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Subject: Milanov's best years
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 2 May 2017 10:10:22 -0400
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There has always been wide disagreement, many believing that her
best years preceded her return to the Met in 1950-51. It is true that
the voice was in its most effulgent state during the forties, and that
the top register was absolutely secure, both in the loudest and the
osoftest passages. But, those attributes were mitigated, at least to
some degree,by a lot of sharp singing, some of it, very sharp.

I think that her finest work on recording, at least among complete studio
recordings, is the RCA "Trovatore" with Barbieri, Bjorling and Warren.
They are all in great form, and though I'm mot a fan of either the mezzo
or the baritone, they are very impressive here. Milanov has everything,
including a sense of repose that I've rarely heard from any other singer
in this role. It is often, breathtaking. I'll say that Leontyne Price gives
her
a run for the money in "D'amor", at least.

From then on, it was hit and miss. The Ballo excerpts are particularly
problematic, with a lot of what I call Clara Cluck imitations in the
gallows music. It is just plain bad, for the most part. I enjoy the studio
Gioconda, and the great note in  "Ah, come t'amo" is magnificent,
though the exit from it is not a thing of beauty.

She was always a singer of moments, and even her last recordings
have moments of true grandeur. I dismiss no era!

To her memory!

Bob

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