The first modern Diva
Impostazione | New York City Area | 03/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maria Caniglia is often not given credit for the artists she inspired who would later record and perform her repertoire. Upon studying her recordings, I compared them to find out that not only Tebaldi, Mancini, and other Italian divas on record followed her lead, but even Milanov emulated her approach to dramatic declamation. The one soprano who emulated her in the extreme is Leontyne Price whose recording of La mamma morta is a carbon copy of La Caniglia's 1941 recording, and so is her first complete recording of La Forza. You only need listen to first 30 minutes to fully comprehend the depth of influence from Caniglia's version. Not surprisingly, La Price's approach to the high notes is exactly in the manner of Caniglia: light, high, and spinning.Caniglia's influence is enormous and I find her dramatic approach absolutely supreme. The voice is interesting though; there are unsure pitches to be found throughout her range, but the voice is rich and creamy and at its best, quite beautiful. The velvet or corona of her voice never deserted and that is something quite special. Here was a unique woman, a soulful singer, and a daring prima donna.I recommend La Caniglia highly!"
The Real Thing
L. E. Cantrell | Vancouver, British Columbia Canada | 08/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps a few more words may be added to those of Madame Caniglia's distant cousin. Maria Caniglia was the real thing, an honest-to-gosh, red-blooded, thrilling, Verdi-Puccini soprano who flourished in the 1930s and 40s. Her great contemporary was Zinka Milanov, who firmly reigned at the Met in New York while Madame Caniglia appears to have taken the famous line from Verdi's Attila to heart: "Take all the world but leave Italy to me."She was the chosen partner with the tenor, Benjiamino Gigli, in magnificent complete recordings--Puccini's Tosca, Verdi's Requiem, Ballo in maschera, Aida and the non-Gigli Forza del destino, all available on CD--that easily hold their own against subsequent contenders. Though her partnership with Gigli was long and successful, both in the recording studio and on stage, there was one peculiarity in it, or so the story goes: Gigli would never speak a word to her. And Madame Caniglia never knew why.La Caniglia was characterized by burning intensity as a singing actor in the let-it-all-hang-out school of the first half of the Twentieth Century. At her best, her voice had an exciting, full, lush sound, not to be found in our piping times. At her worst, her higher warblings were dramatic, if not overly beautiful or accurate. In the style of her time, she tended to be less caring about a composer's written notes than is common among the present generation of singers."