Not Petrella's best
Paul A. Dunphy | Bogota, New Jersey USA | 11/12/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Fonit has done a wonderful job in cleaning up the sound on this 1954 "Butterfly". The cast is variable: Clara Petrella, the "Duse of Opera", was somewhat miscast as this operas vulnerable heroine. Her voice is too mature and forceful and her attempts at characterization don't come off. She was much better portraying "fallen women" such as Nedda and Manon Lescaut. Ferruccio Tagliavini still had full control of his beautiful pianissimo and he uses it to great effect at the beginning of the love duet. At times, however, he seems to be stressed by Angelo Questa's brisk tempi. The real star of this recording is Giuseppe Taddei. He captures the essence of Sharpless and is able to scale his sizeable voice down for the intimate letter scene with Butterfly.
While there is much to recommend this recording, this opera's success depends on it's heroine and, unfortunately, Petrella falls somewhat short of the mark."
Michel | Montreal, Quebec | 12/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This virtually unkown 1954 studio version of Madama Butterfly was a fine discovery.
Ferruccio Tagliavini is a charming Pinkerton, the voice is alluring and he phrases caressingly, a few high notes are a little forced but nothing distressing. Giuseppe Taddei's warm and rich voice is a pleasure to listen to and he offers a sympathetic Sharpless.
Clara Petrella sings beautifully and with intelligence. She scales down
her spinto voice well and mercifully does not attempt any fake "girlishness" using the music and the text instead to create her character. Mafalda Masini is quite a good Suzuki.
Nothing revelatory perhaps, but a well sung, conducted and recorded performance with good support from chorus and orchestra."