A Superb Mastering of a Superb Voice
Impostazione | New York City Area | 09/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You will not find that Nimbus on this set, a halo which apparently and annoyingly at times came from a technology that involved superimposing the recording upon itself a number of times, thank heavens. But you will find the bewitching voice of Nina Koshetz, which to some may sound very Soviet but to me, it is has tightly knit breath support underneath a voice that shimmered, sparkled and rang simultaneously. That is quite rare since the chest tone is what rings and the head tone shimmers. Could this be chiaro-scuro? I think so, but then again, I am only sensitive to bel canto singing, well, at least to that lost version of bel canto. You know what I mean if you are buying this set. It's the one like Rethberg, Ponselle, Martinelli, where the chest is the base and the mask is trained via the words to make the most expressive, strong, pliant, and dependable singing. Oh, I forgot to say intrinsicly moving. Secondo a me, the voice of Nina Koshetz', like perhaps Conchita Supervia is one of the most interesting and compelling in the discography. I don't need to know words, just to have her voice is a blessing in itself.
There are no traditional arias here but the rarities in the Russian language are well sung with a fil di voce (legato) second to none, and some of the songs are rare too. for example, Amuri Amuri, the Sicilian song of Love is memorably sung if the voice had deepened a bit. I quite like the maturity in the sound, and I prefer Koshetz version to Ponselle's actually. Yet, I find no need write a mini dissertation as had become the fashion of 2008 and early 2009 in our newly constipated times. Anyway, you have the samples to listen too, so this review is only to point out that this 2 CD set is certainly worth having for its fine recorded qualities and the wonderful singing of the glamorous Nina Koshetz.
However, may I mention the song: "Etude in Emajor?" It is sublime; the vocal sound is very forward and the diction penetrating, perhaps not to the taste of those that prefer a less focused "chocolate" tone, one they might call 'rich' but what we musicians and dramatic belcantists might call "diffuse." But thats beside the point, I think it is the loveliest version - even more satisfying than Germaine Lubin's version.
May I recommend? I do!"