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From: RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 20 Dec 2016 15:45:09 -0500

text/plain (91 lines)

Personal favorites that are my electronic Christmas presents to all for 2016 [  same as last year but worth repeating :)  ].

Carlo Bergonzi, "Cielo e mar", La Gioconda, nd
This is likely taken from a Met Saturday broadcast. The aria
is called "Cielo e mar".  I call it perfection.


Leontine Price, "Chi il bel sogno di Doretta", La Rondine
This was on Price's first LP.  As soon as I heard it, I placed it in my
Parthenon of opera recordings.  This is a live recording in less than
perfect sound, but I wanted to demonstrate that her singing was not
a trick of the recording studio.


Leontine Price,1985 Met Farewell Performance, “O patria mia” from Aida.
There were a few rough patches in Price’s last performance at the Met, but it all
came together  – many times over – for “O patria mia”.  Stay with the two minutes
of applause that follow and be thankful for the wise decision to keep the camera
close up on Price.  Raw emotion of this type is rarely captured by the camera.


Renata Tebaldi, Jussi Bjoerling, Arias & Duet Act 1, La Boheme. 1956.
This excerpt has been around for a very long time, but it will always
deserve another listen and view.  It provides us a very rare and
treasured visual of two opera titans at their finest.


Jon Vickers & Leonie Rysanek, Act I Finale, Die Walkure, 1972
A very long excerpt, but so what.  A reminder of what heldentenors are
supposed to sound like and Leonie, after a bit of a rough start, is no
chopped liver herself.  Note how Vickers' singing is absolutely effortless.


And two repeats from Christmas presents of past years:

From 1967, Franco Corelli in Parma, "E lucevan le stelle" from Tosca.
This is one of those rare recordings where the electricity coursing
through the audience becomes palpable as Corelli sings "discogliea dai
veli", giving example as to his phenomenal breath control and diminuendo.
You can skip the last three minutes which is all applause.  Again thanks to
Stefan who has had much to do with publicizing this performance.


From 1962, Beverly Sills singing the "Willow Song" from The Ballad of Baby
Doe.  The white haired gentleman seen in the opening and closing moments
is the opera's composer, Douglas Moore.  Although Sills did not create the
role, once she assumed it at New York City Opera a few years after the
premiere, it became indelibly associated with her.  This is Bev as I knew her
when I was with the Opera Company of Boston, in the years before she
became THE Beverly Sills.


Christmas blessings to all.   Hanukkah Sameach!   Have a safe and prosperous New Year,
and may the wind always be at your back.

Best from Boston
Ray Gouin

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