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Subject: Re: Milanov's best years
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 2 May 2017 14:36:51 +0000
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Been listening to a lot of Milanov the past few days and have mostly been very impressed. This morning I listened to some of the 54 Norma. True, she is no Bel Canto specialist, but much of what I heard was very well sung and exciting. I did not hear the Casta Diva. The duet with Castanga in Gioconda, IMO, it rivals the Callas-Barbieri from the early fifties. The live Ballo with Bjorling contains thrilling singing by both. I heard a Gioconda from the late fifties, live, that was amazing at least to my ears then. What I heard of the legendary Chenier with Zinka, Bergonzi and Bastianini, was near perfection by all. Speaking of Chenier, there is an excellent recent concert performance on You Tube with: Kaufman, Harteros and a baritone Luca-no last name. The mezzo who plays the blind old lady was outstanding as well. Going back to Zinka, I still regret that I did not attend her final Chenier, even though a friend had a ticket for me. What some may forget, that in the fifties when Callas and Tebaldi were in their prime, Zinka was 16-17 years older than they were. I also very much enjoyed her first act duet with Corelli and Visi d'Arte from the Covent Garden Tosca in 57.


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 10:10 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [OPERA-L] Milanov's best years

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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