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Subject: Re: Luisa Miller Recording(s)
From: Michael Delos <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Michael Delos <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 22 Jul 2017 10:51:32 -0400
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I suppose one should limit our "votes" to commercial recordings, but I'd
like to put in a strong preference for an RAI broadcast from 1974:

    Gilda Cruz-Romo (soprano)
    Luciano Pavarotti (tenor)
    Matteo Manuguerra (baritone)
    Raffaele Ariť, Ferrucio Mazzoli (bass)
    Cristina Angelakova (mezzo-soprano)

    Maag, Peter (conductor)
    Orchestra e Coro di Torino della RAI

Pav is in gleaming voice - Act 3, which is always so
startling to people coming to the opera for the 1st time,
with it's intimations of the later Verdi style - finds him
at the top of his game. I love the way he (and Maag)
traverse(s) " Son le stille, il gel che piomba
dalla volta d'una tomba! "   Cruz-Romo is solid -
the real Verdi sound and Manguerra I consider
one of the most under-rated baritones of all
times.  Gorgeous voice, great style, great technique.

I'm a huge fan of early Verdi - the tonic/dominant
naivete, the unabashed Patriotism, the testosterone.
Perhaps some of them are now 'operas best left
to the aural imagination' as they would be too
stilted or impossible to stage/cast realistically - 
Giovanna d'Arco and La Battaglia di Legnano come
to mind.  I feel the same way about Pearl Fishers
actually - lovely music, and I can stage it in my
imagination while listening to a recording far more
effectively than anything I could see on stage.  I
can also fast forward through the long stretches
of not very distinguished music and get to the
best bits!

But back to L. Miller - it pays many, many dividends
to one who is coming to it fresh - without knowing
a note of it beyond the big aria.  If Verdi had 
written nothing else but Act 3 of this opera, we'd
be speaking of him historically with awe. 

My .02

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