Magazine article Gramophone

'Great Verdi Voices'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Great Verdi Voices'

Article excerpt

'Great Verdi Voices' Arias from Aida, Un ballo in maschera, il corsaro, Don Carlo, Ernani, Falstaff, Macbeth, Otello, Rigoletto, La traviata and II trovatore Sung by Vladimir Atlantov, Arleen Auger, Carlo Bergonzi, Franco Bonisolli, Renato Bruson, Piero Cappuccilli, Jose Carreras, Nicolai Gedda, Sena Jurinac, Leontyne Price, Margaret Price, Anneliese Rothenberger, Neil Shicoff, Giuseppe Taddei and Julia Varady with the Munich Radio Orchestra / various conductors BR-Klassik [F] 900313 (74' * ADD/DDD * T/t) Recorded 1962-84

Nobody will contest the premise that the 1960s and '70s were a very good--golden? well, possibly--period for Verdi voices. In raiding its archives, Bavarian Radio has concentrated on live concerts with the Munich Radio Orchestra from the period 1962 to 1984. The first track immediately announces that this compilation means business. At the height of her powers, Leontyne Price launches into 'Ernani, involami' with energy, commanding authority, slightly sketchy coloratura, and voice to spare. If this is not a great Verdi voice, then none is.

The rest of the 15 singers split not quite evenly between the native Italians and the others. If you are listening blind, as I did, a trick is played when an outstandingly elegant tenor who is clearly Carlo Bergonzi singing 'Ah! si, ben mio' from II trovatore (with real trills) is followed by a different tenor in the cabaletta. The show-off high Cs should probably give away that the second singer is Franco Bonisolli. …

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