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Subject: Re: Milanov ( was Re: Noteworthy Opera/Vocal Reissues)
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 1 May 2017 15:58:23 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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Donald:

      Certainly Zin

> 
>     On May 1, 2017 at 1:09 PM Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>     I agree with Max and have always felt that the prime years for Milanov were
>     the late 30's and the 40's up to about 1952-53. While she could as Bob
>     Rideout says still be magnificent up to the end, that remains the prime
>     years. As I have stated before, there was a lot of wear on the voice - the
>     biggest roles, including Turandot at 23 and Minnie at 25-26 that were in
>     her repertory from the beginning. Many, many Aida's between 1928 & 58.
>     She wasn't a Netrebko who started as an ina & ana and progressed to spinto
>     and dramatic roles in her mid-40's. I would love to have had them issue
>     Milanov Sings complete and the song recital. German was close to her
>     native tongue, it was her 2nd language after Croatian and when she sings in
>     German, the voice sounds different. Younger, more at ease. Many of her
>     big roles were sung in German long before she learned Italian.
> 
>     As for the later broadcasts, once past Ernani involami, there is much to
>     savor in the 1956 Ernani performance. Ten years before it would have been
>     superb. The Cheniers are pretty much all very fine. All of the Gioconda
>     broadcasts show her at her best. This was for me her greatest role and the
>     one she had in her voice. The 1944 Norma is a major assumption. By 54, it
>     became a bit scary but much of her singing is quite beautiful. Somewhere
>     along the line she became stately with all that the word implies. Her work
>     in the 30's and 40's is much more spontaneous and she takes chances.
>     Sometimes she misses, but much of what she does is exciting and vocally
>     superb. And that voice - its got everything, amplitude, beauty and a
>     superb upper range.
> 
>     As with some other singers, the recorded output is not the most
>     interesting. All the arias from the 40's were re-recorded within the next
>     decade. There is so much rep she didn't sing at the Met that could have
>     been recorded. And, there is just no excuse for the 1955 Aida not having
>     been done in stereo. The Forza and Gioconda should have been recorded five
>     years earlier although its nice to have her in Decca's superbly engineered
>     stereo. Unfortunately, she and Warren were not Decca singers so there
>     seems to be little interest in these recordings and we will probably never
>     see them reissued again or given a better treatment then they already have.
> 
>     While we are on it, I would have loved to have heard Maria Caniglia
>     recorded in stereo. Love her or hate her (I love her) she was the most
>     important Italian spinto between Muzio and Tebaldi. It was an important
>     voice and she had a major career. Too bad EMI was so late getting on the
>     stereo boat also. We could have had a bit of Ebe Stignani and maybe even
>     Beniamino Gigli in stereo, although I think there are one or two things he
>     recorded at the very end that were in fact in stereo.
> 
>     Donald
> 
>     On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 9:03 AM, Max Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>         > > 
> >         I'm not disrespecting Milanov's later work at all, but my favorite
> >         recordings of hers are those from the late 30s and early 40s.
> > 
> >         I find her singing in several performances of the Verdi Requiem under
> >         Toscanini outstanding and the sheer unimpeded flood of sound and passion in
> >         that 1940 Panizza "Ballo" released by the Met is stunning.
> > 
> >         The performance that most surprises me for the purity and discipline of
> >         her singing is the 1940 Beethoven "Missa Solemnis" again under Toscanini.
> >         It's not so often you hear a cast of soloists in that work who would also
> >         be at home in "Aida" but you get the best of both: big, juicy voices
> >         singing with the selflessness of church singers.
> > 
> >         The Toscanini led last act of "Rigoletto" is a shocker, making the case
> >         for a full weight dramatic soprano Gilda. The effect is electrifying in the
> >         storm scene.
> > 
> >         If I had to pick one favorite recording from the 50s, it would be the 1953
> >         sessions that were originally released as the LP "Milanov Sings" RCA
> >         LM-1777. Her singing, vocally and emotionally, the singing of the Robert
> >         Shaw Chorale in the "Forza" scenes on the disc, even the conducting and
> >         playing as well as RCA's excellent mono engineering in Manhattan Center put
> >         it on my all time great list of vocal recitals. For some reason, the
> >         digital reissues I've heard so far sound rather pallid compared to my LP
> >         (same with the complete studio "Trovatore" also from Manhattan Center).
> >         Makes me wonder if something happened to the original tapes.
> > 
> >         Max Paley
> > 
> >         Sent from my iPad
> > 
> >             > > > 
> > >             On Apr 30, 2017, at 22:03, Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > > 
> > >             If her 1954 "Chenier" is about "as good as it gets", I'd have to say
> > >             that the "Norma broadcast from the same year (the previous March) is as BAD
> > >             as it gets (though the December, 1944 Norma of ten years earlier is much
> > >             better). To me, Milanov's greatest role was the Forza Leonora, especially
> > >             as heard on the November, 1952 broadcast with Tucker and Merrill. There
> > >             was something in the music of Forza that mated with her voice beautifully,
> > >             and in that 1952 broadcast, which I own, she sounds fabulous. The 1954
> > >             Chenier runs it a close second. A pity that her three broadcast Gioconda
> > >             broadcasts of the 1950s have Kurt Baum instead of Mario del Monaco or
> > >             Richard Tucker. Ditto for her "Trovatore" broadcasts.
> > > 
> > >                 > > > > 
> > > >                 On April 30, 2017 at 7:19 PM Donald S <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > > > 
> > > >                 The 54 Chenier is about as good as it gets. If I had to pick Milanov's
> > > >                 greatest role, the one she was most consistent in over the years and the
> > > >                 one she sang better than almost anyone, I would pick Gioconda.
> > > > 
> > > >                 Donald.
> > > > 
> > > >                 Sent from my iPad
> > > > 
> > > >                     > > > > > 
> > > > >                     On Apr 30, 2017, at 13:59, Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > > > > 
> > > > >                     Bob Rideout wrote:
> > > > > 
> > > > >                     "Late Santuzzas and Toscas were horrifying, but I have a sense
> > > > >                     that they were not that much different from her prime - the
> > > > >                     Tosca recording is a mess..."
> > > > > 
> > > > >                     Well, I like the Tosca recording, although I wouldn't say it was my
> > > > >                     favorite. (The first Callas
> > > > >                     recording and the 1956 Tebaldi broadcast tie for top slot, for me.)
> > > > >                     Milanov's Tosca is great in
> > > > >                     the live Covent Garden performance with Corelli. But on the
> > > > >                     recording, her "I-Vhant-To-Be-
> > > > >                     Alone!" delivery of "Voglio vederlo!" is a hoot.
> > > > > 
> > > > >                     Of all Milanov's roles, even those in her prime, the one I like her in
> > > > >                     best is Maddalena in
> > > > >                     "Andrea Chenier." The part fit her voice to a T and she really
> > > > >                     identified with the character and
> > > > >                     the dramatic situation. The 1954 matinee performance with Del Monaco
> > > > >                     and Warren is one of
> > > > >                     the great broadcasts in Met history: three powerful man-'o-wars
> > > > >                     steaming up the channel.
> > > > >                     Really great stuff.
> > > > > 
> > > > >                     MDW
> > > > > 
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