"Eileen Farrell was a fabulous singer and had one of the greatest voices ever. She was also one of those rare opera singers who was also comfortable and skillful with popular music. She was also an even rarer talent in that she valued her family life more than her career. Even so, she is one of the all time great sopranos.This recording contains ten glorious arias and duets from Verdi operas such as Aida, Il trovatore, Don Carlo, and Otello (and others). I don't know how you can not want this in your collection. Just glorious music making and a voice to die for."
Verdi singing doesn't get better than this!
email@example.com | 04/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Eileen Farrell. What can one say? Well, for starters, she is probably the best female Verdian that America has ever produced. I am sorry Price fans, but Farrell is better than Price. Yes, Price is more famous and deserves her fame very much, but that doesn't mean she was the greatest American spinto there ever was. Farrell beats Price in the areas of pianissimo, diction, and identifying with the characters she sings instead of prima donna showoff singing. And no, I am not a racist. Farrell's voice soars in Verdi's music. Her magnificent instrument is capable of anything Verdi throws at her. She has an excellent trill. Her pianissimos and diminuendos are world-class. She really digs deep for characterization. Her "Pace, pace, mio Dio" ranks with Tebaldi's version. Farrell's version of the Willow Song from "Otello" would definitely make Tebaldi jealous. Her "Ave Maria" definitely rivals Caballé's stunning 1964 version. Farrell almost sounds like Tebaldi when she sings in her upper register. Her "Ritorna vincitor!" is awesome in its scope. Angry and self-loathing in the first half, then gently innocent in the second. Amazing. Her "Come in quest'ora bruna" demonstrates her wonderful agility. She beats every soprano who has recorded "Tacea la notte placida" and "D'amor sull'ali rosee" with her own masterful renditions. Her pianissimos, trills, and stunning agility are showcased in these two arias. Among the three duets with Richard Tucker (an excellent tenor and partner for Farrell), the only one worthy of the two's talents is "Pur ti riveggo" from "Aïda". The two other arias, one from "Don Carlo" and the other from "Un Ballo in Maschera", are two of Verdi's most overrated. If you want to listen to justly praised and magnificent love duets, listen to the master of all Italian love duets, Giacomo Puccini. Verdi, as great as he is, cannot come close to Puccini in expressing love through operatic music.This disc is very highly recommended. I pray that every up and coming spinto, American or otherwise, listens to Farrell's singing closely and learns from her. It is truly a disgrace to Verdi's name that Angela Gheorghiu's Verdi recital has been praised to the heavens by the blind music critics. No light lyric soprano should even consider recording an entire album of Verdi soprano arias, no matter how talented they are. When you hear this recital, you will be mad at Gheorghiu for even attempting to sing this music. This just may be the best Verdi recital ever recorded."
What a great Verdian singer
firstname.lastname@example.org | 03/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have never heard Eileen Farrell in Verdi's operas before since she never made any complete recording of them. However, after listening to this nice album, I become wondered what could have been a great "Trovatore", "La Forza" or "Aida" by Farrell. It is temping to compare her singing with what of Leontyne Price, one of the greatest Verdian sopranos of our time. Yes, she may not have the juicy voice of Price but she compensates with two things that are lacking in Price's singing, agility and impressive pianissmo. She is also very involved dramatically. Her "Pace, pace" is well sung and moving, probably ranks among the best together with Tebaldi's. The duets with Richard Tucker are also excellent. A real HERITAGE album!"
"This is a superb album and should have been re-released years ago. My copy of the Verdi arias CD uses the album cover from Farrell's Puccini LP. Does this mean Sony has no intention of releasing the Puccini arias on CD? RCA has done Leontyne Price proud. Why can't Sony follow suit with Miss Farrell?"
Supreme Verdi singing
email@example.com | 01/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Eileen Farrell's voice is a magnificent instrument. With a rounded tone, beautiful overtones, sumptuous middle notes, secure low notes, and serviceable (re: adequate) high notes, enormous volume, and an unmistakable timbre, the voice is awe inspiring. To hear this soprano singing softly is a great experience. To hear her unleash the massive power of which her voice is capable is an even greater experience. The recording has superb stereo sound, but Farrell's voice is definitely not as loud here as it was live in a concert hall or in the opera house. Her three duets with Richard Tucker are supremely sung. Tucker is miked closer than Farrell so that she doesn't blow him away with her voice. Still, the Tucker voice is a very big instrument, with a wonderful tenor sound and ringing high notes. His pitch is well nigh perfect. On top of this, he emotes wonderfully. The duet from "Don Carlo", "Io vengo a domandar", is spine-chilling in its brilliance and artistry. The lyric singing displayed in the soft sections is heavenly, and the more impassioned parts are brought vividly to life by Tucker and Farrell. Verdi's orchestration in this duet is greatness itself. I wish Columbia had recorded Farrell in "Tu che le vanità" instead of the Willow Song. Still, the Willow Song allows Farrell to show off her magnificent pianissimo, so beautiful and well controlled for a voice of such great size. In "Pace, pace, mio Dio", Farrell sings wonderfully and with alert attention to both text and drama. Her final cries of "Maledizione!" must have been deafening in the recording studio. She displays impressive agility for a voice of such size in the cabaletta to "Tacea la notte in placida" and her piano singing in "D'amor sull'ali rosee" is a delight to hear. Her duet with Tucker from "Aïda" is great to hear. Her "Come in quest'ora bruna" is lightly sung, with wondeful delicacy and a superb, beautifully floated mezzo forte high note on the word "fior" near the aria's end.
This CD contains Verdi singing the likes of which have totally disappeared from today's opera stages. Get it while you can!"