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Subject: Re: Selva opaca and a favorite Tebaldi recital
From: walter guitian <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:walter guitian <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:48:23 +0000
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A pity that I cannot attach  files in this group because I have an audio of a 1990 Marilyn Horne interview, in Italy,  she speaks in italian  and Horne says her two idols were Tebaldi and Stignani  and she could not see Stignani in the theater ,  but she listened Tebaldi  first t ime in Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium in "Andrea Chenier" , and Horne says "If you listen Tebaldi  "Selva opaca" from the 1953 Rai Martini-Rossi concert , there is no comparison and there will be not" and Horne says  Tebaldi gave her a great influence of her thinking  about "bel canto".
But of course Les Mitnick quotations  , as always , are rotten fish. Everything he says is scam
W.G.

      De: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
 Para: [log in to unmask] 
 Enviado: Lunes, 20 de marzo, 2017 10:29:43
 Asunto: Re: Selva opaca and a favorite Tebaldi recital
   
Max:

    Am well acquainted with these beautiful Tebaldi performances.  Yes, she voice was positively gorgeous and luxurious, and certainly the quality of the tone is unmatched.  I only wish she had at least a moderate ability to negotiate florid music.  Her "Selve Opaca" from that period is gorgeous to be sure, but I'd sure as hell like to know how she managed to undertake the complete role in Naples in 1956 for three performances.  Her tenor was Mario Filipesschi (!).  I'm sure that there were PLENTY of omissions and downward transpositions to accommodate her lack of vocal flexibility in coloratura passages, and I'm also sure that the top Cs and C sharps were "worked around".

I'm sure that Martinelli and Ponselle had to resort to some transpositions as well, though Ponselle DID have some ability in florid music."Selve Opaca" is the easiest part of the whole soprano role.  It's what comes later that presents formidable challenges.  A Callas/Corelli pairing would have been close to ideal in the middle 1950s.  This opera is a VERY rough sing for the soprano and tenor.


  

> 
>    On March 20, 2017 at 12:25 AM Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>    The aria has come up in conjunction with the Met “Tell” performances.
> 
>    On another thread, I think the one about Leontyne Price, mention was made of Tebaldi’s 1955 recording of “Io sono l’umile ancella” from “Adriana Lecouvreur.”
> 
>    Tying those together.
> 
>    If I were to compose a short list of great “aria recitals” (arias recorded at a session to be made into an album, rather than excerpted from complete recordings), one of those on my short list would be the one that Tebaldi recorded in Rome with the Santa Cecilia orchestra and Alberto Erede in summer of 1955.
> 
>    It came out in mono as “Operatic Recital No. 3” (No. 1 was her first set of Decca recordings, a group of arias made in Geneva in 1949, and No. 2 was a collection of excerpts from complete recordings) in the US and was later issued, in stereo, as “Renata Tebaldi - Stereophonic Recital” in the UK and, in the US, the stereo version dropped the “No. 3” and became just plain “Renata Tebaldi - Operatic Recital.” The stereo version won a grammy.
> 
>    The singing is so bright, beautiful and lustrous on this recording that I’m surprised it didn’t get taken more seriously in the CD era. To my knowledge, it never was reissued as an intact recital on CD, at least prior to the complete Decca set of all Tebaldi recordings (I never bought that because I already had so much of it). It certainly seemed to me that it should have been one of Decca’s “Classic Recital” series.
> 
>    It can’t possibly be considered any kind of “concept album” because the only apparent connection between the arias is Tebaldi’s beautiful and spacious singing. We get Mozart’s Countess, followed immediately by Adriana Lecouvreur, snippets of Mascagni’s Lodoletta, Catalani’s Wally (not the popular “Ebben, ne andro lontano” which I wish they had included, but rather “Ne mai avro pace dunque”), then back to Rossini’s Mathilde and Refice’s Saint Cecilia.
> 
>    The “Selva opaca” is not only my favorite item on the recording, it’s one of my very favorite Tebaldi recordings and one of my favorite vocal recordings. JB Steane dismissed it because he was so troubled by the aspirations in her melismatic passages (which I don’t even notice) that he failed to pay attention to the grandeur and expansiveness with which she lays the aria out.
> 
>    The voice is really beautifully caught by the Decca engineering team in their early stereo “tree” microphone setup and she’s presented front and center with full dynamics in your living room. The sheer quality, firmness, strength of projection and velvety floating are all representative of her absolute young prime.
> 
>    Personally, I’m not much of a verismo fan musically (I know them’s fighting’ words to a number of you) so I would have rather they used session time to capture her in such prime voice singing “Come in quest’ora bruna” or let us hear what her 1955 voice is such terrific sound was like in Elsa’s Dream or as Wagner's Elisabeth. But the record is so good, I’m not going to complain.
> 
>    Up until recently, to get all of the selections on this LP digitally, you had to scrounge around a number of sources. You could buy the complete Decca box. However, you now can buy the Australian Decca Eloquence “Tebaldi - the Early Years.” You’ll want to use something like iTunes to reassemble the tracks; the CD mixes together the 1949 aria recordings with the 1955 recital, but it does have all of the 1955 selections. Eloquence is also the label to which I’m highly indebted for having made all of the “introuvable” DGG recordings of Irmgard Seefried available again as well as all of Flagstad’s Decca Lieder and song recordings.
> 
>    If you haven’t heard this Tebaldi recital, or if you haven’t heard it in some time, you’re in for a treat.
> 
>    Max Paley
> 
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