"I heard Tebaldi many times at the Metropolitan, and no recording can truly give a full idea of the radiance of her voice at its best. It was an opulent, luscious sound, with a depth all its own. Her stage persona was charming and sympathetic, but ever-so-slightly aloof: she was a true diva in the original, untainted meaning of that Italian word: a "goddess" inhabiting her own special realm.
This selection is drawn, with few exceptions, from her glory days in the 1950s, and includes some-but by no means all-of her finest moments on disc. While no recording can quite recreate her special aura, it CAN reproduce her way with a phrase, the exquisite light-and-shade of her personal style. In this she was a fine musical interpreter, and a real Italian: no heavy-breathing psychotics from Renata! Her heart, like the timbre of her voice, was full of Italy's sun.
In the glorious tradition of Claudia Muzio, Tina Poli-Randaccio, Giannina Arangi-Lombardi, Maria Caniglia and Mafalda Favero."
20th century's greatest Italian soprano
ahur111 | houston, tx USA | 08/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Living in an era as we do where there are so few great Italian lyric/spinto sopranos,it is a joy to listen to this CD and to hear the "real thing." Tebaldi's voice is so rich and so luxurious that it may come as a surprise to a younger generation that has not heard an Italian soprano with such a large and velvety voice. It reminds me of the many saturday afternoons I would listen to Tebaldi on the Met radio broadcasts. Comparisons can be interesting...Callas's dramatic intensity, Sutherland's coloratura and high notes, the brilliance of Leontyne Price, etc. but Tebaldi truly was the greatest Italian soprano of the 20th century and owned the roles of Mimi, Liu, Minnie, and Tosca. There was a reason that Toscannini selected a young Tebaldi to re-open the opera house at La Scala in Milan after World War II..he knew that a voice like that came but once in a hundred years."
The real thing
Charlus | 06/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I prefer the "La Tebaldi" 2-disc set on Decca because it has arias not included here, this colection is great. The aria from Adriana gets my vote as one of the most beautiful things ever recorded, by anyone. If you enjoy beautiful singing, you'll want this disc."
Emma de Soleil | 10/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Comparing Renata Tebaldi and Callas is really like comparing viola and violin: nonsensical. Why were they were perceived "rivals" is beyond me; must be those pesky journalists again. Tebaldi's is one of the most beautiful voices that ever brought joy to human ears. Callas might have ruled as an actress, yet Tebaldi's realm was singing, she ruled it in every role and seemingly in every soprano range. She could make her genuine spinto sound like coloratura soprano, depending on a role. No canary singing here either, each character is clearly thoroughly thought-out, and once you hear Tebaldi's interpretation, you won't be able to mistake it for anyone else's. Remarkably convincing, she could be sparkling, playful Manon or brooding, desperate Leonora. Her Desdemona is quite possibly the best ever, expressive, yet not over-acted the slightest, her incredibly powerful voice able to soften to most gorgeous enchanting pianissimos. The kind of power she was able to exert as Maddalena from "Andrea Chenier" is astonishing, and nobody, except Marton, was ever able to match it since. The Decca engineers wisely put "L'altra notte in fondo al mare" from Mefistofele to follow "La mamma morta". This allows us to see the incredible versatility and depth of interpretation of this great artist. Too bad Decca is not following EMI's example in re-releasing Tebaldi's great recordings, it would only be fair.The debate will go on as it always does when it comes to artistic giants. But let it be stated here that as far as sheer beauty of voice, musical intelligence and class Tebaldi will always remain far superior to Callas, no matter how much the critics (or crazed fans) would want you to believe otherwise. Just listen.This CD is a part of Decca's fabulous "Grandi Voci" series. These albums (Freni, Domingo, Ghiaurov, Del Monaco) tend to quickly disappear from our market, so I suggest you grab this one fast."
Renata Tebaldi : A Golden Voice
Emma de Soleil | On a holiday In Ibiza, then back to the UK for stu | 05/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having spoken to many who heard Renata live I can happily say that 100% of what I heard was praise. You cannot judge how HUGE the voice was from mere recordings, a friend said. She soared, absolutely rang over the orchestra magnificently. But what I love about Tebaldi most is the warmth of her voice. It has a sweetness to it I rarely encountered in other voices while not being sugary at all. I absolutely love this woman as Desdemona. She was born to sing this role, a Met-Standee told me that he saw her debut as well as her farewell (Both Desdemona) and that both performances were absolutely lovely. But Tebaldi isn't only known for her golden voice but for the charm of her singing. Sweet, innocent women like Desdemona or Cio Cio San come to life beautifully when she sings them. There are excerpts of Manon Lescaut with her and very young di Stefano, a feast of golden voices. I never understood the Callas-Tebaldi war or the Tebaldi-Milanov war (Yep, there was one). It is my firm belief that one can enjoy all the greats. Why should I rob myself the pleasure of Tebaldi's glowing voice for Callas or Callas' haunting Drama for Tebaldi's warm singing? No, I'm glad we had them both for they joy they gave us and continue to give."