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Subject: Re: L. Price in the 1960s at her lowest/worst on a complete studio recording of THAT DECADE?
From: Braden Mechley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Sun, 19 Nov 2006 23:19:21 EST

text/plain (68 lines)

Not that all her '60s recordings are equally splendid, but . . . I actually 
can't offhand think of a commercial recording that I'd connect with that 
particular episode.   In fact, I'm not sure what complete operas she recorded that 
early in the '60s.   I think the Solti AIDA predates the FANCIULLA debacle, and 
that the other '60s completes -- BALLO, CARMEN, FORZA and TROVATORE -- all 
postdate it.   (I'm certain CARMEN and TROVATORE do.)

To me the most obviously problematic Price recordings -- purely in terms of 
the state of her instrument -- come well over a decade after the "crisis," 
specifically PRIMA DONNA #4 and the complete ARIADNE.   (And even they have some 
impressive moments, like the the second "Und ging im Licht" in the ARIADNE, or 
the high D in the Csardas on PRIMA DONNA #4.)

To complicate matters further: only months after the FANCIULLA crisis, Miss 
Price broadcast a TOSCA from the Met that found her in absolutely glowing form, 
as a Myto release testifies.

It's also been my experience that descriptions of this crisis usually proceed 
as if Miss Price fled the Met after the disastrous '61 Halloween FANCIULLA 
for quite some time, and/or as if she immediately abandoned the role of Minnie 
forever.   But the Met ANNALS tell another story about how she spent the rest 
of that season:

21 November --> BUTTERFLY
1 December --> TURANDOT
4 December --> FANCIULLA   (!)
13 December --> AIDA
20 December --> BUTTERFLY

1 April --> TOSCA
7 April --> aforementioned TOSCA broadcast
11 April --> tour BUTTERFLY
15 April --> tour TOSCA
23 April --> tour TOSCA
29 April --> tour FANCIULLA   (!!)
9 May --> tour FANCIULLA   (!!!)
15 May --> tour TOSCA
19 May --> tour TOSCA
23 May --> tour BUTTERFLY
26 May --> tour TOSCA
30 May --> tour TOSCA

Maybe she was scheduled for things in January, February and/or March that she 
cancelled.   But still, that's a good amount of heavy Puccini singing in this 
season, including three never-discussed FANCIULLA performances.   Was anyone 
read this present?   I'd adore to know more.

Braden Mechley
[log in to unmask]

In a message dated 11/19/06 10:59:26 PM, [log in to unmask] writes:

> I by no means intend to be unkind/negative; but in the interest of
> improving my critical perspective on the glorious career of the
> wonderful Leontyne Price, I'd like to be directed to one or two of her
> "worst" STUDIO recordings of a compelete opera made during her legendary
> vocal crisis in the 1960s.  Thanks, Steve Conrad (Bloomington, IN)

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