Great introduction to Geraldine Farrar
Steven A. Peterson | Hershey, PA (Born in Kewanee, IL) | 03/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Geraldine Farrar was a heralded soprano of the first portion of the 20th century. This welcome NIMBUS album catches her in the freshness of her career. The recordings (acoustic) took place when she was in her mid-20s to about 30. The technology will not allow listeners to get a true sense of her voice; nonetheless, one can get an idea of her art from this.
Some illustrative "cuts":
"Voi che sapete" from Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" is nicely done. She displays a smooth voice, In short, this is a pleasing version of this work.
"Batti batti, o bel Masetto" (from Mozart's "Don Giovanni") is touchingly sung by Farrar. She displays an affecting voice here. There is no harshness in her singing, and she exhibits what I think of as good vocal technique. In short, an affecting version of an affecting aria. Toward the end, she demonstrates some vocal agility.
One of the glorious arias for sopranos is the touching "Si, mi chiamano Mimi" from Puccini's "La Boheme." Her voice appears to fit this work nicely. The characterization is nicely done. Overall, a nice rendition. On rare occasions, there is a certain tonal harshness, but this might well be a result of the technology of recording.
The next item, sung with Enrico Caruso and Farrar from "La Boheme," "O soave fanciulla," is one of the great duets in opera. Caruso was at his peak at this time. His rich voice works well for his character--and works well with Farrar. When their voices first join, it sends a little good bump up the spine. A nice version!
Finally, another Puccini aria, from "Madame Butterfly," "Un bel di vedremo." This is a dramatic rendering of a wonderful aria. Farrar's lower tones mesh well with the higher register. This is smoothly and richly sung.
All in all, this appears to be a very strong introduction to the work of Geraldine Farrar. Thanks, again, to NIMBUS records for making this available.