Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Puccini, Steber, Del Monaco|
La Fanciulla Del West
A superb Fanciulla
ketchrigged | Marco Island, FL USA | 09/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This live performance from Florence is really terrific. Mitropoulos is really the star of the show, opening cuts and bringing a grandeur and majesty to this score. His tempi are slowish but he obviously has no interest in rushing this ravishing score. Steber would not seem to be the logical choice for Minnie. Hers was a lyric voice but by 1954 she was enlarging her repertoire to include Elsa and Donna Anna, and Minnie. She was in superb voice on the 15th of June, 1954 and she is simply stunning. Much of the role doesn't have to be shouted nor screamed and she sings a lot of it very intimately but the big phrases and the big notes are there in spades. She is my favorite Minnie with Kirsten a close second. Del Monaco's ringing sound is wonderful to hear, and he sings very well, is a sympathetic Johnson and also does some lovely soft singing. Gian Giacomo Guelfi is a wonderful, full voiced Rance. This performance has the wonderful Giorgio Tozzi as Larkins. The orchestra of the Teatro Communale plays extraordinarly well for Mitropoulos. For my money, this is a gem of a performance."
Ecstatic performance, sound a minor issue.
Michael Newberry | Santa Monica | 12/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have wanted to get this particular performance for many years but I was tentative because of the price and the date of the recording, fearing it would sound like a bunch of noise. I love Puccini and I am addicted to this opera. And with an addiction, I was not completely satisfied with the recordings I do have; Mehta's, Tebaldi's two (studio and live), and one with Gobbi and Corelli (horrible sound)-with all this great talent I couldn't help fantasize about a dream cast, but fantasy is not for me.
Anyway, I bought this recording, used, through Amazon; it was cheaper and came in a few days, well packed and in excellent condition. And it is fantastic.
Ketchrigged gave a wonderful review of the performance, spot on. The wonderful phrasing of the singing. And Mitropoulos (!!!) big, lush, passionate concept and the sound is not bad. What seems to be different from my other recordings is that these singers milk the lyricism for all its worth with really big phrasing, and it grows in waves of layers through to the end. In the other recordings the vocalism seems to go in hiccups from very quiet to a few huge notes.
I am ecstatic about this recording and I am glad I no longer fantasize about dream casts!"
Michael Newberry | 07/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a great Opera! I presently own most of Puccini's available Operas and although his "best" known and performed were at the top of my list for many years, after listening to La Fanciulla Del West a number of times, came to love and enjoy the music and espesically the cast of my CD, e.g., Del Monico, Steber and Guelfi. What a great live perfomances. Please try it. Also, check out Edgar another great Puccini Opera not very popular."