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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 10 Oct 2017 12:47 
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Gino escribió:
¿Era realmente un músico y una intérprete?


No, era una diva a la antigua usanza; e imponía su personalidad siempre, aún en sus peores actuaciones, incluso con las facultades mermadas. Se interpretaba a sí misma, con independencia del papel que cantara. Solo en ese sentido se puede explicar su éxito durante tantos años (y no solo en el MET). Puede resultar rústica y poco sutil como intérprete, pero era una fuerza de la Naturaleza.

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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 11 Oct 2017 17:36 
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Sigo profundizando en los broadcasts del viejo Met. En algún sitio escuché que Kurt Baum es un tenor de agudos y poco más. Y picoteando algunas muestras en YouTube de su grabación con Sodero, se confirma la acusación: un Manrico tocho, poco matizado, que incluso se lía con el texto. Pese a lo dicho, se echan en falta voces de tal robustez en la pálida actualidad tenoril. El resto del reparto parece estar en mejor forma, según reza la estupenda reseña de Paul Jackson ("Saturday Afternoons at the Old Met", pp. 357-359), en la que subrayaría la encendida defensa de la olvidada Bruna Castagna.

"The Czech tenor Kurt Baum was another escapee from the European conflict. A half-dozen years of opera appearances in Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, and Monte Carlo had preceded his 1939 debut with the Chicago Opera. After settling in the western hemisphere, his José, Radames, and Manrico were heard in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Canada. One might expect a healthy voice froma gentleman who had won tha amateur heavyweight boxing championship of Czechoslovakia -to have one's nose broken in an exhibition bout with Max Schmeling is no mean is no mean recomendation for a tenore di forza.
Alas, the voice proves to be as muscled-bound as the body. What price must one pay for two stentorian high Cs in 'Di quella pira' (the third one turns out to be a B-natural, though Baum, unlike most modern tenors, is singing in the original key)? In any case, the price is too dear: a tight, strangled, unmodulated tone which takes on a bleat in cantabile passages, and pitch suspiciously flat a good deal of the time. The tenor is not devoid of a feeling for the architecture of Verdi's Music -his denunciation of Leonora has not only size but breadth of manner. In fact, his entirely fourth act arouses a dlicker of hope: the voice takes on a bit of color, pitch is relatively faithful, and he conducts the line with care in the reflective duets with Azucena. Whether hope is enough to explain a Metropolitan career of twenty-two seasons is another matter.
A briefer career, but one of far greater import, comes to a close on this broadcast, the final day of the 1944-45 season. Bruna Castagna, since 1935 the stalwart mezzo of the Italian wing, will be heard no more at the Metropolitan; on the season's tour she sings only a single Maddalena in Rigoletto (Harshaw gains the maety assignments). At age forty-seven, Castagna's instrument is no longer quite as resplendent in volume and tonal sheen, but that she was still very much the best of her kind (at least in America -Ebe Stignani was active in Italy) is obvious from this final hearing. Even more impressive than her vocal command is her fully developed characterization. Her Azucena is no mere crazed demon.
Fond memories of Azucena's mountain home, tender regard for her foster son, are the heart of Castagna's portrayal. How well she knows her way around the twists and turns of Azucena's music: the dotted sixteenths of 'Stride la Vampa' are neatly articulated, Verdi's dynamic shadings are carefully observed, and while she hardly ever olays to the gallery, she is alive to the built-in theatrics of the role. Not only is she willing but still able to provide that extra fill-up to a phrase at a climatic moment (a broad allargando and deep portamento, rather old-fashioned but delectable, at the end of the aria). The second-act racconto is touched with sorrow in the tone, compassion and horror skillfully intermingled. Everything is adroitly scaled until she pleads with Manrico before he flees to save Leonora from the convent -there she pulls aout all the strops. Perhaps the size of the voice in the theatre cannot be accurately gauged, but the vocal thrust is obviously potent; an occasional rasp as she eases into the chest voice is the only sign of wear. Her final act is the acme of her performance; there liquid legato, quiet regret, artfully sculpted phrases ('Si la stanchezza'), all combine to produce a childlike aura, as telling as it is simple.
If artists must leave, Castagna does so honorably. She remains, today as then, an underrated artist, never having gained the acclaim which her natural instrument and cultivated style warrant. Her commercial recordings, though splendid, are few in number. In her case the legacy of the aircheck is all-important.
With the exception of Baum, all elements of this performance are on a high level. Moscona is the best of Ferrandos, a mite less scrupulous this time in rhythm, but more overtly dramatic and thereby serving the narrative well. Sodero has shapened the dramatic focus of his concept, retaining classical control but willing to touch the crop to his forces in the home strecht of the ensembles.
As Di Luna, Warren disdains to play the heavy, preferring bel canto as love's weapon. He relishes the high tessitura of the role and breasts any orchestral sonoritywith ease. But 'Il balen' turns out a bit more tremulous that expected, and the notion ligers that all that suave tone and musical rectitude is just a bit self-conscious. One longs for the natural song of a Battistini or Schlusnus or, conversely, Ruffo's direct assault. But then, Warren can caress the ear as weel as play the lion. His voice takes on a lovely color in the duet with Leonora, a discreet foil for Milanov's far-flung phrases. Sodero's newly propulsive manner combines with the vocal richness and idiomatic style of the two singers to provide the afternoon's climax.
Milanov, too, is at her very best. One is tempted to speak of vintage Milanov, but in her case the full flavor of the draft still lies in the future. Nevertheless, her Leonora on this afternoon is the apex of her first Metropolitan career. All her virtues and none of her frailties are on display.
Leonora's great arias can only be fully realized by the poise of voice and repose of phrase which Milanov offers on this occasion. Arioso passages are floated with the utmost delicacy ('come d'aurato sogno'); the low voice is well focused without becoming unduly baritonal for this chaste Verdi heroine; the brief trills are neatly done, and the coloratura flourishes are not only clean but full-throated (with an acceptable high D-flat at the end of the trio and a magnificent high C to close the fourth-act duet); and the three-note phrases which decorate the convent finale are leggierissimo, as Verdi instructed. Unlike many a Leonora, she has the vocal size and fruity middle low voice to sound the anguished lament of the Miserere. Her old bane of agitation almost never causes a suspicion of tonal overblowing.
When interviewed on a broadcast intermission twenty years after her retirement, Madame Milanov remarked truthfully: «Trovatore was my destiny». Vocally, it offered her every opportunity to show her strenghts. And more than any other of her roles, it was dramatically plausiblefor her, not merely from the standpoint of stage action, but also in the projection of character and mood through the voice. Leonoraexists in the splendid insolation of the Sapinsh donna of the fifteenth century -her vocal reveries epitomize her remoteness. The built-in distance makes entirely credible Milanov's expansive phrasing and stylized expressive devices, so musically satisfying in themselves, as revelation of character. Of course, her Gioconda has dramatic credibility too, but there it is because her outsized vocal gestures complement the mock theatrics of melodrama. Verdi is not Ponchielli. His truth must be taken at face value. As the Trovatore Leonora, Milanov can be not only relished but believed.
After years of struggle, the great soprano may have come into her own. Odd that, after only two more seasons, the Met would no longer welcome her."

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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 11 Oct 2017 17:50 
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Quizás una mala noche para el señor Baum, aud gracias a su fácil registro agudo, se hizo de una importante cantidad de funciones en el Met, lo que para algunos hoy es inexplicable.

Me imagino que eran los gustos de la época y a pesar de los pleitos con la Callas, coincidieron en México y Londres y en entrevistas ya de mayor, nunca llegó a hablar mal de la señora. Me imagino que fueron cosas del calor de las tablas.


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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 12 Oct 2017 19:29 
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durante los cuarenta y cincuenta, Baum y Peerce fueron los tenores del Met.
luego llegó Tucker. y poco después, Bergonzi y Corelli. la evolución a mejor fue incontestable.


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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 12 Oct 2017 19:40 
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mitchum escribió:
durante los cuarenta y cincuenta, Baum y Peerce fueron los tenores del Met.
luego llegó Tucker. y poco después, Bergonzi y Corelli. la evolución a mejor fue incontestable.

Totalmente de acuerdo.

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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 13 Oct 2017 6:59 
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3€ de segunda mano, en perfecto estado, en la tienda del metro de Universitat, en Barcelona. Cayó también la traviata de Callas y Kraus, que no la tenía original, por menos :P


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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 13 Oct 2017 9:20 
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Esa tienda está muy bien. He comprado unos cuántos CD de música (el último por dos euros uno con el concierto para piano 1 de Tchaikovsky con Gilels y Mravinsky y el de violín con Kremer y Kitaenko), pero, sobretodo, películas en DVD. Se encuentran ahí muchas joyitas desconocidas.

Cuando voy a Barcelona, si hago el trayecto en avión y cojo el Bus procedente del aeropuerto, me bajo siempre en Universitat para hacerle la oportuna visita.

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"L'opera è l'opera, la sinfonia è la sinfonia" (Giuseppe Verdi)


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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 16 Oct 2017 14:09 
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Metropolitan Opera House
February 13, 1943 Matinee Broadcast
In Italian

BORIS GODUNOV {99}

Boris Godunov...........Alexander Kipnis
Prince Shuisky..........Alessio De Paolis
Pimen...................Nicola Moscona
Grigory.................René Maison
Marina..................Kerstin Thorborg
Rangoni.................Leonard Warren
Varlaam.................Norman Cordon
Simpleton...............John Garris
Nikitich................John Gurney
Shchelkalov.............George Cehanovsky
Innkeeper...............Doris Doe
Missail.................John Dudley
Officer.................Osie Hawkins
Xenia...................Marita Farell
Feodor..................Irra Petina
Nurse...................Anna Kaskas
Lavitsky................Lansing Hatfield
Chernikovsky............Lorenzo Alvary
Peasant.................Maxine Stellman
Peasant.................Helen Olheim
Peasant.................Lodovico Oliviero
Peasant.................Wilfred Engelman
Boyar in Attendance.....Emery Darcy

Conductor...............George Szell

[Kipnis always sang Boris in Russian.]

La calidad sonora es discreta, como es habitual en las ediciones noventeras del sello pirata Walhall; pero la competencia en CD no ofrece muchas más alternativas. La publicada por The Fourties aparenta un sonido con más relieve, pero a costa de un efecto de eco poco natural e incluso molesto. La que mejor suena, del sello Music & Arts, sólo incluye una selección, que acompaña otros fragmentos de la ópera cantados por Kipnis y con Reiner dirigiendo (creo que el estreno de la versión de Shostakovich. Carnegie Hall, 23 de julio de 1944). Al margen del asunto discográfico, este broadcast de 1943 supone una valiosa oportunidad para escuchar el Boris de Kipnis. Centrándonos en el bajo ruso, Paul Jackson comenta lo siguiente en el libro "Saturday Afternoons at the Old Met" (pp. 365-367):

"One particularly radiant occasion was the broadcast of Boris on 13 February 1943. Not only did George Szell offer a completely integrated, dynamic performance of this diffuse masterwork but New York audiences, as well as the radio public, heard for the first time the awesome Boris of Alexander Kipnis. His portrayal must be counted among the most memorable creations of this Metropolitan era.
Kipnis, like Chaliapin, was Russian, and his native tongue is a powerful aid, as it was for his remarkable predecessor in the 1921 revival. Then, and now, all other participants sang in Italian, a wrenching reminder of the bilingual opera not uncommon in earlier times.
[...]
Slavic sonority is what Kipnis supplies in abundace. He unleashes a flood of tone, but without any of that lugubrious extra ballast which overburdens most Slavic basses. One marvels at his variety of color, ranging from the profoundly opaque to clarified, even sweet, head tones. His voicing of the coronation scene, fine as it is, is mere prelude to the tragic power he displays within the Kremlin. (Again we are denied the crucial cathedral scene.) Tender with Xenia, commanding as he teaches Fyodor his responsibilities, Kipnis knows the value of the touching vignette. But the power monologue reveals the full scope of his interpretive gifts. His range of feeling is enormous, the command of vocal technique absolute -and all without Chaliapinesquerie- yet the troubled monarch's anguish is fully exposed. (He allows himself only one bit of staginess: 'Aha! Schouisky' he squeezes out at lenght when the traitor enters- a marvelously theatrical coup.) By now Szell is equally persuasive, weaving the orchestral web in the clock scene for maximum effect; Boris normally boasts a duality of protagonists(czar and populace), but Szell's orchestra makes it a triumvirate. Kipnis brings the act to a conclusion with a moving (and songful) prayer for forgiveness. He exposes the heart of Boris even as the czar is racked with terror.
The Kromy scene is perfect fodder for Szell's genius. His musical landscape is alive with the exuberance of a people roused; no drab gray musical colors clothe these revolutionaries. As Boris faces death, Kipnis again proves his right to the czar's crown, offering a rendering superbly varied in timbre, vocal weight, and coloration. Realistic outcries judiciously interrupt the faultless legato phrases; 'I am still czar', he majestically cries at the end -who could dissent? Yet it is Pinza who will open the following season as Boris and sing the next two broadcasts. Undoubtedly the Italian had a vocal droit du seigneur earned by tenure and his own enormous gifts. But for the Kipnis to portray Boris on only two occasions in New York is incomprehensible. Though fifty-two years old at the time of this broadcast, Kipnis' powers are undiminished, and of equal importance, his portrayal is devoid of the caricature which, fostered by time and repetition, so often creeps into even the greatest characterizations. Once again, the preserved aircheck of a broadcast is invaluable, especially when Kipnis' Boris is captured under Szell's superbly disciplined, dramatically taut direction".


Y aquí la crítica de Harold Taubman en el New York Times:

"Alexander Kipnis, Russian-born basso of the Metropolitan who became an American citizen a good many years ago, brought his authority and knowledge of the tradition to his first appearance here in the title role of Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunoff" at the Opera House yesterday afternoon. Mr. Kipnis was a regal Boris in song and action when he faced the world and he illuminated the psychology of the troubled Czar in the later, revealing pages of the score.

Like his great Russian predecessor, Feodor Chaliapin, Mr. Kipnis sang Boris in the original language, while the rest of the Metropolitan ensemble sang Italian. To those who understood neither language it was not a ludicrous proceeding, though it was certainly a convincing argument for opera in English, if translations must be employed. However, Mr. Kipnis was wise to sing in Russian. That is the language to which Mussorgsky wrote his music and the part achieves its full stature, power and impact in Russian. Mr. Kipnis's portrayal was one of the best in his gallery of fine characterizations".

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Anche l' idea muor, tu non muori giammai,
tu, l' Eterna canzon!


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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 17 Oct 2017 21:43 
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Yo tengo el CD del sello Music & Arts y el sonido es más que aceptable. Constan todas las escenas de Boris en el 43 con Szell y tres del estreno de la versión de Shostakovich bajo la dirección de Reiner en 1944. Grandiosa la creación de Kipnis.

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"L'opera è l'opera, la sinfonia è la sinfonia" (Giuseppe Verdi)


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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 17 Oct 2017 23:19 
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Gracias por la puntualización. La edición de Walhall tiene un sonido más comprimido que la de Music & Arts, pero opté por aquélla porque incluye la función completa. De 1943 también se conserva otro estupendo Boris dirigido por Szell, no editado comercialmente pero sí localizable por otras vías:

Metropolitan Opera House
December 4, 1943 Matinee Broadcast
In Italian

BORIS GODUNOV {103}

Boris Godunov...........Ezio Pinza
Prince Shuisky..........Alessio De Paolis
Pimen...................Nicola Moscona
Grigory.................Armand Tokatyan
Marina..................Kerstin Thorborg
Rangoni.................Leonard Warren
Varlaam.................Salvatore Baccaloni
Simpleton...............John Garris
Nikitich................John Gurney
Shchelkalov.............Mack Harrell
Innkeeper...............Doris Doe
Missail.................John Dudley
Officer.................Osie Hawkins
Xenia...................Marita Farell
Feodor..................Thelma Altman
Nurse...................Anna Kaskas
Lavitsky................Gerhard Pechner
Chernikovsky............Lorenzo Alvary
Boyar in Attendance.....Emery Darcy

Conductor...............George Szell

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Anche l' idea muor, tu non muori giammai,
tu, l' Eterna canzon!


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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 18 Oct 2017 8:21 
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Ajá, ese no lo conozco. Boris por Pinza sólo tengo el de Panizza 1939 con un reparto muy parecido.

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"L'opera è l'opera, la sinfonia è la sinfonia" (Giuseppe Verdi)


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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 18 Oct 2017 23:35 
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No conocía y por suerte están en Spoti las escenas de Kipnis. Uno de esos cantantes colosales, geniales, profundamente humanos, en los que la belleza nos habla de bondad. Canto que reconcilia a uno con la humanidad.


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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 19 Oct 2017 18:54 
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6,80 euros en Amazon UK. Función histórica (9 de marzo de 1940) que celebra el regreso al Met de Las Bodas de Fígaro, ópera que no se representaba en el teatro neoyorquino desde 1918. Quizás por marcar el comienzo del Mozart moderno en el Met, aún se encuentran algunas desigualdades que con el tiempo se irían puliendo (Susanna y Bartolo fuera de estilo, un Conte monolítico y frío). Para Paul Jackson ("Saturday Afternoons at the Old Met", pp. 215-216), los mejores de la función son Jarmila Novotna y Ezio Pinza:

"It may be no accident that the two entirely satisfying artists of the afternoon (Novotna and Pinza) participated in the 1937 Salzburg performances under Bruno Walter. Novotna is a complete mistress of the style, eagerly entering into the fun in her recitatives and singing Cherubino's two arias with absolute assurance. How nice to hear the ascending phrases of 'Non so più' executed without effort! One may prefer the deeper tone of a mezzo in this boy's music, but Novotna's lovely vocal color and classic line (with its exquisite portamento at the reprise of 'Voi che sapete') go far to demolish prejudice. Pinza's Figaro is a joy from start to finish, his vibrant personality and robust tone commanding attention and belief whenever he appears. As noted earlier, his fluent recitative is a marvel, and the arias are thoughtfully planned for maximum musical and dramatic effect. He grasps and points up the significance of 'Se voul ballare' which, along with the Count's third-act vengeance aria, is one of the twin fulcrums of the drama; plenty of menace marks the introductory recitative, but Pinza chooses to begin the aria with delicate grace, saving his bitterness for the middle section (the falsetto Fs remind us baritones used to sing the role). 'Non più andrai' has a nonchalant gait, while his bright tone and crisp diction are perfectly mated with 'Aprite un po' quegl' occhi'. In the latter he avoids burlesque and even reveals a modicum of hurt at Susanna's supposed betrayal. His instictive musicianship is never more apparent than in his treatment of the repetitions of 'il resto nol dico', which he delivers with instrumental accuracy and at lower dynamic level than the antecedent phrases -Pinza knows when the governance of the world must give way to make a purely musical point, and in this case Mozart's genius humorously but insidiously drives the meaning home. When Pinza sings Mozart, the architectural landscape (the procedures and pharse constructions of the Viennese classic school) is clearly charted. And finally, when he voices 'Tutto è tranquilo e placido' with resonant, warm tone (and how it differs from his delivery of Méphisto's invocation of the night in Faust), he enables Mozart's sublime humanity to force farce momentarily into the wings."

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Anche l' idea muor, tu non muori giammai,
tu, l' Eterna canzon!


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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 19 Oct 2017 23:41 
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Por pura boba curiosidad, ¿comenta algo de Rethberg? Y, por favor, como digo, es una bobada, así que no lo busque si es una molestia. Es que el libro lo perdí en una de mis múltiples mudanzas; por eso me gusta leer los pasajes que nos está reproduciendo.


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 Asunto: Re: ¿Qué música acaba de comprar / descargar? (II)
NotaPublicado: 20 Oct 2017 1:57 
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Sobre Rethberg comenta lo siguiente:

"Rethberg's assumption of the Contessa comes near the end of her career. In two short years all would be over. Expectation is thus edged with reservations; once these acknowledged, we can be gratified for the many positive aspects of her portrayal. She is in her best late-career form: the tremulousness and flatting in her mid voice are seldom obtrusive, and her approach to the top is well modulated. 'Porgi amor' (the introduction nicely shaped by Panizza) is quite lovely -in it she sounds a note of real sorrow for her lost love.Throughout the afternoon she manages to find a perfect equilibrium between public playfulness and her private phatos (Albanese tell us that Rethberg did not flirt with Cherubino but treated him as a child and was "the grand lady every moment").Often she reveals an unexpected sense of humour: when noisy Cherubino, secluded in her cabinet, betrays himself, she utters 'Io non intesi niente' with just the right vocal deadpan. And she is adept at infecting recitative: when Pinza denies having seen the ladies' note, she murmurs 'Nol conosci?' in genuine disbelief. The grand manner of the opera seria permeates her handling of the great accompanied recitative leading into 'Dove sono' (how she expands 'Prima amata'). In the aria she fines down her tone to a silvery thread, points up the drama of the middle section, and manages it all with honor and the sensitivity of a great artist -there are no false moves here".

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Anche l' idea muor, tu non muori giammai,
tu, l' Eterna canzon!


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