critics worldwide included.
Without a doubt, the singing of soprano Leontyne Price -"La Splendissima" - is incomparable here. There has never been a soprano with a timbre so incredibly distinctive & beautiful that also infuses her music with a rare humanity and humility. Every Christmas is inauguarated with this recording at my home, and those fortunate enough to receive this CD as a gift from me, are infinitely grateful & astounded by Ms. Price's gifts.(especially those not inclined to Opera singers!)
Her collaboration here with Maestro Von Karajan is just as rewarding as all of the others including "Carmen", "Tosca", the Verdi "Requiem"(VHS/DVD), and a legendary "Il Trovatore". These (2) musical 'giants' seem to derive inspiration from each other that ignites a passionate response from each as well. Nowhere is this more evident than in their now 'classic' rendition of the Schubert "Ave Maria". Listen to the ethereal, voice-like intro of the orchestral strings that precedes Ms. Price's celestial vocalism. It's magical! The programme is diverse and deeply satisfying for the Season. Miss Price's singing, whether in this rep, singing Spirituals, the recital stage, or Grand Opera, is almost always an inveterately soulful experience. It is no less so here. Celebrate the Season (any Season you like) with "La Splendissima" Leontyne Price singing classical 'Soul' music at Christmas. Get this!!!!!!!! Note: This particular packaging includes the original picture and liner notes from the original 1960 Decca release. Its so nostalgic, and makes this collection all the more treasurable. Enjoy."
DECEMBER 1965 IN CHICAGO
Operaman! | Chicago, IL United States | 12/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The group of bored fifth grade boys are huddled into the public school library. The weeks drag on before we break for the holidays, of spending time at home with our families and the anticipated loot we'll get for Christmas. The librarian/teacher insists on playing Christmas music on the record player. We sit and giggle about the long-haired musical arrangements and the high soprano voice singing. The librarian tells us all to shut up and listen "to one of the greatest voices in the world". We do. And at that tender age I first heard the voice of Leontyne Price and this beautiful Christmas album that has been part of my holiday music ever since.
Nothing is amiss in this collection. The Price instrument was young and spontaneous, the arrangements are spectacular and von Karajan is (for once) taking a back seat to his soloist. Thank you, Mrs. Farrell, for the introduction to this wonderful album. All I have to do is put this CD on and I'm transferred back to the public school library, my classmates eagerly waiting for Christmas to come, and to my family and Christmas home in Chicago."